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Our client, a U.S. citizen, had married a woman in his home country several years earlier and had decided to move back to the U.S. and bring her to the U.S. to stay permanently. He had been previously married in the U.S. but had separated from his first wife many years, had signed all the documents pertaining to the divorce and asked his first wife to finalize it. When he retained our attorneys to handle the visa processing for his current wife, our attorneys requested a list of documents, including his divorce judgment. His ex-wife provided him with a copy of the divorce decree, however the date of divorce was after the date of his marriage to his current wife! In fact, he had unknowingly been married to two women for some time until the divorce had been entered. Our attorneys pointed out this issue to our client and advised him to move ahead with the filing of the I-130 Petition but be prepared to deal with the denial of the initial petition. The I-130 Petition was initially denied but as our attorneys anticipated the denial, we quickly filed an appeal arguing that the denial of the I-130 Petition was erroneously entered. To support our position we pointed out that our client was subject to provisions of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act and a marriage entered into prior to the dissolution of an earlier marriage was prohibited but said impediment is removed by the entry of the decree divorcing him from the first spouse. As such, parties to the second marriage who cohabit, like our client and his wife, were lawfully married as of the date of the divorce and client’s I-130 should be approved. USCIS agreed with our position and approved the I-130 petition four months after submission.

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