Good day Mrs Huntington:
I am a single parent with two children. My daughter, the elder who is now 18 years old, got married to an American citizen and her filing came through, and she left Jamaica in October 2012.
I am still residing in Jamaica with my son who is 11 years old. I am still married to the children's dad, who left us in 2001 and went to America. We have only seen my husband once when he came back to Jamaica in 2010, and in that year, I started my divorce.
In 2011, I was informed that my husband is married to an American and he is still married to me. I have tried the United States Embassy three times for a visitor's visa but was denied.
In 2011, I met an American citizen and he visited me and my children in Jamaica, lived with us for some time, but got deported because he overstayed his time in Jamaica.
WANT TO REMARRY
We want to get married, but I am unable to do so because of my pending divorce, which is now at decree nisi stage. I am unable to visit my boyfriend, because I cannot get a visitor's visa. Neither can he visit me, because he is unable to do so under the Jamaican immigration law. We have appealed to the minister of national security and are awaiting his response for my spouse's approval to return to Jamaica. In the meantime, I am working hard to have my divorce expedited.
We miss each other so much. He is now working to support my son and me. I hope and pray each day that one day we will be together soon and, even though I have my 11-year-old son, I feel so lonely and sad at times. Could you please advise me?
You have a lot of issues that need to be resolved before you and your American citizen fiancÚ can be together.
The first thing you need to do is to find out if your husband divorced you in the United States of America (USA) without your knowledge. Unfortunately, this is quite common in our culture where one spouse travels to the USA and moves ahead with their life forsaking their family in Jamaica. The spouse in the USA oftentimes divorces their Jamaican spouse through 'publication' sometimes lying to the court in the USA that they are unaware of the location of their spouse in Jamaica.
They do this in order to marry an American citizen and get their residency. You would need to know what states in America your husband resided in and start the inquiries there.
Second and perhaps concurrently, if you do not already have a lawyer in Jamaica handling your divorce, you should retain one to assist you in expediting your divorce.
That same lawyer may also be able to help you with your third problem, that of the deportation of your American fiancÚ. Jamaica, along with all countries in the world, have immigration laws that if violated will lead to a person's removal from the island.
GET LOCAL LEGAL ADVICE
When an American citizen travels to Jamaica, they receive a limited time to stay in the country. If they wish to remain longer than the time allotted, they have to contact the Ministry of National Security to learn what options are available to them to permit a longer stay in Jamaica. A lawyer in Jamaica should be able to assist you in exploring what options exist for your fiancÚ to possibly return to Jamaica.
Since you are unable to obtain a visitor's visa to travel to the USA and your fiancÚ is unable to return to Jamaica at this time, your divorce becomes paramount. Once you are divorced, your fiancÚ would be able to file for a fiancÚ visa for you and your 11-year-old son to accompany you to the USA. Once you arrive in the USA, you would have 90 days to marry your fiancÚ and file for permanent residency for yourself and your son.
Since neither you nor your fiancÚ is able to be in the same location to be married at this time, the fiancÚ visa is extremely important in this case. I strongly recommend that you engage the services of a US immigration lawyer to assist you with the filing of this fiancÚ visa, because if it is denied, you are going to be without a plan B. Carefully document the relationship/contact with your fiancÚ as this will go a long way towards the approval of the fiancÚ visa.
Dahlia A. Walker-Huntington is a Jamaican-American attorney who practises law in Florida in the areas of immigration, family, corporate and personal injury law. She practises immigration law throughout the United States. She is a mediator, arbitrator and special magistrate in Broward County, Florida. email@example.com