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Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 105580
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
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The consular asked if we had paid the bride price and I said no that we had just family in

Customer Question

The consular asked if we had paid the bride price and I said no that we had just family introduction and my family took fruits to my fiance's house on the introduction date as a mark of generosity. But in a rather somewhat confusing appraisal of the interview, the consular said she was also felt that we are already married because I admitted under oath that the Petitioner (My fiancé) had given bride price to my family. At this point, I immediately albeit in vain explained to Consular officer as follows:
a.At no point was ‘bride price’ been paid to any member of my fiancé’s family.
b.In any case, that the Petitioner (in this case my fiancé who is a Female) CANNOT give bride price to the intending groom’s family as claimed by the Consular officer (and as stated in her notice) as same is unknown to Nigeria/Yoruba custom and its laws. By custom and law, the Groom’s family are mandated to give to the bride family and not the other way round.
Please,what do we do? Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Expert James replied 1 year ago.
Who is the US citizen in this case?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My fiance (A female),,,She is the US CItizen and also the Petitioner
Expert:  Expert James replied 1 year ago.
So they denied the fiancé visa because you are considered married?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes. But it was on a wrong premise. In the Notice given to me by the Consular,she stated and I quote: ...”Under oath, you admit to the Petitioner having paid a bride price on January 2015 to your family...”. She premised this on ‘Nigerian law’ which she did not cite. I immediately told her that it was impossible for the Petitioner (my fiancé, a female) to pay bride price to my family (intending groom’s family) as such was unknown to the same Nigerian custom and laws she is referencing and being a Lawyer myself, I certainly could not have admitted to an impossibility.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
At this point, she referred me to another gentleman (who said he is also an attorney) who took me into a separate room and asked me to briefly explain what transpired. After my explanation, the man appeared to reason with me and went back to her to explain, he reported back that the Consular officer said her mind was made up and she would return the petition to the United states with a recommendation that the USCIS/NVC should revoke same after subsequent review of today’s interview and my fiancé’s subsequent response. I again showed the gentleman the notice the consular gave me wherein she stated that the Petitioner paid bride price to my family and told the man this was not possible under the custom as the Petitioner in this case is a female. He was surprised but reiterated that the Consular will not change her mind.
Expert:  Expert James replied 1 year ago.
I have to leave the site for a bit. Would you like to wait for my return or would you like me to open this p to other Experts?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If there is another reliable expert, please refer me. Thank you
Expert:  Expert James replied 1 year ago.
OK, but first a quick question. If the officer has decided you are married, why not just complete the marriage based immigration process instead of the fiancé visa process?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well, we are not. We filed this since September, 2014 and we had to wait for another 10months. We were obviously aware of the marriage based petition but since we where not at that time, it was not necessary to go through that lane. What has been occassioned here is a case of misrepresentation. The Consular officer appeared to have misundertood the law on who is to pay bride price in Nigeria. In any case, females do not pay bride price in the whole of Nigeria only men do. I was thinking there should be a way of resolving an obvious case of misrepresentation of the law which is the basis of the consular decision.If we even decide to accept this misrepresentation, it means we have to wait for another 12 to 16months for it to get settled. That is unfair and too much a price to pay for a consular's misrepresentation. My thoughts.
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello! My name is***** and I am a licensed attorney with more than 13 years of experience. I am here to assist you with your questions. Please understand that if I ask you for additional information, you are NOT charged again and our communications are NOT timed. So please see this as a relaxed conversation between friends. I am here to help. Unfortunately, you may still have to wait a few months to straighten this out. One thing that you can do while you wait is to have your U.S. Citizen fiancée contact her U.S. Congressmen and explain the situation and get them involved. I would provide her legal documentation of the law in regards ***** ***** bride price and provide signed and notarized affidavits from the family members involved that clearly state that no bride price was paid. She has THREE U.S. Congressmen, so if one does not help, she has two others she can try. Here is a link to help her with that: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml If this does not help, then the normal process would be the following: The Petition is returned to the U.S. for further review.When the petition is received by the NVC, it is reviewed.It is then sent to the local USCIS service center where the petition was originally filed and approved.Then the Local service center receives returned petition and sends a notice of receipt to your fiancée.The Local service center then reviews the returned petition and any consular officer notes on the case.If the Local service center agrees , then they send either a NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) or NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) to your fiancée also asking for more proof of the relationship, many cases have specific consular objections to rebut.She is given 30-60 days from date of NOIR/NOID to respond with additional evidence of the relationship or other specific evidence depending on what the original findings were. The timeframe to respond will be provided in the letter that they send her.This is the time that she should send memorandum of Nigerian law in regards ***** ***** bride price and also the affidavits from family members (and yourself) that are signed and notarized that clearly state that no bride price was paid.If she sends back the requested evidence in the timeframe given (30-60 days) the case is reviewed and either original approval is reaffirmed or the petition is officially denied.If the petition is denied the local service center sends her an 'official' denial letter. This can be officially appealed if the denial letter states such.If the petition is reaffirmed the local service center sends her an official notice of reaffirmation.Local service center sends the reaffirmed petition AND its evidence provided in the rebuttal directly to the consulate along with a recommendation to issue a visa.Consulate notifies your fiancée of a new interview date.At the interview for the reaffirmed petition and the visa should be issued. Unfortunately, as I said, this process may take a few months anyway. I know it is unfair. It's part of the broken bureaucracy that we have in the U.S. that needs fixing but never gets fixed. I am truly sorry. I wish I had better news for you. At least you now know what to do. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions and there is no additional charge. Also, should you need to chat on the phone, private email or need help reviewing documentation, I am happy to do so for a small additional cost. Let me know if you are interested in these – I am happy to give you more details! When we are done, if you would be so kind as to leave a positive rating for my service, I would sincerely ***** ***** You can even ask additional questions without additional charge even after leaving a positive rating. Thank you for your understanding.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Like I stated earlier, I'm the beneficiary and I am also a licensed attorney here in Nigeria. On the Nigerian Law on bride price, we may not get statutes law because it is under customary law and customary law in Nigeria is generally a conduct that has become acceptable to a community over time and passed from generations to generations. It is therefore unwritten and not codified. However, I can get Case laws where Nigerian Courts have held that Bride price is given by the Groom or his family to the bride or her family and not in the opposite like the Consular officer misrepresented.
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
That's fine. As long as you have something official like case law that discusses it and recognizes it and you have those affidavits from the persons involved that no bride price was paid, you should be ok. It's just a shame that it will take a few more months, but like I said, the only way to cut that down is for a U.S. Congressman to get involved. Let me know if you need anything else, but please do not forget to rate me positively. Thank you!
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello. I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. Did my answer help? Please let me know. Thank you!
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your kindness and respect. Good luck to you.

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