Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378
  Immigration News & Updates              eNewsletter

Tell a friend about this page

Learn More About:

This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen

Add this page to your favorites.
Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2014  
For questions about U.S. Residency, Green Cards and Immigration Visas, Visit our Website at: or  call our office at: (954) 382-5378

Add this page to your favorites.
Questions & Answers

Question: I was previously married to my ex Colombian wife in Colombia. We got divorced legally in Colombia in Feb 2013, because I was told that Colombia doesn't recognize USA divorces. Both my ex wife and I have reside here in Florida for over 8yrs. Now I just married again in Dec 2013 and I was just about to start immigration papers for my wife and got told that the Colombian divorce isn't recognized here in Florida, and that our marriage (which was here in Broward County court) is not legal....So now what? 

Do I have to divorce my wife now and then re-divorce my ex Colombian wife again here? (Except I don't know where she is) To then get remarried, here again (what a mess) If my marriage to my wife now isn't legal, why do we have to get divorced? Anyway, what do we have to do to sort this mess out ?
Answer: ​Incredibly, yes, this is a very common problem in marriage immigration cases. Unfortunately, the USCIS does not recognize all foreign divorce decrees. While it can be very technical, put simply, state law governs whether or not a foreign decree will be recognized by the USCIS. In Florida, at least one party must reside in the state to obtain a legal divorce. Therefore, in your case, Florida law was applied. This is also a big problem for Dominican divorces, which also do not require the physical residence of either party.

A good tip for an Immigrants who reside in the U.S. is to simply obtain a divorce in the U.S., rather than in the foreign country, unless the other spouse resides in the foreign country and files the divorce there. In Florida, an individual (including immigrants, even those without legal status) can obtain a divorce very quickly, in as little as 60 days, as long as he or she has resided physically in the State for at least 6 months. This is true, even if the foreign spouse resides in another country. 
So in your case, since you live in Florida, you‘ll need to quickly get a divorce here and then you can remarry your Colombian wife. Your divorce in Colombia is not valid (here), thus, your current marriage is not valid, so you aren’t required to divorce your current spouse, since you are not validly married, you only need to divorce your ex-wife (still current) wife. Don’t file anything with the USCIS until this is corrected or you will lose all your filing fees! Let us know if you need our assistance in handling the Divorce and Immigration Residency case for your soon to be new wife.
Helpful Immigration Hints You Can Use
Naturalization Calculator: Helps You Determine When You Are Eligible To File For Your U.S. Citizenship
Immigration How To: How Do I Sign Up To Get Case Updates Via Email From The USCIS ?
The USCIS provides Immigrants and other Customers (called applicants or petitioners) with automatic Email updates on pending cases. To receive these email updates, you can register on the USCIS website by providing your information and USCIS receipt number (from your I-797 Notice of Action) form. Be sure to enter the receipt number for all forms relating to your case, not just the main one.

Click Here to register on the “My Case Status” Webpage

Use the Handy USCIS Naturalization Calculator To Determine When To File For U.S. Citizenship

Most U.S. Residents must hold Residency status for 4 years and 5 months before being eligible to file for Naturalization. Residents who are spouses of U.S. Citizens (and who reside together), who’s spouse has held U.S. Citizenship for at least 3 years are eligible to apply for Naturalization in 2 years and 9 months. Calculating the exact time can be challenging and applications filed early are often returned or denied. Because of this, the USCIS has a handy-dandy calculator to help you determine the exact day you are eligible to file: 

USCIS Naturalization Calculator
New Tax Scam Targets Legal Immigrants
The government is reporting the largest phone scam ever discovered, targeting more than 20,000 taxpayers, including Immigrants, bilking thousands of victims of more than $1 million.

The scam involves a fake IRS agent calling an individual using an fake IRS “Caller ID”, claiming that taxes are due and demanding that payment be made using a prepaid debit card or a wire transfer. Those who refuse to make the payment are threatened with arrest, deportation, loss of a business or driver's license. Immigrants are particularly vulnerable, since they are not always familiar with the customary method of tax payments. Taxpayers are cautioned that the IRS always sends tax information by mail and NEVER requests tax payments by debit card, credit card or wire transfer. DON'T GET SCAMMED!

You can learn more about Family and Employment Visas by visiting our website or by calling our office at: (954) 382-5378.
Question: My daughter became a Citizen in September of last year and she filed the I-130 application to sponsor me and my husband as her parents that same month, Then in Jan 2014 she got a notice from Immigration that our case was transferred to the Nebraska center. In your opinion when do you think that our case will be approved. Thanks 
Answer: ​What you are experiencing is very common lately. During the past year, there have been terrible delays in processing I-130 petitions for Parents, Spouses & Minor children of Citizens. Until 2013, the average processing time was between 3-6 months. Currently, the processing times are about 8 months or so. The USCIS recognizes these delays and has begun transferring I-130 cases to other service centers like Nebraska to expedite processing. However, that does not mean the cases will be approved any time soon. If I had to estimate, I would say the new service center would have 6 months to process the recently transferred case. Since your case was transferred in January, you may have an approval by July. My advice is for your daughter to contact her Congressional Representative or Senator and request liaison assistance to expedite processing. 
Florida Legislature Considering In-State Tuition For DREAMers
Florida lawmakers in the House just passed a Bill which would allow DREAMers living in Florida to pay In-State tuition. Now the measure faces tough challenges in the Florida Senate, which is more conservative. If the Bill does pass in the Senate, Governor Rick Scott will support the Bill and sign it into law. 19 other states currently have laws allowing undocumented students to pay In-State tuition: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, Rhode Island, Hawaii and Michigan. Those in favor of the law should contact your Florida Senators now to express your support. .   

Contact Your Florida Senator To Support In-State Tuition for DREAMers