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Sharia Law Divorces in the Philippines: Will they pass US Immigration requirements?

US Immigration Basic Principle on marriages

“The underlying principle in determining the validity of the marriage is that the law of the place of marriage celebration controls” – 9 FAM 102.3.  This means, that marriages lawfully entered in the Philippines are deemed valid for US immigration purposes.

 

Termination of Marriages in the Philippines

Marriages under the Civil Code of the Philippines may only be terminated through:

  1. Annulment
  2. Declared Ab Initio or Declaration of Nullity of Marriage
  3. Death or Legal presumption of Death of a Spouse
  4. Recognition of foreign divorces, and
  5. To some extent, Sharia court divorces

It is widely known that, generally, legal termination of marriages in the Philippines is a lengthy and costly process. Some people resort to Sharia divorces hoping and believing that it is the solution to these concerns (e.g. cost and processing time).

The Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines (MPL) permits divorce under narrow circumstances for Filipino Muslims. The pertinent part of Art 13 of the MPL states:

(1)  The provisions of this Title shall apply to marriages and divorces

  1. Wherein both parties are Muslims or
  2. Wherein only the male party is a Muslim, the marriage is solemnized in accordance with the Muslim law or this Code (MPL)
  3. Solemnized in any part of the Philippines

(2)  In case of marriage between a Muslim and a non-Muslim, not solemnized in accordance with Muslim law or this Code, the Civil Code of the Philippines shall apply (refer to the first part of this section).

 

Sharia Divorces: Problem area in the Philippines

Here’s the two most common scenarios that you see in US spouse or fiancée visa petitions:

  1. Most of the applicant-beneficiaries, who availed of Sharia divorces, are female Muslims married to or being petitioned by non-Muslim US citizens
  2. Male Muslims married to non-Muslim spouses whose marriage is solemnized not in accordance with the Muslim law
  3. One or both parties convert to Muslim, after the non-Muslim marriage, then apply for divorce

If one’s case falls in any of the above-scenarios, then clearly, the MPL does not apply and the Civil Code of the Philippines governs. Meaning, the Sharia court divorce will not pass US Immigration requirements.

 

Does US Immigration law impose upon Philippine family laws?

No. As a matter of fact, the US immigration law re-enforces the law of the land, specifically the pertinent provisions of the Civil Code of the Philippines and the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines.

 

CONCLUSION:

To some limited extent, Sharia divorces in the Philippines may pass US immigration for as long as the requirements of the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines are observed. To reiterate – The pertinent part of Art 13 of the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines (MPL) states that the MPL shall apply to marriages and divorces

  1. Wherein both parties are Muslims or
  2. Wherein only the male party is a Muslim, the marriage is solemnized in accordance with the Muslim law or this Code (MPL)
  3. Solemnized in any part of the Philippines

If the MPL requirements are not fully complied with, then only termination of marriages under the Civil Code of the Philippines will be recognized for US immigration purposes (e.g. annulment, being declared ab initio, death or presumption of death or recognition of foreign divorces).

Consult a seasoned Sharia divorce attorney in the Philippines to ensure compliance with the MPL Once this is cleared, talk to an experienced US immigration attorney to represent you on your spouse or fiancé visa petitions.

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER:

The above article is a mere opinion of the author and does not tantamount to a specific legal advice.

US Immigration Basic Principle on marriages

“The underlying principle in determining the validity of the marriage is that the law of the place of marriage celebration controls” – 9 FAM 102.3.  This means, that marriages lawfully entered in the Philippines are deemed valid for US immigration purposes.

 

Termination of Marriages in the Philippines

Marriages under the Civil Code of the Philippines may only be terminated through:

  1. Annulment
  2. Declared Ab Initio or Declaration of Nullity of Marriage
  3. Death or Legal presumption of Death of a Spouse
  4. Recognition of foreign divorces, and
  5. To some extent, Sharia court divorces

It is widely known that, generally, legal termination of marriages in the Philippines is a lengthy and costly process. Some people resort to Sharia divorces hoping and believing that it is the solution to these concerns (e.g. cost and processing time).

The Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines (MPL) permits divorce under narrow circumstances for Filipino Muslims. The pertinent part of Art 13 of the MPL states:

(1)  The provisions of this Title shall apply to marriages and divorces

  1. Wherein both parties are Muslims or
  2. Wherein only the male party is a Muslim, the marriage is solemnized in accordance with the Muslim law or this Code (MPL)
  3. Solemnized in any part of the Philippines

(2)  In case of marriage between a Muslim and a non-Muslim, not solemnized in accordance with Muslim law or this Code, the Civil Code of the Philippines shall apply (refer to the first part of this section).

 

Sharia Divorces: Problem area in the Philippines

Here’s the two most common scenarios that you see in US spouse or fiancée visa petitions:

  1. Most of the applicant-beneficiaries, who availed of Sharia divorces, are female Muslims married to or being petitioned by non-Muslim US citizens
  2. Male Muslims married to non-Muslim spouses whose marriage is solemnized not in accordance with the Muslim law
  3. One or both parties convert to Muslim, after the non-Muslim marriage, then apply for divorce

If one’s case falls in any of the above-scenarios, then clearly, the MPL does not apply and the Civil Code of the Philippines governs. Meaning, the Sharia court divorce will not pass US Immigration requirements.

 

Does US Immigration law impose upon Philippine family laws?

No. As a matter of fact, the US immigration law re-enforces the law of the land, specifically the pertinent provisions of the Civil Code of the Philippines and the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines.

 

CONCLUSION:

To some limited extent, Sharia divorces in the Philippines may pass US immigration for as long as the requirements of the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines are observed. To reiterate – The pertinent part of Art 13 of the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines (MPL) states that the MPL shall apply to marriages and divorces

  1. Wherein both parties are Muslims or
  2. Wherein only the male party is a Muslim, the marriage is solemnized in accordance with the Muslim law or this Code (MPL)
  3. Solemnized in any part of the Philippines

If the MPL requirements are not fully complied with, then only termination of marriages under the Civil Code of the Philippines will be recognized for US immigration purposes (e.g. annulment, being declared ab initio, death or presumption of death or recognition of foreign divorces).

Consult a seasoned Sharia divorce attorney in the Philippines to ensure compliance with the MPL Once this is cleared, talk to an experienced US immigration attorney to represent you on your spouse or fiancé visa petitions.

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER:

The above article is a mere opinion of the author and does not tantamount to a specific legal advice.







November 16, 2018

Donald Bradman

I an glad to read it. aybabag

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