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RFE - UK Divorce Decree Absolut

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Wanted to reach out and see whether anyone has any guidance on our RFE. USCIS sent us an RFE saying that my fiancé's UK divorce decree absolut was not signed by a judge or magistrate.  As this isn't the process for UK divorce paperwork, judges don't sign these documents, does anyone have any advice?

 

We have read that to get it notarised/apostille service could be beneficial. However these services are suspended in the UK for an undetermined period due to Covid-19. Does anyone have any similar recent experience with this issue and any advice to offer us. Wanting to move forward so as to not further delay our process.

 

Thanks all!

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: New Zealand
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2 hours ago, SM&JSN said:

Wanted to reach out and see whether anyone has any guidance on our RFE. USCIS sent us an RFE saying that my fiancé's UK divorce decree absolut was not signed by a judge or magistrate.  As this isn't the process for UK divorce paperwork, judges don't sign these documents, does anyone have any advice?

 

We have read that to get it notarised/apostille service could be beneficial. However these services are suspended in the UK for an undetermined period due to Covid-19. Does anyone have any similar recent experience with this issue and any advice to offer us. Wanting to move forward so as to not further delay our process.

 

Thanks all!

We went through something similar, and obtained a letter explaining that to be the true and correct (and only) version of the British decree absolute, and that it should be accepted by any person or organization.  It was kind of a boilerplate letter, so I am sure you could request such a letter via email.

 

Doing it that way is kind of unique to the UK, and as it differs a bit from how the rest of the world does it, I think they are quite used to the issue coming up, so shouldn't be a problem to get that letter.

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: New Zealand
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3 hours ago, SM&JSN said:

Thanks so much. Do you mind my asking where you got this letter from?

 

All the courts seem to be closed and not processing anything right now.

It actually accompanied the certified copy of the decree absolute from the court archives.  It was such an old document that they had to do a search for it -quite a debacle really.  The records had long since been moved to storage- not sure whether that was even digital vs paper, lol.  I pictured them piled up in some dusty old catacombs beneath London somewhere.
 

I would just enquire with the records department of the court that granted the divorce and see if they have some type of letter available.  I’d be happy to PM you ours tomorrow if that would be helpful.

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I also have a UK divorce in my past. This issue has come up many times. It seems you got a newbie as one would expect that over time the caseworkers would understand that UK decree absolutes are not signed or sealed, just red stamped. As they only require a photocopy, I sent a colour photocopy so the red stamp is red and also used a highlighter to mark the line that says that it’s the final decree, etc. Fortunately no RFE for me (I was expecting one), but I know people have provided a written statement with the decree that explains that the decrees in the UK are not signed. 


 

 

 

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: England
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On 5/19/2020 at 7:24 PM, SM&JSN said:

Wanted to reach out and see whether anyone has any guidance on our RFE. USCIS sent us an RFE saying that my fiancé's UK divorce decree absolut was not signed by a judge or magistrate.  As this isn't the process for UK divorce paperwork, judges don't sign these documents, does anyone have any advice?

 

We have read that to get it notarised/apostille service could be beneficial. However these services are suspended in the UK for an undetermined period due to Covid-19. Does anyone have any similar recent experience with this issue and any advice to offer us. Wanting to move forward so as to not further delay our process.

 

Thanks all!


This has been happening occasionally since I started on here in 2008. I did the highlighting of the photocopy...the dates, wording “was made final”, and the tiny footer Decree Absolute in my original submission to preempt a misunderstanding. For those who have gotten RFEs, a return of the decree with the highlighting and a statement saying I believe this request is in error because in the United Kingdom a judge never signs the divorce decree. It is made official by the stamp of the court as shown on the top right of the document. I can not provide a document signed by the judge who made the divorce final because the Decree Absolute is the official proclamation.

 

That has taken care of many RFEs. 

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We had the same problem. I submitted the Decree Absolute again and highlighted the pertinent points. I also wrote a letter of explanation and enclosed an information sheet from the courts that explained further. Approved a month later. 

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Thanks for the info Tesco, really appreciate it. Don’t suppose you could point me towards where you located the document, or if you have a copy? Have been trawling the internet for such a thing and am coming up blank.

 

 

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1 hour ago, SM&JSN said:

Thanks for the info Tesco, really appreciate it. Don’t suppose you could point me towards where you located the document, or if you have a copy? Have been trawling the internet for such a thing and am coming up blank.

 

 

Here is the form D187. Make sure you highlight the pertinent information at the bottom of the form, (D37 is for an English Divorce) ALSO, highlight the D37 on the Decree Absolute. If you need anything else, help with a letter etc let me know. 

Form D187.pdf

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