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Ask Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. Your Own...
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 109672
Experience:  7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
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For an immigration lawyer: (or maybe for a divorce lawyer) Im

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For an immigration lawyer: (or maybe for a divorce lawyer)
I'm a citizen. My wife was under removal proceedings when i met her. We got married 18 months ago and filed I-130 etc for her greencard. She is pregnant now with my baby. We went thru a Stokes interview, when it was over the officer said she didn't hear any discrepancy. Now we received a letter from them: intent to deny I-130. Reason: on the I-130 we put down NO PRIOR marriages for my wife. This is what the extended marriage certificate shows. But during the Stokes my wife stated that she had a religious muslim marriage a long time ago in New York but she never considered this as a legal marriage. They were married with no marriage license, and never received a marriage certificate and they never signed a marriage contract. So no legal document exists. She always reported her taxes as a single. The minister was an islamic imam registered in NY to perform marriages. The imam never reported this marriage to any state agency. My wife was catholic at the time of the "wedding", the guys is muslim. They just did this to be able to have intimacy bcos he is muslim. They also had a religious divorce after 2 years, meaning they just told the imam that they are divorcing and the iman said ok, now you are divorced. No legal document shows any divorce, no divorce certificate. Maybe this is the problem bcos Homeland is asking for a divorce document. I just found out this type of a marriage is actually accepted in NY. (NY Domestic Relations article 3 #25). Can a Federal agency like Homeland accept her prior "marriage" as legal? Can they really deny our I-130? what should we do? how do we fight this? thanks
Hello and thank you for using our service. My name isXXXXX and I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help you. I just ask for two things: 1) Before you sign off, please remember to rate me positively as that is the only way that I am paid and your question does not close after you rate me so I can still answer additional questions without additional charge if you have follow-ups even weeks or months later; and, 2) IF I have bad news for you, please remember I am only the messenger. When you rate me, it is my service to you that you rate, not whether the news is good or bad. I will try my best to give you a solution, but sometimes the law does not have a good one.

Unfortunately, if NY gives the marriage validity, then USCIS will view the marriage as valid. So I do have some bad news for you. Unless you can show a divorce dated before you married her, your marriage to her is void. So she will need to get a divorce from that previous marriage, then marry you over again, then you can file a new I-130. I know it is a pain and it is very inconvenient, but they have to go by what the law dictates even though they probably believe that your current relationship is real. They just can't give you an approval because under the law, the marriage is void. I am truly sorry.

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 Thank you!

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