Fri | Dec 15, 2017

Where did I go wrong?

Published:Tuesday | September 9, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Dahila Walker Huntington

Dear Mrs Walker-Huntington,

My husband filed for me in 2011. During the interview at the embassy, the immigration officer asked me for photos, which my husband had forgot to send in the package to the embassy. When my husband started the filing, he wasn't working and a lawyer had advised us that his father could fund the filing. I was also asked who was funding my filing and who I would be living with. At the end of the interview, the officer told me they had to do further investigation.

I heard from the embassy last October and they said within 60 days they would contact us. We were not contacted until May this year when they asked my husband to write a letter concerning our relationship. Since then, I haven't got a response.

Could you advise me on what I could have done or said in that interview to change the outcome? What am I to do now? Why is the process taking this long? I am a Christian and a dancer at my church. My dance group has been requested to travel overseas. They will be going to the embassy as a group to apply for the visas, but my husband said not to go because it will cause more issues and I won't get the visa.

- KC

Dear KC,

I assume your husband is a US citizen, based on the time between filing and your interview. Since I do not have a transcript of your interview, I would not be able to tell you, specifically, what answers you gave the consular officer that made them have doubts about the validity of your petition.

proof of validity

It is important that every married couple in the immigration process be aware that they must prove validity of their marriage to the immigration or consular officer. The US government has no way of knowing your marriage is a real marriage, until they interview you and review documentation that you present in support of your marriage.

It is even more important that whenever there is an issue/question about the validity of the marriage that you seek legal assistance to respond to any communication from the embassy or US Citizenship & Immigration Services questioning the validity of the marriage after an initial interview. Responding to a notice of intent to deny, or notice of intent to revoke a previously approved I-130 Petition for Alien Relative, must be both factual and legal, and only an attorney can respond legally.

With regards to an application for a visitor's visa at this stage of the proceedings, it is hardly likely you would receive such a visa. With a pending application for a green card, you are deemed someone with an intention to migrate and that would negate your application for a visit.

Please continue to document the validity of your marriage. Your husband should continue to visit you in Jamaica and document his visits. You should also hire a lawyer to determine the status of your immigrant-visa application and begin planning how to handle the status.

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 Justice. Email info@walkerhuntington.com.