Can I petition my children to immigrate to the United States without the approval of my ex? 6 Answers as of January 31, 2011

I was married to a US citizen in the Philippines. We have kids 5 and 9 years old. Our marriage before was full of love and happiness. He petitioned me and my son because that time my daughter was not in the picture yet. I decided to go to the US first and leave my son in the Philippines because my ex was cheating on me and I wanted to fix our relationship. But as soon as I got here I haven't see him and talked to him I do not even know where he is. He divorced me and now I am married to a US marine who supported me and is loving. He wants to petition my kids. Can he petition them, and do I need to have consent from my ex? I do not know where he is he was out of navy now is it easy if my husband petition them how long it will take? Please help me thanks in advance, I am desperate to see and hug my kids because they need me.

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Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC
Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC | Lynne Feldman
As long as your children were under 18 when you married your current spouse (and are currently under 21 years of age), they are considered stepchildren and your current U.S. citizen spouse may petition for them. The children would need their own passports and some countries require the signature of both parents for a minor child to get a passport so you would need to know the law of the Philippines on this issue as well as the law relating to your removing the children from the country without their father's consent. If the children have not heard from him and you don't know where he, then you should be able to get the necessary custody order from your country to remove them. Again consult a family law attorney in the Philippines on these issues. Processing time will be about 7-12 months. You may contact me as indicated below for procedures, documents needed and fees.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/31/2011
The Vega Law Firm
The Vega Law Firm | Linda Vega
If your husband has petitioned for you, and you have your legal permanent residency, your children are derivatives. You may apply for them. Please see an attorney for assistance.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 1/24/2011
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
No you cannot.
Answer Applies to: Tennessee
Replied: 1/24/2011
Nicastro Piscopo, APLC
Nicastro Piscopo, APLC | Louis M. Piscopo
You do not need the consent of the children's parents for your current husband to petition them. However, the problem will be that you will need his consent for them to obtain their immigrant visa to leave the Philippines. If not possible because you cannot find him, you would have to show that you have legal and physical custody of your children as ordered by the family court.

The larger question is whether your children need to be petitioned? If their father was a U.S. Citizen, it's possible that they are already US Citizens. In which case they do not need to be petition. Instead, they can obtain U.S. passports and travel to the U.S.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/24/2011
Theresa E. Tilton, Attorney at Law
Theresa E. Tilton, Attorney at Law | Theresa E. Tilton
Your children may already be US citizens. The instructions to Form N-600 give specifics. There are also special rules for children born outside the USA, whose parents are US military. If you are a US legal resident, you can petition for your minor children to come to the US. You do not need the permission of their father, your ex-husband.

You would do well to become a US citizen as soon as you can. Minor children of US citizens do not have to wait for immigration. Another plan would involve asking your present husband to adopt your children. Then he could petition for them. You need to see an immigration lawyer, because your situation is complex.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 1/24/2011
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