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Ask Judith Ludwic Your Own Question
Judith Ludwic
Judith Ludwic, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 28862
Experience:  34 years as practicing immigration attorney, with non-immigrant and immigrant visa experience.
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Judith

Customer Question

Hi Judith
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is Judith. Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions. I have 34 years experience as a licensed immigration attorney.
Have you been legally divorced in a court by a judge?
Judith
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No, we did not it mutually. We didn't go to court.

Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 2 years ago.
This is what the Dept of State has determined to be acceptable of a divorce:
Divorce Certificates
Available. Certified copies of divorce decrees of Christian, Hindu, Parsi, and Sikh divorces can be obtained from the courts of jurisdiction. A certificate from the Kazi or the head of the Jamaat must document divorce between Muslims.
Note that some Hindu communities practice divorce by mutual consent outside of the judicial system, resulting in a “divorce deed.” However, only a final “divorce decree,” obtained through a court, is proof of final dissolution of a Hindu marriage.
Therefore, if you mutually consented to a dissolution of a Hindu marriage that divorce deed is insufficient. You have to obtain a divorce through the court.
http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/fees/reciprocity-by-country/IN.html#divorcecertificates-3
So you cannot say you are single or divorced until you have a court divorce. You are still married under US law.
I see this is the first time you are using JA and I am eager to make this a positive experience for you. Please ask follow-up questions if my answer is not clear.
Of course, 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, but more importantly, I want you to come back to the site for all your answers from over a 100 categories of experts!
In the future, you may begin your questions with “FOR JUDITH” and I will be your personal immigration expert.
Judith
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Judith,

I understand what you are saying about PA laws. My point is, i got married under mahindu law but i did not register it to any institute.

So i do not even have my marriage certificate with me. My in laws said they will register marriage to government institute for records but before registerring my marriage, problems started and we never registered my marriage.

I came to US after 6 months of my marriage and I was thinking that my in-laws will register my marriage and i will have marriage certificate available, thats why i kept my status as married.

Now if I say I am married, i do not have any legal document with me but at the same same time I have marital status as married in my H1B documents. So if someone ask me about my marriage evidences, I dont have any.

For my next H1B visa extension or new H1 visa, if i say I am married or divorsed, I donr have any proof. I can say I am single, will that be a problem.

I am sure my in-laws will not help me in getting any kinnd of documents. Please suggest, what I should do inn this circumstances, should i keep my status as married always without being married?

Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 2 years ago.
Dept of State recognizes that Hindu marriages are not required to be registered pursuant to the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 and that unregistered marriages are still recognized as valid marriages by the US Dept of State:
Marriage Certificates.. Registration is voluntary. Therefore, my answer does not change. I have to go by the US Dept of State advisory on these matters. USCIS refers to these as well. Nor can I tell you to lie. That is fraud. This may not be what you want to hear but as a lawyer it is what I have to tell you. Don't be angry with me for giving you the opinion of the Dept of State.
Available. All marriages in India can be registered with the appropriate government authority. While Hindus and Muslims do not always register marriages, marriages by Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, or Sikhs may be voluntarily registered under the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955. This Act does not apply to Muslims, Parsis, Jews, or Christians, who may register their marriages under the Special Marriage Act of 1954 or the Christian Marriage Act. Marriage certificates for marriages registered under these Acts may be obtained from the offices of Government Registrar of Marriages, which are located in the headquarters of each district. The certificate will be issued by the Registrar only if the bride and groom personally appear before the official and pay the required fee.
A certificate of marriage between Muslims is usually issued by the officiant (“Kazi”) who performed the ceremony. The document is in the Urdu language, and a certified English translation is acceptable. Certificates of marriages between Christians are usually obtainable from church records, which are also acceptable.
Note: A document termed as "Marriage Agreement" or "Deed of Marriage" to live as man and wife (under the Registration Act of 1908) is not confirmation of a marriage solemnized legally under the Indian Marriage Acts now in force. Such a document does not confer upon the contracting parties’ legal marital status under the law.
http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/fees/reciprocity-by-country/IN.html#marriagecertificates-2
I hope I’ve provided the information you were seeking. If you are happy with my service, please provide a positive rating. If not, please let me know so l can continue to help you.. In the future, you may begin your questions with “FOR JUDITH” and I will be your personal immigration expert. Understand, it is my job to be honest and truthful about the law and sometimes the law does not give you the solution or options you want. If you feel I earned a BONUS, I am grateful. I will remember you and review our question history. Thank you.
Judith
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have last question to you, what should I tell to my new employer about my marital status and what to keep during my H1B transfer and GC process. If I have to stete married then what proof should I need to produce? Considering my in- laws will not co-operate?

Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 2 years ago.
As an attorney I can only tell you to be truthful. I have to rely on the Dept of State requirements which the USCIS defers to because these are written according to the Dept of State legal staff at the US Embassy in India who research the laws and advise the Dept of State on what is recognized as a legal marriage.
I am no expert in Indian divorce law and you will need to contact a lawyer in India on how to obtain a divorce after entering into an unregistered Hindu marriage.
Or you can contact a divorce lawyer in the state where you are residing and consult with them on obtaining a divorce here in the US.
I can just tell you that under the US laws they recognize your Hindu marriage and registration was voluntary according to Hindu Marriage Act of 1955. That does not mean you are not married. I means it is not registered.
Therefore if you are married you need a divorce.
I see this is the first time you are using JA and I am eager to make this a positive experience for you. Please ask follow-up questions if my answer is not clear.
Of course, 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, but more importantly, I want you to come back to the site for all your answers from over a 100 categories of experts!
In the future, you may begin your questions with “FOR JUDITH” and I will be your personal immigration expert.
Judith