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Updating Gender Markers on Immigration Documents

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For several years now, USCIS has permitted its customers to update gender markers on their immigration documents, such as work permits, green cards, and other documents. The process for doing so is a very relaxed process. Transgender and intersex people can file fairly easily-accessed documentation, and USCIS has been very responsive to those who wish to update their records. This process was memorialized with temporary guidance issued by the agency on April 10, 2012 in Interim Memo PM-602-0061.

USCIS will correct a gender marker on any identity document issued by that agency if a letter certified by a licensed Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) is submitted. The letter should reflect the post-transition gender, and certify that this is the gender “based on standards and recommendations of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.” 

The physician must be licensed, and must either be an M.D. or a D.O. The physician need not specialize in any given field and may be a general practitioner.  Statements from other professionals, such as psychologists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, social workers, health practitioners, chiropractors, etc., will not be accepted.

It should further be noted that proof of sex reassignment surgery is not required.

Finally, updating a name change that was entered by a state court is also a fairly easy process. We will typically request a certified copy of the court’s order changing the name to accompany the application packet for USCIS.

Please check in with your attorney for information related to updating gender markers or legal name changes on your immigration documents.

Bryon M. Large, Sr. is a Senior Associate Attorney at Kolko & Associates, P.C., a Denver-based full service immigration law firm. He is licensed to practice law by the Colorado Supreme Court and has also been admitted by the United States District Court for the District of Colorado and the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver and his undergraduate degree from the University of New Mexico. Bryon actively practices removal defense, federal litigation, family-based and employment-based immigration, asylum and naturalization.

Bryon is a past Chapter Chair for the Colorado Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), as well as a Past Chair of the Immigration Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association. He currently serves as the President of the Colorado LGBT Bar Association, an Elected Director on the AILA Board of Governors, and is a member of the National LGBT Bar Association.

Bryon’s true passion in life is being a father to his two children.

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Kolko & Casey, P.C. is a full service immigration and naturalization law firm providing professional legal services to individuals and businesses throughout Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West, the United States, and the World. Our professional staff speaks English, Spanish, Korean, and Portuguese and we can arrange for translators in any other language.