I came to the US second time on j1 visa, my visa expired on Jan 26, i got married to US citizen on the 5th of February! When I was ready to file the papers, I needed the final decree from his previous marriage, then he told he was still married to his ex wife but in the process of divorce(before he told me they were already divorced, I believed)! At this point I overstayed my visa for 110 days already, later I found out divorce was never filed(as the wife was the one who was filing, when she found out about me, got mad and stopped the process). Now he's ready to file himself, but she's saying she'll call immigration on me, that's why we afraid to file not to make her mad more! What are my options at this point?
The Immigration Service has other priorities for deportation.
Mr. Shusterman's (former INS Trial Attorney, 1976-82) response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.
Your husband should hire a Tampa family lawyer as soon as possible to move forward with the divorce on his own. You should also consult with an immigration lawyer to determine a strategy for your case. The federal government takes bigamy very seriously, but it appears in this case you were unaware that you were committing bigamy when you married your husband. It is important that you do not conceal this information, but present it in a way that is honest and forthcoming.
Tampa Family and Immigration Lawyer- Simple flat fee, contingency fee, and hourly arrangements available. This answer is being given for general informational purposes only and is not protected by the attorney-client privilege since this is a public forum. The information provided does not create an attorney-client relationship. No communications with me on this forum shall be construed to form an attorney-client relationship.
The first step is for your husband to proceed with the divorce if he intends to marry you and sponsor you for residency. Your husband should hire a competent local family law attorney and also an immigration attorney to assist you in planning to legalize your immigration status and prepare for a removal defense although it is not likely that you will be placed in removal proceedings but possible. Time is of the essence in both matters.
Because your marriage to your husband happened before his divorce was finalized, the marriage is invalid and you are not legally considered married. Therefore, the first step is for your husband to finalize the divorce, then once it is finalized, you will need to remarry, and only then your husband can file immigration documents for you. You will probably need to get an attorney involved so that the legal aspects are properly handled and you have a valid divorce and subsequent valid marriage that will allow you to proceed with adjustment of status through your US citizen husband. As for the threats his ex wife is making, unless you are a person who has committed crimes, is a danger to the community, and/or has serious previous immigration violations (your overstay is not considered serious for this analysis), you are not within the priority categories that ICE is currently using. That doesn't mean that anyone can guarantee that you will not be taken into custody, because ICE technically has the authority to do so, but it's extremely unlikely. Even if you are taken into custody, you will have to go before an immigration judge where you will have the opportunity to present defenses against your removal. This process takes months to years to complete, so if your spouse is committed to getting your immigration status, you should be able to get everything done in time. That said, you do have a complicated case, due to the bigamous marriage, so I strongly suggest that you hire an experienced immigration lawyer to handle this for you. Good luck!
Answers provided by Ksenia Maiorova, Esq. on Avvo.com are of a general nature and do not constitute legal advice.
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