Fri | Nov 16, 2018

Immigration Corner: My wife wants to stay, I want to go

Published:Tuesday | January 26, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Dear Mrs Walker-Huntington,

My son lives in the United States (US) and wants to file for me. I am married and my wife says she doesn't want her name to go on the application. What can I do?

- P.A.


Dear P.A.,

When an adult son or daughter files for a parent, he or she has to file separate petitions for each parent. The petitioning adult son or daughter must be over 21 years old and must be a citizen of the US.

During the filing of any family petition - notwithstanding who is the petitioner - the beneficiary has to list his or her spouse and children. Listing your spouse and children does not mean that they are being filed for. It is information that the US government requires you to disclose as your history is documented.

There is no reason not to include your family on the petition and every reason to include them. All family members are connected, and the connections are cross-referenced during the processing of immigration petitions. If during the processing of your son's petition you do not declare that you are married, and in the future you file for your wife, the question will be why you did not previously declare your marriage. The same would be asked if your son files for her (assuming that he is eligible to file for her if she is his stepmother).

You can be processed and approved for your son's petition (all other conditions being met) without him filing for your wife. If it is that your wife does not want to migrate to the US, you need to discuss with your wife where the separation is going to leave your marriage.

- 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.