DHS accepting reported gender identity for immigration benefits apps, clarifying policy

The Biden administration will now allow immigrants seeking benefits to mark their gender identity without needing their documentation to match, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The news release, posted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Friday, said the update to the immigration benefits policy is meant to clarify that immigrants do not need to submit proof of their gender identity when requesting to change their gender marker, except for those submitting a Form N-565, which is submitted by those applying for a replacement naturalization certificate or citizenship document. 

The release also states that the only gender markers available on their forms and documents are “Male” and “Female,” but DHS is working to add an additional gender marker of “X” for another or unspecified gender identity. 

DHS first requested public input on barriers to receiving USCIS benefits and services in April 2021.

The feedback indicated that the evidence requirements for gender marker changes created barriers, and listening sessions with stakeholders revealed how changing the policy will reduce these barriers, according to the release. 

The clarification came as Transgender Day of Visibility happened Friday. President Biden criticized “MAGA extremists” in a statement commemorating the day for pushing for bills in many states that limit transgender individuals’ rights.

About a dozen states have enacted laws that ban gender-affirming care for minors, and the American Civil Liberties Union reports that 430 bills have been introduced in state legislatures during this legislative session that target LGBTQ individuals. 

Tags Biden administration Department of Homeland Security gender identity Joe Biden Transgender Day of Visibility transgender youth

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