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Judith, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 28067
Experience:  34 years as practicing immigration attorney, with non-immigrant and immigrant visa experience.
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I am kicking myself taking your advice to refrain from

Customer Question

I am kicking myself for not taking your advice to refrain from signing the Declaration from Non-accompanying Parent/Guardian for Minors Immigrating to Canada. Originally my ex-wife and I mutually agreed to a modified custody and child support agreement because my 15 year-old daughter was going to move in with me. As of yesterday that had not changed.My lawyer has not contacted me since she took my money to draft the modification knowing that timing was essential, and I caved in by giving my ex-wife what she wanted because I didn't want to make things hard for her. The pressure was on because the deadline to submit the forms is Monday the 13th. My lawyer told me she would have the draft ready two weeks and three days ago. I called and sent e-mails several times to impress upon her the seriousness of the situation.After e-mailing a scanned copy of the signed and notarized forms, the very next day (today) my ex-wife had my daughter call me and say that she doesn't want to live with me anymore, or come down for her annual, court ordered summer visitation. The wording that my daughter used did not sound like her own and she sounded very stressed while I could hear my ex-wife talking in the background.Questions:I have not sent her the original signed forms. If I do not send her these forms, will the copies be admissible for immigration approval? Can I rescind my permission for my children's immigration?
Also, because my lawyer has not contacted me, or provided the services agreed upon, causing serious repercussions in my life, such as financial and emotional distress, what can I do?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Hello! My name is***** and I am a licensed attorney with more than 14 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.

Your daughter is a U.S. Citizen, a Canadian citizen, or both? And you contracted your lawyer to provide what services exactly that have not been provided?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
My daughter is a US Citizen in Canada on a temporary visa with her mother. My ex-wife and I have 2 children together and they have lived there for 9 years. My ex-wife is submitting an Application to Sponsor a Member of the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class for permanent residency (not citizenship) with her husband who is a Canadian citizen. She and I had decided in November 2015 that my daughter would live with me and my son live with her. My son was then going to possibly move in with me next year. We had also agreed that while I had one child and she had the other, neither would pay child support.The lawyer was to have a drafted modification for parental responsibilities to state that my daughter's permanent residency will be with me beginning 6/25/2016, and neither parent would pay child support. The modification was also to address a specific interpretation of the immigration form my ex-wife wanted me to sign that states by signing "I am confirming that I fully understand that I may be permanently separated from my above-named child.” The modification was to ensure that I could not be permanently be separated from my children.Even though it was agreed that my daughter was to live with me, my ex-wife still wanted me to sign this form in the event that my daughter had to move back to Canada should anything happen to me during the duration of the court ordered summer visitation with my son. She said that she would cancel the application for her daughter’s residency in September if nothing happened to me.I didn’t see why she needed me to continue with the immigration approval for my daughter when anything could happen to me after September, too. It seemed fishy, so that's why timing for the lawyer to draft the modification was imperative, and she was well aware of that.My ex-wife e-mailed me this on Wednesday June 8th, ”Attached are the documents that show the deadline we are under, as previously stated numerous times, failure to return the docs by the deadline, border crossing issues for all of us becomes a reality. I will not risk crossing the border because of the increased risk of not being able to return. I need the documents by Monday of next week to get them to CIC by the deadline.”This means she would not meet me with the kids, holding them in Canada as a threat.
Expert:  Judith replied 4 months ago.

Hi this is Judith.

I see you did follow my suggestion and get an opinion from the Canadian lawyer regarding the consequences of not signing the Declaration.

Generally, in US immigration proceedings everything has to be originals and under this situation you are permanently giving away your rights to see your children.

Since you have a US court order for visitation with the children, I would go up to Canada and get them. I know it is a long distance for you but just do it. You have a court order.

I would immediately contact that attorney you chatted with by opening your old thread and tell him what you did and that you want to withdraw the facimile and that you are not willing to sign and give the Canadian authorities an original Declaration. You are not willing to permanently abandon your rights to seeing your children as you have a US court order for visitation and you want to exercise those rights. Ask him how to make sure you can send a letter to the CIC = canadian immigration agency to do this.

I am not surprised this happened. As both of us told you if the children are not included in this petition they will have to come back to the US and your wife will have to go through the process to get them permanent status after she gets hers alone.

Your children are US citizens, you are a US citizen, you have a US court order for their visitation, go and get them.

I am sure you understand your positive rating is very important to me as we are not on salary and that is how we receive compensation, you choosing a smiley face or 3+ stars
In the future, you may begin your questions with “FOR JUDITH” and I will be your personal immigration expert.


Expert:  Judith replied 4 months ago.

I have sent you an offer for a telephone call if you want to chat.


Expert:  Judith replied 4 months ago.

Also, if your wife leaves Canada while this process is going on she may well not be able to return.

She has not said she will not bring you the children or that you cannot have them. You go get them an let them live with you until she gets her act together with cooperating with you on the visitation and then she can take the necessary measures to get the children's resident status and then they can go back to Canada to live.

After you bring them here they are not prohibited from making a border crossing after their application is denied for lack of completed documentation. They can go back for a visit as a visitor, just like all Americans. They will just have to return here to live with you until she fixes it.


Expert:  Judith replied 4 months ago.

And as I recall, you were not happy with the children going to Canada originally. Although being a single dad for awhile may be difficult, it will ensure that your children are not kept from you by the Canadian courts and that your US court order remains in tact.


Expert:  Judith replied 4 months ago.

Also, when going to get your children for their visitation I would not tell your wife you send a withdrawal of the faxed Declaration and informed the CiC you are not willing to execute the form at this time. You can send that to them. The daughter's file number and the address may even be on the form.

I would send that by express mail Monday to CIC.

As you were advised by the Canadian lawyer, once the daughter is a Canadian resident then the Canadian courts have the power over her. Right now US courts still have the power.

You want her on US soil ASAP where you have control over the game your wife is playing on you.


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