Sat | Dec 10, 2016

I married a US bigamist. What are my chances?

Published:Tuesday | March 3, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Dear Mrs Walker-Huntington:

I would like to get some information, my grand-mother adopted me and was filing for me, but I don't know what happen and it stopped. She would have to start all over again. I got married to an American citizen and realise after that he was still married. I went to the US Embassy in 2013 and was denied. My grand-mother is very sick now and I would love to visit her, I also got a letter from her doctor to bring to the embassy. I am not sure what to do.

T.C.

Dear T.C.:

I am not sure what happened to your grand-mother's (legal mother) petition and why it stopped. As an adopted child, your grand-mother would have had to live with you for two years either before or after the adoption. If she adopted you as an orphan, if both parents were deceased, then the filing would have had less obstacles. If on the other hand, she adopted you as an orphan even though one or more parent was still alive, the filing would have been significantly more difficult.

Your bigger problem however, is the fact that you seemed to have married a bigamist, he filed for you for permanent residency and the US Embassy discovered the deception. That would be considered marriage fraud by the US government and is a permanent bar to migrating to the United States.

That filing will always be on your record, even if a new petition is filed by someone else on your behalf. You would have to be granted a waiver showing extreme hardship to a qualifying relative and proving that you did not engage in marriage fraud.

You could also apply for a non-immigrant visa in conjunction with a non-immigrant waiver to try to visit your ailing mother before anything serious happens to her and you would be unable to see her.

- Dahlia A. Walker-Huntington is a Jamaican-American attorney who practises immigration law in the United States; and family, criminal and personal injury law in Florida. She is a mediator, arbitrator and special magistrate in Broward County, Florida; and an adjunct professor at Miami Dade College's School of Criminal Justice. Email info@walkerhuntington.com.