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Divorce decree for N-400 interview

#1 procrastinator

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 03:06 PM

I have filed for naturalization on the basis of 5 years permanent residence. I am divorced and did not remarry after that. My original divorce certificate was lost in a car theft while moving along with many other documents. I got a certified copy of the divorce decree from the county clerk's office of the state where I got divorced. I sent a copy of this decree with the N-400 form.
Only the front page of this divorce decree is certified and notarized. My question is if this is sufficient or do I have to contact the county clerk's office of that state again and request them to send one with all pages notarized? There are 14 pages in total.

I can also apply to get a duplicate of the divorce certificate but it's costing about $50 and will come in 3-4 weeks time which will cut close to my interview date and also I am short on money and don't really want to waste 50 bucks if I can be fine without it.

Edited by procrastinator, 19 March 2009 - 03:11 PM.

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#2 Mononoke28

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 03:23 PM

My sister sent the same thing to them along her N-400 and she didn't have any issues.

Diana
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CR-1
02/05/07 - I-130 sent to NSC
05/03/07 - NOA2
05/10/07 - NVC receives petition, case # assigned
08/08/07 - Case Complete
09/27/07 - Interview, visa granted
10/02/07 - POE
11/16/07 - Received green card and Welcome to America letter in the mail

Removing Conditions
07/06/09 - I-751 sent to CSC
08/14/09 - Biometrics
09/27/09 - Approved
10/01/09 - Received 10 year green card

U.S. Citizenship
03/30/11 - N-400 sent via Priority Mail w/ delivery confirmation
05/12/11 - Biometrics
07/20/11 - Interview - passed
07/20/11 - Oath ceremony - same day as interview

#3 procrastinator

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 03:25 PM

QUOTE (Mononoke28 @ Mar 19 2009, 04:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My sister sent the same thing to them along her N-400 and she didn't have any issues.

Diana


Thanks for the reply. What I mean to ask is that when I go for the interview and they want to see the original of the decree, will it be ok even if only the first page is notarized?

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#4 moonhunt

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 05:40 PM

QUOTE (procrastinator @ Mar 19 2009, 03:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Mononoke28 @ Mar 19 2009, 04:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My sister sent the same thing to them along her N-400 and she didn't have any issues.

Diana


Thanks for the reply. What I mean to ask is that when I go for the interview and they want to see the original of the decree, will it be ok even if only the first page is notarized?


It depends on USCIS interview officer.
Some may o.k. with the copy, but in most case, they want to see the certified or original divorce decree.

Certified divorce decree means the court decision copy plus cover letter saying this is certified.

So if you can bring the certified divorce decree for Interview, it will be fine.

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#5 lucyrich

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 06:54 PM

I could be wrong, but I don't think it's going to be a huge issue. The divorce decree isn't critical for determining whether you're eligible for naturalization. Even if you never divorced and were still married, you'd be equally as eligible for naturalization.

Hypothetically, if you had re-married after the divorce and were applying for citizenship based on the marriage to the new spouse, then the divorce would be critical, because without a valid divorce, the validity of the new marriage would be in doubt. But that's not your case.

But as I said, I could be wrong. If I'm wrong and they really want to see an original which you don't have ready at the interview, they'll delay your approval and give you a chance to get the missing document. So if you're in a hurry and don't mind spending the money, you can order the document now, but if you want to save money and don't mind a (I suspect slim) chance of a delay, you can wait and see what they say at the interview.
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04 Apr, 2004: Got married
05 Apr, 2004: I-130 Sent to CSC
13 Apr, 2004: I-130 NOA 1
19 Apr, 2004: I-129F Sent to MSC
29 Apr, 2004: I-129F NOA 1
13 Aug, 2004: I-130 Approved by CSC
28 Dec, 2004: I-130 Case Complete at NVC
18 Jan, 2005: Got the visa approved in Caracas
22 Jan, 2005: Flew home together! CCS->MIA->SFO
25 May, 2005: I-129F finally approved! We won't pursue it.
8 June, 2006: Our baby girl is born!
24 Oct, 2006: Window for filing I-751 opens
25 Oct, 2006: I-751 mailed to CSC
18 Nov, 2006: I-751 NOA1 received from CSC
30 Nov, 2006: I-751 Biometrics taken
05 Apr, 2007: I-751 approved, card production ordered
23 Jan, 2008: N-400 sent to CSC via certified mail
19 Feb, 2008: N-400 Biometrics taken
27 Mar, 2008: Naturalization interview notice received (NOA2 for N-400)
30 May, 2008: Naturalization interview, passed the test!
17 June, 2008: Naturalization oath notice mailed
15 July, 2008: Naturalization oath ceremony!
16 July, 2008: Registered to vote and applied for US passport
26 July, 2008: US Passport arrived.

#6 moonhunt

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 01:29 AM

QUOTE (lucyrich @ Mar 19 2009, 06:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I could be wrong, but I don't think it's going to be a huge issue. The divorce decree isn't critical for determining whether you're eligible for naturalization. Even if you never divorced and were still married, you'd be equally as eligible for naturalization.

Hypothetically, if you had re-married after the divorce and were applying for citizenship based on the marriage to the new spouse, then the divorce would be critical, because without a valid divorce, the validity of the new marriage would be in doubt. But that's not your case.

But as I said, I could be wrong. If I'm wrong and they really want to see an original which you don't have ready at the interview, they'll delay your approval and give you a chance to get the missing document. So if you're in a hurry and don't mind spending the money, you can order the document now, but if you want to save money and don't mind a (I suspect slim) chance of a delay, you can wait and see what they say at the interview.


From my experiece, and other people's story, USCIS requires "original" or "certified" divorce decree for multiple reasons.

1) checking marriage history, which is relevant to marriage-based case
2) Good moral character to see alimony and child support cases whether it has any issue or not

I saw the posting regarding 2), which USCIS officer gave hard time for divorce done from other country other than U.S.

OP said he have certified divorce decree, and sent N400 with the copy of certified divorce decree.
So as long as he carry the certified divorce decree for his interview, it will be fine.

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#7 NickD

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 06:33 AM

We must be kind of sloppy that way, only the front page of my original US divorce is certified, wife's has every page stamped all over the place with the court seal both front and the blank rear pages. If there was any questions about our marriage, same court that issued that divorced issued our marriage license, and if wife's IO was in doubt, would simple tell her to check with our court house, address is right on, as that is the way they issue it.

While hers was exclusive to her divorce, mine included every state statue whether it applied or not in my divorce, was quite a book to have to recopy, again. Seemed crazy to have to supply that again, wife said she saw a copy of mine in that huge stack of evidence we already sent, which would be a another question, USCIS already proved it once at the same field office. Can miss it, almost a half inch thick. But her IO still wanted our originals, my wife said no, that would cost us a fortune to replace those, so her IO let it go. It didn't hurt her, she is a USC.
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#8 mooninlove

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 10:37 AM

QUOTE (procrastinator @ Mar 19 2009, 12:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have filed for naturalization on the basis of 5 years permanent residence. I am divorced and did not remarry after that. My original divorce certificate was lost in a car theft while moving along with many other documents. I got a certified copy of the divorce decree from the county clerk's office of the state where I got divorced. I sent a copy of this decree with the N-400 form.
Only the front page of this divorce decree is certified and notarized. My question is if this is sufficient or do I have to contact the county clerk's office of that state again and request them to send one with all pages notarized? There are 14 pages in total.

I can also apply to get a duplicate of the divorce certificate but it's costing about $50 and will come in 3-4 weeks time which will cut close to my interview date and also I am short on money and don't really want to waste 50 bucks if I can be fine without it.



I sent my decree when i filed but it was returned during my interview as it was not needed when filing for 5 yrs according to the AO. So when you go to your interview, just bring that copy you have. You're filing for 5yrs residency so i don't see any problem. If you wanna petition for name change, the AO will provide you a form that you will sign and this will be put onto your certificate. That petition for name change will be stapled on your certificate.
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I-R5 at USCIS California Service Center
Consulate: Manila Philippines

5/19/09 Filed I-130 at Chicago Lockbox
5/22/09 USCIS rcvd I-130
6/01/09 Checks cashed
6/03/09 NOA1 rcvd for both parents
8/12/09 Email approval for Dad
8/17/09 Rcvd NOA2 for Dad
8/20/09 Rcvd RFE email for Mom
9/08/09 Email approval for Mom
9/12/09 Rcvd NOA2 for Mom


NVC
8/19/09 NVC rcvd dad's case
9/18/09 NVC rcvd mom's case
9/22/09 Emailed DS3032
9/28/09 Paid AOS/ I-864 fee of $70 for both

10/08/09 rcvd emails: DS3032 accepted
10/08/09 sent I-864

10/09/09 IV bill generated for both cases
10/10/09 Paid IV bill $800 for both
10/13/09 I-864 rcvd by NVC
10/15/09 DS230 mailed to NVC
10/16/09 I-864 accepted & entered into the system
10/19/09 DS230 rcvd by NVC
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11/09/09 sent RFE to NVC via UPS
11/12/09 NVC received RFE
11/19/09 AVR: checklist response rcvd 11/18/09
11/28/09 Log-in failed for both
12/01/09 Case complete as of 11/30/09
12/14/09 rcvd emails of interview date
01/04-05/09 medical @ St.Lukes done
01/11/10 Interview @ USEmbassy Manila 6:30am

#9 Chikikiki

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 09:48 PM

Probably depends on the county where your divorce judgement occurred.
In my case, a "certified" copy is just a county stamp on the first page only with the clerks signature next to it.
The other 28 pages part of the original judgement look no different than a regular copy.
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Interview scheduled for May 7th 2009
Filed for Citizenship on January 27 2009

#10 Lappa1

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 01:03 PM

When I went for the AOS interview the IO asked the divoice degree and we gave a copy. They already have that in their file and again when I go to the N_400 interview I have to show them the same thing? innocent.gif

-----------------I could be wrong, but I don't think it's going to be a huge issue. The divorce decree isn't critical for determining whether you're eligible for naturalization. Even if you never divorced and were still married, you'd be equally as eligible for naturalization.

Hypothetically, if you had re-married after the divorce and were applying for citizenship based on the marriage to the new spouse, then the divorce would be critical, because without a valid divorce, the validity of the new marriage would be in doubt. But that's not your case.

But as I said, I could be wrong. If I'm wrong and they really want to see an original which you don't have ready at the interview, they'll delay your approval and give you a chance to get the missing document. So if you're in a hurry and don't mind spending the money, you can order the document now, but if you want to save money and don't mind a (I suspect slim) chance of a delay, you can wait and see what they say at the interview.
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