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Ask Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. Your Own...
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 107285
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
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My fiance has been living and working in Malaysia for about

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My fiance has been living and working in Malaysia for about 11 years now. We met online and I went to visit her in Malaysia August-September 2012. She was married in 1985 and has been separated from her husband since a few a years after marriage. April 2013 she returned to the Philippines to see family and while there began investigating the process of annulment. She discovered there was no record in the NSO database of her marriage. She obtained a certified "Record Of No Marriage" from the NSO. She has returned to her work in Malaysia.
It is my understanding that if she changes her name on her passport, she will lose the her working visa in Malaysia. We are prepared for her to go back to the Philippines, drop her married name, get a new passport, and do a K1 Visa for her to come to here.
My question is will the US Embassy in Malaysia recognize she is not legally married and free to marry in the U.S. without the name change using "The Record of No Marriage" as a supporting legal document? If not, then she goes back to the Philippines, gets a new passport, changes her name in all the other places she has too, then what becomes of my documents, records, communications, and visit to Malaysia? Is it still admissible as a record of an ongoing relationship and how does she explain what she has been doing for the last 11 years? Lastly, should she or does she need to pursue the Church record which after 28 years may or may not still exist?

Steve B
Hello. Thank you for using our service. All I ask is that before you sign off, you rate me positively. If you are inclined to use the "poor service" or "bad service" options, please ask follow-up questions first and give me a chance. Sometimes the law doesn't have a good solution, but I will try hard to find it if it is available.

Where was she supposedly married?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She was married in the Philippines

Well, then that's going to be a problem. Does she have her marriage certificate? Does she know where her spouse is?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She does not have a marriage certificate and she has been in touch with her husband. He has a complete other family now, and is alcoholic. He is has said to her that he is all for her starting a new a life. I don't believe he has their marriage certificate either.

Well, there is no way to guarantee that it will not become a problem either now or in the future. All it takes is an upset family member, neighbor, friend, ex, etc. to report her and provide evidence (if it exists) and she could even lose U.S. Citizenship in the future because her status was all based upon a falsehood. I wish I had an easy solution for you, but I don't.

You can try to go forward and hope that nothing comes out and proceed to get Lawful Permanent Residency and then later U.S. Citizenship, but that can all come crumbling down if some evidence or allegation comes out.

If she can get an annulment, that would be the best solution. If they say they cannot give her one because they find no records, then that helps, to just go forward, but there is still no guarantee.

Another option is to move to Malaysia and file for divorce there as long as she meets the jurisdictional requirements. US immigration will not normally ask for previous marriage certificates but divorce certificates. So if she can legally get a divorce in Malaysia, then the U.S. would normally recognize it and she would be free to marry again and this qualify for a K-1.

Please let me know if you have additional questions and please do not forget to rate my service to you (not the state of the law) as that is the only way that I can get credit for my assistance. Even after you rate the service, I can still answer additional questions for you without additional charge. If you do rate me positively, a bonus is always appreciated. If you would like to request me in the future, just go to http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-guillermosenmartin/. Thank you!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She is already living in Malaysia, so what you are saying is to see whether she can file for divorce or annulment there? I don't understand when you say, "meets the jurisdictional requirements." Otherwise, you are saying she should at least attempt to annul her marriage whether in Malaysia or in her home country of the Philippines before going forward with the K1?


 

Yes. Essentially. And what I mean by meeting the jurisdictional requirements is usually that one lives in the location where one files for divorce and usually they have to live in that location for 6 months or more. But you have to check with Malaysia what those requirements are. So yes, get an annulment in either country, or a divorce in Malaysia before going forward. It is the only way to make sure. Please let me know if you have additional questions and please do not forget to rate my service to you (not the state of the law) as that is the only way that I can get credit for my assistance. Even after you rate the service, I can still answer additional questions for you without additional charge. And don't forget that bonuses are always appreciated! Thank you.
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