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Civil union conversion to marriage in the US

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We are a same-sex couple and wonder if there are any other same-sex couples who are or have been facing the same or similar catch 22 situation:

7 years ago, we legally entered a civil union/domestic partnership in a European country where it is legally equivalent to a marriage in that country (and where the civil union grants immigration benefits to the foreign partner).

However, it is not recognized for immigration purposes under USCIS and both of us are considered single under US law.

We then tried to find a way to marry in another European country with same-sex marriage, in order to file for a spousal visa that would take the years of our civil union into account.

However, other European countries considered us "married" (based on our civil union), and would have first required us to divorce before entering a same-sex marriage. Obviously, that was not an option for us.

We sought legal advice and are now taking the K-1 route (March filers), and will be marrying in a US state that allows same-sex marriage as soon as the K-1 visa is obtained.

We have been though, wondering if there is any way for us to register or legalize our existing foreign civil union in the US, and then converting it into a same-sex marriage. As far as we researched, there are some states that do convert civil unions into same-sex marriages and date the marriage license back to the date the civil union was entered.

We have been trying to research this subject and are still gathering information, but we have been wondering if anyone has taken this route successfully.

Our main question is if there is any legal way or option to have our foreign civil union recognized and/or converted into a same-sex marriage in the US, without "losing" the past 7 years. This is not only a legal issue for us, but also an emotional one, as we already committed to each other years ago.

We would appreciate any input.

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