TEL AVIV, Israel — The U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv on Thursday issued the first derivative visas to same-sex spouses.
Derivative visas allow applicants to receive a visa through another person, such as a spouse or first-degree relative, who is eligible for residence in the United States
The embassy issued the visas to the same-sex spouses of two Israelis who have been granted work visas in the United States, reported the daily Ha’aretz.
U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro and Consul General Lawrence Mire personally presented the visas to the spouses of two Israeli men relocating to the U.S. for work.
Sergey Shepshelevich and Alexander Polyakov, and Elad ben-Yosef and Idan Frumin, were able to receive the visas under new U.S. State Department policies following the U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which had prohibited married, same-sex couples from receiving federal benefits.
“We are delighted that Embassy Tel Aviv 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 forward.”
The change was announced by Secretary of State John Kerry while on diplomatic travel in London.
Same-sex marriage is not legal in Israel, but the country recognizes same-sex marriages performed abroad, and offers legal recognition for cohabiting same-sex couples.