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Thread: Inquiries Regarding Stepchild Visa Application

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Sep 2012
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    Inquiries Regarding Stepchild Visa Application

    Hello Atty James,
    I’m very glad to have found this forum. I have some inquiries regarding my future family and appreciate if you can give some inputs on it.

    I’m working here in the US under TN status (TN visa for Canadians). I plan to marry my Filipina fiancée next year and hope to bring her, together with her 13 year old son from previous marriage (annulled), here in the US. I understand that under the TD visa rules, my soon to be stepson is also eligible for derivative status to be with us.

    Since the intent is to have my fiancée and her son lives here with me here, I’m worrying that the US consul will ask for some custodial documents from the mother, when they apply for the derivative visa. My fiancée has the custody of the child by default, since the father have abandoned them long time ago after their separation. The only document she has regarding the custody is the court ruling on her annulment. There is a clause in the documents that states she has the custody of the child, or something like that.

    With the above possible scenario, I have some questions regarding her custody for the child:
    1. In Philippine law, is there a standard procedure that one should undertake to obtain legal custody of the child (in case of separation/annulment)? Is this common practice? If I remember it correctly, the Family Law is favorable for the mother to be the child/children custodial parent in case of separation/annulment, is this correct? So it means that by default, the mother is the custodial parent, and we don’t need to present any documents to the consul?
    2. Normally, if the mother will take her child/children abroad (temporary or permanent intent), do they (in this case the US Embassy) require you to present a consent from the biological father?

    Thanks Atty, and hope you can give some directions on my inquiries.

  2. #2
    Administrator Atty. James S. Biron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Hi Ghegie,

    1. Yes that is right. You can present the court order stating that the custody was awarded to the mother.

    2. Please take a look at this guideline from the Bureau of Immigration http://immigration.gov.ph/index.php?...=239&Itemid=37. That's the rule for leaving the Philippines.

    Please consult a US lawyer for rules regarding the entry of a minor to with his/her mother to the US.

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