The U.S. State Department has announced that it will treat visa applications of same-sex spouses in the same way that it treats applications of heterosexual spouses, effective immediately. Under the new rules, any marriage that has been performed in a jurisdiction that recognizes it as legal, will be treated as valid under U.S. immigration laws, and every married couple will be treated the same.
Rahinah Ibrahim, a Malaysian national and university professor, was legally in the United States as a Ph.D. student at Stanford University from 2001 - 2005. In early 2005, she attempted to travel to a Stanfordsponsored conference in Malaysia where she was to present her doctoral research. Alledgedly mistakenly placed on the “No-Fly List”, she was prevented from flying and was detained in a holding cell for two hours at the San Francisco airport. She was then allowed to fly to Malaysia the next day, but she was prevented from returning to the United States after the conference.
The U.S. Travel Association (USTA) and the Air Transport Association of America (ATA) are supporting new legislation just introduced by Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.), H.R. 3039, the "Welcoming Business Travelers and Tourists to America Act of 2011" that would address problems with the U.S. visa system that are currently discouraging international visitors from doing business and traveling here.