Israeli passport 370.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The US Embassy in Tel Aviv on Thursday issued derivative visas to gay couples
for the first time.
A derivative visa is where one applicant – such as a
spouse or child of an exchange student – receives a visa through another
A statement put out by the embassy said that the recent
landmark US Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act
made the issuing of the visas possible to the spouses of two Israelis relocating
to the US on work visas. The new rules make married same sex partners eligible
for federal US benefits.
Ambassador Dan Shapiro and Consul-General
Lawrence Mire presented the approved visas at the embassy’s visa section in Tel
Aviv to Sergey Shepshelevich and Alexander Polyakov, as well as to Elad
ben-Yosef and Idan Frumin.
“We are delighted that the Tel Aviv Embassy
has now issued its first visas to a married same-sex couple,” Shapiro said. “Gay
rights are human rights, and our new visa regulations are an important step
Gay marriages performed in Israel are not accepted as legally
binding in the country, but a 2006 High Court of Justice ruling mandated that
same-sex marriages performed abroad must be registered by the Border Crossing,
Population and Immigration Administration.