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spectec

Divorced or not when filing petition

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After receiving approval of the I-129F petition my Ukranianfiancée has a scheduled interview on 2/29/12 in Kiev. After receiving aninterview confirmation email from the consulate they pointed us to the Kievsite for instructions. One of the statements there said court decree of divorceis not accepted as divorce proof and she must bring papers from RAGS theregistrar’s office in Ukraine. She went there and they said they no longerissue these papers but rather put a stamp in the passport stating the date ofdivorce and a date of when they stamped it so she did it. She got it stamped in December 2011.

I just read another VJ couples interview in Ukraine and theyhad the exact same situation and when she went for her interview the consulsaid she was not officially divorced until the date the passport was stampedeven though she had the courts divorce papers. They said she was still marriedwhen the petitioner filed even though the court papers showed otherwise. Theydidn’t issue her a visa but rather put it under administrative review. Now I expectthe same will happen to us. Any thought or ideas are appreciated.


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After receiving approval of the I-129F petition my Ukranianfiancée has a scheduled interview on 2/29/12 in Kiev. After receiving aninterview confirmation email from the consulate they pointed us to the Kievsite for instructions. One of the statements there said court decree of divorceis not accepted as divorce proof and she must bring papers from RAGS theregistrar’s office in Ukraine. She went there and they said they no longerissue these papers but rather put a stamp in the passport stating the date ofdivorce and a date of when they stamped it so she did it. She got it stamped in December 2011.

I just read another VJ couples interview in Ukraine and theyhad the exact same situation and when she went for her interview the consulsaid she was not officially divorced until the date the passport was stampedeven though she had the courts divorce papers. They said she was still marriedwhen the petitioner filed even though the court papers showed otherwise. Theydidn’t issue her a visa but rather put it under administrative review. Now I expectthe same will happen to us. Any thought or ideas are appreciated.

BOTH persons MUST be eligible to marry when the petition is filed. We never used anything but the court document of Alla's divorce, the divorce certificate, throughout the process and had no problems but she MUST have been divorced (finalized) when the petition was filed NOT by the time of the interview.

We did not use the "divorced stamp" in her internal passport for any purpose in this process. In fact, we did not use the internal passport for any reason


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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BOTH persons MUST be eligible to marry when the petition is filed. We never used anything but the court document of Alla's divorce, the divorce certificate, throughout the process and had no problems but she MUST have been divorced (finalized) when the petition was filed NOT by the time of the interview.

We did not use the "divorced stamp" in her internal passport for any purpose in this process. In fact, we did not use the internal passport for any reason

She was divorced meaning judgement finalized in May of 2011 and we filed in July of 2011. I have the court papers to show it. Did Alla get her divorce certificate from RAGS because they no longer issue these? They only stamp the passport now. I believe they stamped her international passport which is needed. The Kiev consul says they wont accept court papers as proof of divorce so what do they accept? If they now accept the passport stamp international or internal as proof then it now apparently determines the date of eligibility to marry rater than proof of divorce. If they use the date she got her passport stamped then it shows divorced in May but with a stamp date of December 2011. Apparently on the other VJ members post they say they said she wasnt eligible to marry when they filed when she had court papers to show divorce in 2009 way before they filed. She had a stamp in her passport showing December 2011. Clearly they must have used it to determine eligibility.

Edited by spectec

Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.

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She was divorced meaning judgement finalized in May of 2011 and we filed in July of 2011. I have the court papers to show it. Did Alla get her divorce certificate from RAGS because they no longer issue these? They only stamp the passport now. I believe they stamped her international passport which is needed. The Kiev consul says they wont accept court papers as proof of divorce so what do they accept? If they now accept the passport stamp international or internal as proof then it now apparently determines the date of eligibility to marry rater than proof of divorce. If they use the date she got her passport stamped then it shows divorced in May but with a stamp date of December 2011. Apparently on the other VJ members post they say they said she wasnt eligible to marry when they filed when she had court papers to show divorce in 2009 way before they filed. She had a stamp in her passport showing December 2011. Clearly they must have used it to determine eligibility.

Alla has a divorce certificate. That is what they used for our visa. She actually got a new divorce certificate for our filing as the old one had her name mis-spelled. She thought this was a big problem, I did not. We got it at ZAGS (RAGS) in February of 2008. I went with her to get it. We never used her passport stamps for anything other than to show we met in Prague.

Perhaps someone who has gone through the process more recently can comment. As of Feb 2008 ZAGS was giving divorce certificates and Alla still translates them regularly though I do not know the dates they were issued

Edited by Gary and Alla

VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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Alla has a divorce certificate. That is what they used for our visa. She actually got a new divorce certificate for our filing as the old one had her name mis-spelled. She thought this was a big problem, I did not. We got it at ZAGS (RAGS) in February of 2008. I went with her to get it. We never used her passport stamps for anything other than to show we met in Prague.

Perhaps someone who has gone through the process more recently can comment. As of Feb 2008 ZAGS was giving divorce certificates and Alla still translates them regularly though I do not know the dates they were issued

They do not issue them anymore because my fiancee went there for it and they said no. In any case you would have been ok since you had the divorce certificate prior to sending your petition. Yes I hope someone with recent experience will comment.

It really seems ridiculous to me that Kiev would put a visa application into AR because the date of the passport stamp when the final court judgement proves she was divorced prior to filing. If this is the fact what options do i have? How could it go to AR if its she was found not eligible to marry at time of filing? What can they find out in AR? Wouldnt it just be denied? Strange USCIS didnt have an issue with it and approved the petition.

Edited by spectec

Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.

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They do not issue them anymore because my fiancee went there for it and they said no. In any case you would have been ok since you had the divorce certificate prior to sending your petition. Yes I hope someone with recent experience will comment.

It really seems ridiculous to me that Kiev would put a visa application into AR because the date of the passport stamp when the final court judgement proves she was divorced prior to filing. If this is the fact what options do i have? How could it go to AR if its she was found not eligible to marry at time of filing? What can they find out in AR? Wouldnt it just be denied? Strange USCIS didnt have an issue with it and approved the petition.

This is the first I have heard of this, seriously. I certainly would like to hear from any other members who have different experiences. She WAS divorced, the passport stamp does not prove that and many people do not even keep their passport stamps and registered address current anymore. I am suprised the consulate would choose to use an unreliable and unofficial passport stamp over court documents.

And your mention of USCIS is correct, though if they make an error the consulate can send it back, but it does not sound like they made an error. They were satisfied she was free to marry. And USCIS DOES make accomodations for specific country rules to determine if a person is free to marry, most notably Philippines. If this is some Ukrainian requirement it should be required by USCIS as well to approve a petition. The purpose of the petition is to determine if the person is eligible to apply for the visa.

You can email or call the consulate and ask also. Their phone number is on the website.

Edited by Gary and Alla

VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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And if you lose your passport, then you're married again? lol

But seriously, ZAGS needs to maintain an internal record of when the divorce occurred, right? And this is when the divorce decree was issued by the court. The rest is just documentation.


Our timeline:

01/11/12 - Submitted I-130s to Moscow USCIS in person

01/12/12 - Had interview with Moscow USCIS officer to establish bonafide marriage

01/12/12 - I-130s approved and passed to US Consulate

01/13/12 - IV Unit in Moscow received approved petition

01/23/12 - We received confirmation that I-130s were approved by USCIS

01/24/12 - We received package notification from post office

01/26/12 - Picked up "package" - notifications from IV Unit with case numbers

01/26/12 - Set interview date online

02/01/12 - Passed medical exams

02/02/12 - Received police record

02/09/12 - Interview... APPROVED!

02/13/12 - Visa delivered

02/23/12 - POE Chicago

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And if you lose your passport, then you're married again? lol

But seriously, ZAGS needs to maintain an internal record of when the divorce occurred, right? And this is when the divorce decree was issued by the court. The rest is just documentation.

Exactly! Or what if she just does not have a passport?

I think the OP got a mixture of bad information or misleading information. The other review he speaks of I have not heard about and have not read all the details. These things get mixed up in translation all the time between what the CO tells a Ukrainian fiancee who does not speak English well,she translates to her US citizen fiance and he types. There have been a lot of recent visas issued in Ukraine reported here and none have mentioned this. It is not unusual for the Ukrainian fiancee to be divorced, it is very common. Just seems strange it is the first we have heard it.

It is true and always has been true that they will not accept court papers that are not sealed or certified by the court. The evidence of the termination of marriage must be "registered by a civil authority" That means the court stamp showing the divorce has been filed. Not just the copy her attorney gave her. That would be obtained from the court clerk not ZAGS. ZAGS is just the registrar of documents, not the source. It is entirely possible in the other case the OP refers to that the woman was NOT divorced when the petition was filed. A lot of people have made that mistake thinking it will be OK because she will be divorced before the visa is issued. It is also possible that USCIS made that mistake and approved the petition OR they concealed she was married and revealed it only at the interview. Both those things have been reported before. Requiring a passport stamp in lieu of a court order has bever been reported here for Kiev.

It may also be true that ZAGS no longer issues the divorce certificate, which is really unnecessary anyway, court papers ought to work fine.

Can you link to the review you refer to?

Bottom line? It is Monday morning, call Kiev and ask them.


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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And if you lose your passport, then you're married again? lol

But seriously, ZAGS needs to maintain an internal record of when the divorce occurred, right? And this is when the divorce decree was issued by the court. The rest is just documentation.

Great point on losing the passport. I don't know if ZGAS maintains the records. They had to get the divorce papers from the courts before they would issue the stamp in the passport. Maybe they don't have these records. Her divorce had nothing to do with ZAGS it was all done in court only.


Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.

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Great point on losing the passport. I don't know if ZGAS maintains the records. They had to get the divorce papers from the courts before they would issue the stamp in the passport. Maybe they don't have these records. Her divorce had nothing to do with ZAGS it was all done in court only.

ZAGS is the Ukrainian equivilent of the Department of Vital Records. Some states and counties have no such thing, as it really is not needed. They are a central point of record. It is leftover from the Soviet System and may or may not exist in the furture. They do not originate divorces or marriages or anything else. Courts do all divorces, ZAGS just issued the certificates


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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Exactly! Or what if she just does not have a passport?

I think the OP got a mixture of bad information or misleading information. The other review he speaks of I have not heard about and have not read all the details. These things get mixed up in translation all the time between what the CO tells a Ukrainian fiancee who does not speak English well,she translates to her US citizen fiance and he types. There have been a lot of recent visas issued in Ukraine reported here and none have mentioned this. It is not unusual for the Ukrainian fiancee to be divorced, it is very common. Just seems strange it is the first we have heard it.

It is true and always has been true that they will not accept court papers that are not sealed or certified by the court. The evidence of the termination of marriage must be "registered by a civil authority" That means the court stamp showing the divorce has been filed. Not just the copy her attorney gave her. That would be obtained from the court clerk not ZAGS. ZAGS is just the registrar of documents, not the source. It is entirely possible in the other case the OP refers to that the woman was NOT divorced when the petition was filed. A lot of people have made that mistake thinking it will be OK because she will be divorced before the visa is issued. It is also possible that USCIS made that mistake and approved the petition OR they concealed she was married and revealed it only at the interview. Both those things have been reported before. Requiring a passport stamp in lieu of a court order has bever been reported here for Kiev.

It may also be true that ZAGS no longer issues the divorce certificate, which is really unnecessary anyway, court papers ought to work fine.

Can you link to the review you refer to?

Bottom line? It is Monday morning, call Kiev and ask them.

This is a link to the OP which had the problem http://www.visajourney.com/forums/user/113348-colinandolga/ You can read it under their timeline review.

My fiancee has the original court papers as she did the divorce without an attorney.

ZAGS is the Ukrainian equivilent of the Department of Vital Records. Some states and counties have no such thing, as it really is not needed. They are a central point of record. It is leftover from the Soviet System and may or may not exist in the furture. They do not originate divorces or marriages or anything else. Courts do all divorces, ZAGS just issued the certificates

I understand courts do the divorces but Kiev doesnt accept court documents as proof of divorce seems. Thats my worry.


Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.

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This is a link to the OP which had the problem http://www.visajourney.com/forums/user/113348-colinandolga/ You can read it under their timeline review.

My fiancee has the original court papers as she did the divorce without an attorney.

I understand courts do the divorces but Kiev doesnt accept court documents as proof of divorce seems. Thats my worry.

I will check on this, makes no sense. I still say, call the consulate, right now. They are open they go by Kiev time.


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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This is a link to the OP which had the problem http://www.visajourney.com/forums/user/113348-colinandolga/ You can read it under their timeline review.

My fiancee has the original court papers as she did the divorce without an attorney.

I understand courts do the divorces but Kiev doesnt accept court documents as proof of divorce seems. Thats my worry.

Thanks for the link, his story is full of holes and no details. I would not use as the basis of anything. I wouldbe very curious to hear what has been their course of action since, that would tell me a lot. Others here know what I mean.


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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This is a link to the OP which had the problem http://www.visajourney.com/forums/user/113348-colinandolga/ You can read it under their timeline review.

My fiancee has the original court papers as she did the divorce without an attorney.

I understand courts do the divorces but Kiev doesnt accept court documents as proof of divorce seems. Thats my worry.

It is also possibe the person at RAGS does not know what they are talking about, would not be the first time. She can go back and ask for a supervisor.

First call Kiev and ask them. You will not be the first to ask and I simply do not believe that a passport stamp is accepted in lieu of a divorce certificate.

The other story has two holes in the first paragraph.

"She has court records to prove it..." Doesn;t HE have those, HE filed the petition

"She did not have the time and money to get her passport stamped..." For two years? BS.


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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Thanks for the link, his story is full of holes and no details. I would not use as the basis of anything. I wouldbe very curious to hear what has been their course of action since, that would tell me a lot. Others here know what I mean.

He sent an email to the consul explaining the situation in detail but it doesnt say if her divorce papers were originals or copies. We have original court papers with seal but their petition was approved also. hmmmm. So confusing.


Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.

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