The Department of Homeland Security no longer requires documents to match self-identified gender
The services of citizenship and immigration of the United States marked the day of transgender visibility with an announcement that it will begin to accept. “self-identified gender markers” by foreign individuals seeking legal immigration services and benefits, without requiring supporting documents.
While the only two options on the existing forms are still there “male” and “female”, Homeland Security’s legal immigration branch will now allow applicants to select and change their preferred gender at will, according to a policy update alert issued on March 31.
The policy change, effective immediately, says that “Benefit applicants can self-select their gender marker (in an initial submission or a subsequent change to a previous gender selection), without the need to provide supporting documentation or to match the gender listed on their identity documents”.
President Joe Biden officially proclaimed March 31 as Transgender Day of Visibility in 2021 as part of his broader push for equity and inclusivity. In his 2023 proclamation, Biden said what you do “Transgender Americans Form the Soul of Our Nation.”
The immigration agency said it has removed the documentation requirement in accordance with “priority” established by Biden’s executive order on advancing LGBTQI equality, combating discrimination, and “restore faith” in US legal immigration systems.
The USCIS has argued that the requirement to present proof of gender identity has created extra barriers and delays to travel and employment, and abolition will help prevent that. “Discrimination and Harassment Due to Inconsistent Identity Documents.”
Last year, the United States Department of State began offering an “X” gender option on passports that means those who have. “Unspecified or other gender identity,” without having to provide any medical documentation to prove that they are neither male nor female.
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