If A Filipino Marriage Isn’t Recorded, Does It Exist?
I’ve written many times before on this subject, and no doubt I’ll write more, it’s a very common question.
See more here: Philippine Marriage and the Am I Considered Married Question
Here’s a recent readers question from the comments section, let;s take it apart and perhaps a lively discussion will get started. Let me first make two disclaimers disclaimers:
- I am not a lawyer and nothing I write here should be considered legal advice, it’s my personal opinion and personal interpretations ONLY.
- I would never, knowingly, advocate EVER, under any circumstances falsifying documents being submitted to the US government.
That being said, let’s hear from my reader:
My Readers Question
- 0.1 My Readers Question
- 0.2 What do you think, is she married?
- 0.3 If It Happened, It Happened
- 0.4 I Say Disclose the Marriage and Subsequent Divorce and Let The Chips Fall Where They May
- 0.5 I-129F Petition Penalty Warnings
- 0.6 G-325F Biographical Date Penalty Warning
- 0.7 So What Can This Reader Do?
- 1 Related Posts
- 2 Share this Article:
I have a question and i hope you can help me.. I was married and divorced in Dubai but never registered it here in the Philippines and upon checking all my documents here says that I’m still single.
What do you think, is she married?
OK, this is where my somewhat “tongue in cheek” article title comes from.
A very old philosophical question has been posed for many years … “If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one around to hear it. does it make a sound”?
Well people can discuss and argue and make all sorts of statements on this (many regarding an argument about what “sound” really is), but what can be said with relative certainty is this:
When the tree falls there will be vibrations of the air which would certainly be a “sound” if an ear where there to hear it.
If It Happened, It Happened
Legally and morally, a marriage and then a subsequent divorce occurred. If our reader where were to ignore this fact and to fill up and sign official US documents which did not disclose this fact, it’s my personal opinion she would be untruthful and committing a crime under US law.
Open and shut case? Perhaps, but read the rest of her question:
Now i want to remarry to a foreign man(American) and my fiance wants to file for K1 visa for me , my question is that,does the US government will accept my marriage and divorce certificate abroad without it being recognize here in the Philippines? if not what are the steps that i need to do so that i can remarry legally?
I Say Disclose the Marriage and Subsequent Divorce and Let The Chips Fall Where They May
To apply for the US K series Fiancee’ visa there are two important forms to fill out (fill up if you are in the Philippines ;-).
In addition to all the fields requiring entry of data on both these forms, it’s important to not the explicit warnings printed on these forms
I-129F Petition Penalty Warnings
You may by law be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or fined $250,000, or both, for entering into a marriage contract for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws, and you may be fined up to $10,000 or imprisoned upon to five years, or both, for knowingly and willfully falsifying or concealing a material fact or using any false document in submitting this petition.
This is actually two separate warnings in one.
The first part, promising jail time and a $250,00 fine is specifically addresses to people who might be committing outright fraud, as in petitioning and then marrying a foreigner simply so that he or she can become a US Permanent Resident with a path toward citizenship. Sounds outlandish to some but it=f you think this sort of Immigration fraud doesn’t happen? I’ve got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.
It’s the second part of the warning which concerns this reader’s question the most. Up to $10,000 fine and up to five years in jail
G-325F Biographical Date Penalty Warning
Penalties: Severe penalties are provided by law for knowingly and willfully falsifying or concealing a material fact.
If a Filipino applicant willfully submits false information on the G325F, the US State department can take whatever legal action they wish, but you know what the most common penalty imposed is?
A ban from entering the USA for a period varying from several years to life. That’s right, a lifetime ban from entering the USA “just” for falsifying facts submitted to the US government. Strict? Oh, yes, it is. Does it ever happen? Oh yes it does, indeed.
So What Can This Reader Do?
In my opinion, nothing she (and her fiance’)can do except forge ahead, disclosing all facts. The application may sail right through the process at the US Embassy, if what the readers means when she says “all my documents here says that I’m still single.” is that she has a CENOMAR from the Philippine NSA (Formerly NSO). A CENOMAR indicates the Philippines has no record of the person being reported on being married. Perhaps the application will pass right on through.
If the K-1 processing IS held up becuase the applicant truthfully all my documents here says that I’m still single.peported her marriage and then subsequent divorce, the only legal resource I know of is to file a case with the Philippine court to recognize the foreign divorce.
But persobally I wouldn’t start out doing it the hard way, I’d fill up all the froms, truthfully and completely and then submit, with the CENOMAR, and see what happens first. It’s the legal, moral and ethical thing to do, or so “Philly” opines.
So what do you think
If A Filipino Marriage Isn’t Recorded, Does It Exist?