By Atty. Emmanuel Samonte Tipon
These are the 10 Commandments to successfully bringing your alien fiancé/fiancée to America from a Hawaii Immigration Attorney.
- Petition for Alien Fiancé/Fiancée, USCIS Form I-129F (Revised Edition 05/21/10 or later) must be read, filled up, and signed by U.S. citizen petitioner, and submitted.
- Biographic Information, USCIS Form G325A, must be filled up and signed by U.S. citizen petitioner, and another Form G 325A must be filled up and signed by the alien fiancé/fiancée. Petitioner and alien fiancé/fiancée must attach to their Form G-325A their respective 2 passport style color photographs in accordance with the specifications in USCIS Form M-378. These must be submitted.
- Petitioner’s proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a photocopy of Certificate of Live Birth in the U.S., Naturalization Certificate, or Certificate of Citizenship, of petitioner must be submitted.
- Photocopy of U.S. Passport of U.S. citizen petitioner (All pages containing data, including visa stamp showing trip abroad to meet fiancé/fiancée) must be submitted.
- Photocopy of Certificate of Live Birth issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO) or similar office of the country of the alien fiancé/fiancée and children (if any) must be submitted. If not available, see Instructions to Form I-129F for alternative documents.
- Proof of both parties’ legal capacity to marry, including photocopy of documents showing termination of all prior marriages of both parties (if applicable), such as divorce decree or annulment decree of marriage with, or death certificate of, prior spouse, or if alien has never been married, certificate of No Marriage Record (CENOMAR) issued by NSO or similar office.
- Written statement of U.S. citizen petitioner must be submitted. It must state that both petitioner and alien fiancé/fiancée have met in person within two years before the filing of the petition; the date, place, and circumstances of the meeting; that both are free to marry and that they mutually intend to marry within 90 days of the entry to the U.S. of the alien fiancé/fiancée. It must describe their courtship, communications, wedding plans; explain why the wedding will be in the U.S. rather than where the alien resides; and provide other details showing a bona fide fiancé-fiancée relationship. Affidavits of other persons such as the parents, friends, and neighbors of the parties who know these details may be submitted.
- Documents supporting the matters discussed in Item 7 must be submitted. These may include pictures preferably in a romantic pose of both parties, with a caption showing the date when and place where taken and names of persons in the pictures; arrangements with the person who will solemnize the marriage; contract with a hotel for wedding reception; airline tickets of U.S. citizen to visit alien; telephone bills; letters; print out of e-mail communications; greeting cards; tickets to public functions both attended; receipts for mutual expenses; joint bank accounts; picture of engagement ring with receipt for its purchase; and other evidence showing courtship and mutual intent to get married.
- Petitioner must comply with the IMBRA requirements relating to whether petitioner used an International Marriage Broker and if so, must provide the name and location of the broker; and if petitioner has ever been convicted of crimes specified in IMBRA, petitioner must submit certified copies of all court and police records showing the charges and dispositions for every such conviction, or if not so convicted, petitioner must submit a police or court clearance.
- File the complete package containing Items 1-9, together with the filing fee of $340.00 (always check with USCIS for current fee), with the proper USCIS Service Center, accompanied with a cover letter listing the forms and documents submitted.
11th Commandment: GET THE BEST LAWYER AND PAY HIM HANDSOMELY.
When it comes to immigration, winning is not everything; winning is the only thing. The consequences of failure are deportation or denial of a visa for yourself, your relative, or your loved one.
Therefore, in immigration cases, it is not sufficient to have a good lawyer; you must have the best lawyer.