MANILA, Luzon — The United States Embassy in the Philippines has issued its first fiancé visas to two same-sex couples.
According to the Embassy, Noel Amaro and Robert Cotterman were issued the visa on Dec. 2, becoming the first same-sex couple in the Philippines to receive a fiancé visa. Cotterman serves in the U.S. military and is scheduled to return from a tour in Afghanistan in January 2014.
Maria Cecilia Limson Gahuman and Maria Carla Antonio also received a fiancé visa. The couple met through a mutual friend over a decade ago. With their fiancé visa, the couple will transition their their ten-year relationship from long-distance to marriage in California on Dec. 30.
Although same-sex marriage is not yet recognized in the Philippines, gay Americans are now able to petition for family-based visas on behalf of their Filipino spouses, fiancé, and their children.
The announcement by the Embassy highlights the fact that American officials want to educate gay Filipinos about new visa opportunities.