Polygamy – marriage to more than one person at the same time
If you have been previously married you must obtain evidence of the termination of EACH prior marriage. Evidence must be in the form of original documents issued by a competent authority, or certified copies bearing the appropriate seal or stamp of the issuing authority, such as:
• FINAL divorce decree
• Death certificate
• Annulment papers
Is your marriage recognized for immigration purposes?
For a marriage to be valid for immigration purposes it must first be legal in the country or state where it occurred. Even though a marriage is legal in the country or state where it occurred it could still be invalid for immigration to the United States. Some marriages are invalid for immigration because they are against the public policy of the United States. These marriages include those involving incest, or miscegenation (e.g. uncle – niece), or polygamy.
No green card from a polygamous marriage
Not all legal marriages are valid for immigration purposes. Multiple or polygamous marriages though recognized as legal in many countries (mainly Muslim and African) is not a qualifying for an immigrant visa petition. However if you are a polygamist only your first marriage may be recognized because that marriage is not polygamous.
What you need to ask before you get married?
Before you get married, you should make sure that any marriages you or your spouse has entered into before has ended in divorce, death or annulment by asking to see a copy of certificate. The reason for this is that if you or your spouse were still legally married at the time of your marriage, your marriage is not valid for immigration purposes. It is quite common for persons to believe they are divorced when their divorce was never granted by a court.
What is you found that your or your spouse were not divorced when you married you got married? Even if you get a divorce from your first spouse after your marriage to you second spouse, the second marriage is still not valid for immigration purposes because it was polygamous from the start.
Admission Bar and Naturalization Bar
You may be denied adjustment of status or an immigrant visa if you intend to practice polygamy in the United States. A religious or cultural belief in polygamy does not make you inadmissible. Furthermore if you practice polygamy within the United States you may be denied US citizenship because of what the law calls a lack of “good moral character.” Good moral character is one requirement for naturalization. The practice of polygamy during the statutory period (3 or 4 years before application) is one thing that might demonstrate a lack of good moral character.
If you need legal assistance with a marriage green card issue, please contact us, Goodin Law P.A. Las Vegas marriage green card attorneys for help.