Grounds for annulment in the Philippines

What are the grounds for annulment?

1. Lack of parental consent in certain cases. If a party is 18 years or over, but below 21, and the marriage was solemnized without the consent of the parents/guardian. However, the marriage is validated if, upon reaching 21, the spouses freely cohabited with the other and both lived together as husband and wife.

2. Insanity. A marriage may be annulled if, at the time of marriage, either party was of unsound mind, unless such party after coming to reason, freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife.

3. Fraud. The consent of either party was obtained by fraud, unless such party afterwards, with full knowledge of the facts constituting the fraud, freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife. Fraud includes: (i) non-disclosure of a previous conviction by final judgment of the other party of a crime involving moral turpitude; (ii) concealment by the wife of the fact that at the time of the marriage, she was pregnant by a man other than her husband; (iii) concealment of sexually transmissible disease or STD, regardless of its nature, existing at the time of the marriage; or (iv) concealment of drug addiction, habitual alcoholism or homosexuality or lesbianism existing at the time of the marriage. However, no other misrepresentation or deceit as to character, health, rank, fortune or chastity shall constitute such fraud as will give grounds for action for the annulment of marriage.

4. Force, intimidation or undue influence. If the consent of either party was obtained by any of these means, except in cases wherein the force, intimidation or undue influence has disappeared or ceased, the complaining party thereafter freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife.

5. Impotence. At the time of marriage, either party was physically incapable of consummating the marriage with the other, and such incapacity continues and appears to be incurable. Impotence is different from being infertile.

6. STD. If, at the time of marriage, either party was afflicted with a sexually-transmissible disease found to be serious and appears to be incurable. If the STD is not serious or is curable, it may still constitute fraud (see No. 3 above).

What annulment does?

According to a Philippine Legal Forum, annulment declares a valid marriage void. This is different from a “declaration of nullity” that says a marriage is void to begin with.

Also, unlike a declaration of nullity, a person must file for an annulment within the period of time mandated by the Family Code of the Philippines. For example, a person must file for an annulment on the basis of fraud “within five years after the discovery of the fraud.”

After a couple annuls their marriage, they both have the option to remarry.  

A person may also file for legal separation, but this maintains his or her marriage to the other party; thus, this person cannot remarry. The grounds for legal separation, which include physical violence, are also different from those of annulment.

Grounds for annulment

Based on Article 45 of the Family Code, there are six grounds for annulment:

  • Lack of parental consent. The person who wants an annulment was over 18 but under 21 and married without parental consent—and that person did not choose to stay with his or her partner after turning 21.
  • Insanity. Someone from the couple “was of unsound mind” and did not choose to stay with his or her partner after regaining sanity.
  • Fraud (unless the person chooses to stay after finding out about the fraud). The grounds for fraud are in Article 46 of the Family Code and include a woman not telling her husband at the time of their marriage that she was pregnant by another man, and a person concealing his or her drug addiction or alcoholism.
  • Force (unless the person chooses to stay after these forceful actions have stopped). The person was frightened in a way that would force him or her to agree to marriage.
  • Impotence. Someone was “physically incapable of consummating the marriage” and may never be able to do so.
  • Sexually-transmitted disease (STD). “Either party was afflicted with a sexually-transmissible disease found to be serious and appears to be incurable.”

Hiring the wrong people to process your K1, Fiancée or Spousal visa!

Hiring the wrong people to process your Visa!

Wherever there is a need, expert consultants will appear to help with that need and immigration is no different. There is an amazingly diverse group of people who will claim to be able to help you with your Fiancée or Spouse’s visa and many of them will be experts in just a part of the process.

But getting only part of the process right will still result in a Visa denied. You must get everything right to obtain a visa for your Fiancée or Spouse!

People claiming to have expertise in immigration include:

  • Lawyers in the sponsor’s country of origin – They will certainly be able to help the sponsor with the necessary paperwork on his side, but usually have very little knowledge of the Philippines and will be of no help at all to the Filipina Fiancée or Spouse!
  • Lawyers in the Philippines – These people will usually be able to get the Philippine requirements right, but usually offer very little support for the Fiancée or Spouse and she will probably face the interview unprepared.  They also have limited or no knowledge of the sponsor’s side of the process and will give very little support to them. They are also often very difficult to deal with when you are in another country!
  • Travel agents and other people in the Philippines who have limited experience working with Visa processing. This industry has sprung up quite recently and these people will offer a very low cost, low quality service. Their lack of experience will begin to show as you go part way through the process. Important things will be overlooked and there will be little preparation for either party.

Unfortunately, you get what you pay for with immigration services too. Somebody who is cheap is cheap for a reason, they are usually just starting out, or they are desperate for clients because they are not getting referrals from anybody.

Their communication is notoriously bad. When you call their line, you will usually get somebody who barely speaks English, who will simply tell you the person you are looking for is “Not around”.

The low cost operators live for the “Deposit”. They are continually chasing the next deposit, leaving the hard work to later and you waiting endlessly to have your Fiancée or Spouse’s visa processed!

If you truly love your Fiancée or Spouse, why put her fate and yours in the hands of the lowest bidder?

Saving money on your immigration specialist is false economics in the extreme! The money you save will quickly be eaten up by additional airfares, accommodation and loss of income when your Visa is denied and you have to go through the whole process again. Not to mention the frustration and stress suffered by both you and your Fiancée or Spouse… It is just not worth it!

MARRIAGE PLANS ??

Marriage Plans??

Going to the Philippines to get married? Olvis Travel can take care of all wedding preparations. We can handle Church reservations, wedding dresses and Formal Barongs, receptions, honeymoon accommodations, Paperwork such as the “legal capacity to marry” form and the marriage license for both you and your fiancée.

We can assist you with getting the Legal Capacity to marry document from the US Consulate or Embassy, the marriage license, help arrange you’re wedding and wedding reception, purchase wedding attire and rings, and book a romantic, tropical honeymoon destination for you at the very lowest prices. We can then do the complete immigration paperwork for you and your fiancée or spouse, quickly, accurately, and at a fraction of the cost of a US immigration attorney.

We’ll guide you and your fiancée or spouse through every step of the process until the day she gets on the phone. Passports, police clearance, the works! No problem is too complex for Olvis Travel and Immigration! We are your one stop service agency in the Philippines.

We also do hotel reservations, car rentals, guide services, cell phone rentals, and are the most experienced specialists in the preparation of fiancée and spousal visas.

You are always welcome to drop by our office at the Ayala Mall, in Cebu City, Philippines at any time, or call us at (032) 268-8279. Or (032) 231-7625 In the United States you can contact us at 702-655-4578

Social Security Card Basics

Did you know that anyone in the United States can obtain a Social Security card? There are three types of social security cards, and each has a distinct function. Today we will discuss each one so you can see how they relate to immigration and resident status.

1. Unrestricted Social Security Card: These cards are for anyone authorized to live permanently or indefinitely in America (citizen or permanent resident status). This is the most desirable card as it provides the easiest access to jobs and social services.

2. Restricted Social Security Card: These are issued to a person that is authorized to work in America for a limited period of time.

3. Non-working Social Security Card: These cannot be used to apply for work but can be used to open accounts at financial institutions and for tax identification purposes.

If applying for a restricted social security card, know that you must prove (via the appropriate documentation) that you are authorized to work in the US, unless your employer has already been approved for I-129 petition documentation on your behalf. Do not expect to be approved for a restricted social security card and obtain work if you are a visitor to America, or have non-immigrant (foreign national) status.

That being said, there are two instances when non-immigrants can legally work in the U.S.: the sponsor company has received special permission to employ the employee for a specific job and has proved that the worker and the job fall under specialized requirements; or, there are extenuating circumstances such as a post-secondary student residing in America completing practical training to support their career.

When immigrating, visiting for an extended period of time, or sponsoring an immigrant, you must know the restrictions on the various types of social security cards available. Visit www.ssa.gov and www.ssa.gov/people/immigrants to learn more.

The Memorandum on Enforcing the Legal Responsibilities of Sponsors of Aliens

During the spring, the Trump administration issued the Memorandum on Enforcing the Legal Responsibilities of Sponsors of Aliens, which served to update the regulations for compliance with the law. The memorandum also helps to make sure that those ineligible for immigration status do not receive federal benefits.

This is very important news for anyone planning to sponsor an immigrant. Your affidavit of support means that you are, in effect, “co-signing” for that person. Your signature makes you responsible for the immigrant financially – should they require assistance after arriving in America, it is you that will have to provide the funds or reimburse the government for providing assistance to the person you sponsored.

While the memorandum is new, the ideology behind it is not. In force since 1977, section 213A of the Immigration and Nationality Act states that sponsors are responsible for the cost of any means-tested benefits (such as food stamps and health care) that the immigrant procures.

Although this law was very rarely enforced in the past, the Trump administration has made it clear that they now intend to enforce this rule. If sponsoring an immigrant, be very sure that they – or you – have the financial means to ensure they do not wind up relying on government benefits. Failure to observe this will cost you.

Embassy Closing in Manila

USCIS Field office closing (Not the Embassy)

On July 5th, 2019, USCIS will permanently close its field office in Manila, Philippines, as part of the Trump Administration’s efforts to improve legal immigration processing. After this date, there will be no USCIS field office located in the Philippines.

Over the years we at Olvis have had many expats that came to the Philippines and got married and after several years decided that they wanted to take their wife and return to the United States, because they were resident in the Philippines they could do what is called a Direct Consular Filing. This allowed the US citizen to go to the US Embassy in Manila and file directly. This process was much faster and the visa was usually done in less than 60 days. With the closing of the field office this process is no longer available and all spouse petitions need to be filed in the United States

The office began redirecting Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, to the USCIS Lockbox on May 14, 2019. For U.S. citizens residing in the Philippines there is no more direct consular filing (DCF) you will now need to submit the I-130 petition for Alien Relative or Spouse by mail with the USCIS facility in Chicago.

USCIS has posted a listing of where each application should be sent to after the office closes. Please click this link for a more complete understanding as to what petitions are affected. Field office

It is important to understand that the USCIS field office is not the same as the U.S. Embassy. The US Embassy in Manila is still open for business, and processing visa interviews. The closing of the USCIS does not affect the processing of Fiancée and Alien relative petitions that have been filed in the United States.

Adjust Status after marriage K-1 Fiancée visa

Adjust Status after marriage K-1 Fiancée visa

Now when you enter the United States on a K-1 Fiancée Visa you must marry within 90 days. The important thing to keep in mind is you can file for adjustment of status any time after the wedding. However USCIS likes to have you file promptly after the wedding. Keep in mind you cannot work or travel outside the US until you receive your green card or advance parole travel document and your employment authorization document. We’ve seen a lot of cases where someone comes to the United States on a fiancée visa, got married but did not file for adjustment of status and then they had to go back home for a family emergency, or went to Mexico for a honeymoon only to find out that they couldn’t get back into the country. If this happens you will have to file a spousal visa and start the immigration process all over again. Just remember you don’t have to file for adjustment of status as soon as you get married but it is the best thing to do. We recommended that you file for adjustment of status as soon as possible after the wedding when we do this we also file for an employment authorization at the same time so you can travel and work.

Keep in mind that if you leave the USA for any reason without having your status adjusted that you will not be able to return to the US unless you have applied for the adjustment of status and have applied for and received an advance parole document.

Tax-Return Transcripts from the Internal Revenue Service or IRS are better than tax returns

Tax transcripts from the IRS showing income are far better than tax returns to show proof of income.

IRS tax transcript are better proof of income because by just providing your tax return does not actually prove that you’ve filed with the IRS or that you paid any taxes. Anyone can fill out a Federal Tax Return in just a few minutes and sign it and make copies. IRS transcripts are from the IRS, Internal Revenue Service, and they show documented income that’s been filed with the IRS.

If you provide your tax returns instead of transcripts, you’ll also have to provide your W2s, or 1099s with the transcripts you will not need to provide them.

Tax transcripts are free, and you can order them online through the IRS website. It usually takes about 15 days to obtain your transcripts. When you order the transcripts it is best if you order for the last 3 years as you will need that information later in the Immigration process.

The Olvis Visa Services Story

A message from the founder and president of Olvis Immigration and Travel Services with his lovely spouse celebrating 33 years in the Visa Services business.

Over 30 years ago when I first came to the Philippines to meet a pen pal I had been corresponding with, while on the plane about 40,000 feet over the Pacific somewhere I started thinking to myself that I must be out of my mind to fly 10,000 miles to meet some lady from a far different country and culture that I did not really know anything about. I can tell you truthfully that when I landed in Manila If I could have turned around and gotten back on the plane I would have done it. Anyway I met the lady and decided that maybe I was wrong and this was not so bad after all she was a wonderful lady and within 2 weeks we decided to get married.

Now here I am in a strange country not knowing anything about getting married there or what to do fortunately, my lady friend knew an attorney that was also a judge, I was introduced to him and he said oh this is no problem I will help you through the process as I do this many times each year for foreigners that come to get married, well I did not have much of a choice at this point so we used the Judge he got us through the entire process of the wedding pretty much painlessly. At this point I figured that I could take my wife and get on the plane and go home, End of Story, Right?

Well, keep in mind that this was in the days before the internet so there really was not much information out there. Anyway the judge then told me that I had to do immigration paperwork to bring my wife to the USA and that she could not just get on the plane and go and that It would take about 90 days, BUT for a small additional fee he would take care of all the US immigration paperwork, well once again I did not seem to have much of a choice so I paid him $500.00 to do the immigration. The wedding was fine the Immigration was a disaster after waiting for about 7 months to get it done and sent to U.S Immigration it turned out that he was doing what most attorneys do he was practicing Law, with my time and my money and the petition was denied for several reasons it was not a little mistake it was a whole lot of mistakes, forged documents and general carelessness on his part.

At this point I decided that maybe I should do something different. I had a friend that worked at the US immigration office in my states Capitol city so I went to see her as she was the chief of that office and offered to help me, she gave me all the forms and went over them with me line by line. So then I went home and typed them all up and took them back to her for review before I submitted them, she went over them line by line with me and assured me that they were perfect so I submitted them for the 2nd time to Immigration. This time it took less than 30 days for them to send it back because of missing documents and other mistakes. So back to my friend at Immigration and we did the whole thing over again and again I sent it off to Immigration this time it took almost 90 days for them to deny the petition.

At this point I am beginning to wonder, I had contacted several Immigration attorneys here in the USA but they were very expensive and did not seem like they really knew what they were talking about, especially when it came to answering questions about what my wife had to do there in the Philippines. So what options did I have, spend 2 or three months trying to navigate the Immigration process myself or pay another attorney to PRACTICE on me again and charge me a very large fee and would not make me any kind of guarantee that it would actually fly. So I got everything I could find on the subject and studied carefully and having already learned a lot from my past mistakes I DID IT ALL BY MYSELF and yes 90 days later she was here in the USA with me, it seems that I knew more about the process then the people in the immigration office.

Well after my wife arrived here in the U.S.A one day we were in the grocery store shopping and we ran into another guy that was going through the same headaches and he told us about his friend that also had the same problems, so I decided right then and there that I would help them if I could, so I prepared the visa applications for both of them and guess what they both received the visa. From that point on I decided to help as many people as I could. I have done visa processing every day for the last 30 years and hope to continue for many more.

SAME SEX Fiancee Visa applications

With the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) The US Immigration Service and Manila Embassy are now granting visas for U.S. Citizens wishing to sponsor their same-sex Fiancé/Fiancée. Olvis Immigration has successfully processed many same sex- Fiancé Visa petitions in the last three years and our service is experienced, sensitive and ready to prepare your same-sex petition. Same sex marriage visas have also been approved by USCIS. However since same sex marriages are not legal in many countries including the Philippines we only prepare the Fiancé/Fiancée visa as this is the only alternative.

Please feel free to contact our office any time for further information. Toll free from the USA 1-866-636-8666 Or to contact us locally from within the Philippines 032-231-7625 or 032-268-8279