Balita Midweek, Wed. - Fri., Jan. 11 - 13, 2012
About K-1 fi ancé visas
So you have fi nally found your soul mate, the only prob- lem is that she lives in another country. You have fallen in love become engaged, and now it is time to get your loved one into the United States so you can be married. Before you can walk down the aisle, you will need to fi le for a K-1 visa for your foreign spouse to be so they can lawfully enter the U.S. What is it? A K-1 visa allows a foreign
fi ancé lawful entry in the U.S. in order to marry a U.S. citizen. Once you are married, your spouse will need to fi le for an adjustment of status. It is im- portant to note that this method will in essence provide your loved one with lawful entry into the U.S., and provides a 90-day window period to get married. It is to be distinguished from oth- er immigrant spouse visas, the CR-1 and IR-1 visa. These visas are for immediate relatives and once obtained will provide law- ful permanent residence into the U.S. and no adjustment of status fi ling will be required.
The process of obtaining a visa can be complicated depend- ing on your particular circum- stance. As with all immigration issues, it is best to consult with a qualifi ed immigration attor- ney for help at the beginning of your immigration journey. Hav- ing legal guidance will prevent mistakes being made, resulting in frustrating delays.
In order to get the ball roll- ing, you will need to fi le Form I-129F with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In this peti- tion, you will be representing that you are in fact single, and are eligible to be married. You
Atty. PAUL M. ALLEN
will also need to prove that you have an existing relationship with your fi ancé. As far as prov- ing your relationship, you will need to provide cancelled air- line tickets or passport stamps to show you have been in a re- lationship within the past two years.
Once this petition is ap- proved, your fi ancé will be able to complete the process and receive the K-1 visa. The USCIS will forward the peti- tion to the American consular offi ce in your fi ancé’s country. The consular’s offi ce will re- quest that your fi nance submit various documents such as their passport, birth certifi cate and vaccination records. Once in the U.S., the foreign fi ancé will need to submit additional documentation, have a medical exam and be interviewed for their visa. Requirements: Your fi ancé must be physi- cally outside the U.S., and be a citizen of another country. Also, as a couple you must be able to prove that you have a genuine intention to marry. It is important that you both are in the position to marry each other within 90 days of entering the U.S. The marriage must occur within the 90-day period.
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OPINION/FEATURES Half full or half empty
AS IN SEEING a cup as either half full or half empty, receiving the New Year may either be filled with hope or tinged with uncer- tainty. There is a general feeling of hope that life will be better and that there will be fewer poor people in the year ahead. Yet, un- certainties and gloom lurk in the subconscious of many who have seen how certain events unfolded in the past year. Will the reproductive health bill, heavily debated and con- tested for years, finally be legis- lated into law? Will a divorce law ever be passed? Will the Chief Justice whose impeachment was stampeded at the House of Representatives be acquitted or declared guilty by the Senate? The impeachment trial—the first in Philippine history involving a Chief Justice—will begin on January 16.
On the first two questions of whether laws that have long been in the burner will finally be legislated, the answer is uncer- tain. A confluence of pressures from lobby groups has been stupefying the Congress into inaction. Besides that, the House of Representatives will be busy prosecuting Chief Justice Renato Corona while the Senate will be busy acting as an impeachment court. There is likelihood that the legislature, as a lawmaking body, will accomplish little, if any, should the ruling party carry out its hidden plan to impeach more justices of the Supreme Court who were appointed by the former president.
On the question of whether the Chief Justice will be acquitted or declared guilty, the answer will hinge on the independence of mind and integrity of the senators acting as impeachment judges. If they will rule on the basis of merit rather than political af- filiation and loyalty, they will have fulfilled their constitutional mandate. As the Philippine Con- stitution Association has said, in a statement published in major dailies, “the fate and destiny of the nation are at the doorstep of the Senate. It is looked up to as the chamber of untrammeled independence, wisdom, probity and justice.’’Philconsa asked: “Will the Senate meet the people fs expectations?”
What is unfortunate about an impeachment trial is that decisions are made hardly on the basis of merit but more on political moorings. As it is a numbers game, it is possible that an innocent public official will be declared guilty. * * *
I have been vocal about my position that it is wrong to im- peach a justice or justices of the Court on the basis of decisions rendered by them. The Philip- pine Constitution has given the Judiciary autonomy precisely
GUEST COLUMN By RITA LINDA JIMENO
so that its decisions will be inde- pendent and not designed to cater to the caprices and whims of the powers-that-be.
The 1987 Constitution is unique in that, unlike the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions, it strength- ened and reinforced the power of the judiciary to put a lid on any abuse of power commit- ted by either the executive or legislative branches. The 1987 Constitution expressly gave the Supreme Court the authority and jurisdiction to review and nullify acts of the executive or legislative branches that amount to an abuse of discretion or lack of jurisdic- tion. This was instituted because of the immense power already lodged in the hands of Congress, which has control over the nation fs purse, and the Executive which wields police power and eminent domain. The powerless citizenry can, thus, turn to the Judiciary for
protection and relief. However, if Congress can im- peach justices for decisions they render, it will amount to trans- ferring the constitutional power of review from the judiciary to the legislature. The legislature can, practically, review every decision of the Court and, when not happy with it, impeach the sitting justices. The implications are ominous. The Court will no longer decide independently but will render decisions that will please the administration and the ruling party in Congress. I have spoken to a number of people of various callings, among them lawyers. Some say that the shake up in the Highest Tribunal is a welcome development as it will result in the cleansing of the Judiciary. I am certainly for the cleansing of the Judiciary, myself. Yet, what is in issue in the im- peachment of the Chief Justice is not the cleansing of the judiciary. Rather, it is the attempt by the legislature to wrest the power of review from the Judiciary. And this is what disappoints me about many lawyers who miss the point. The personalities involved and the actual protagonists in the current controversy should be irrelevant if one were to strictly abide by the spirit of the Con- stitution. What is really at stake See HALF FULL OR Page 8
BLAST FROM THE PAST
ON DECEMBER 27, 1897, General Emilio Aguinaldo and 25 other Filipino revolutionary leaders sailed for Hong Kong from Sual, Pangasinan on board the steamer Uranus in compliance with the terms of the Pact of Biak-na-Bato.
The said pact, signed on December 14, 1897, created a truce between the Spanish government and the Philippine Revolutionary government. Aguinaldo, who agreed to go on voluntary exile in Hong Kong as part of the peace agreement, also volunteered to be a peace maker as early as August 9, 1897 on the basis of reforms and amnesty offered by the Spanish authorities. Accordingly, Spanish Governor General Primo de Rivera realized the impossibility of quelling the revolution by force of arms, contrary to his premature proclamation on May 17, 1897 that the “revolution is over.” Earlier, Aguinaldo’s forces were driven from Cavite to Bulacan where he promulgated the Constitution and inaugurated the Republic of Biak-na-Bato on November 1, 1897. Hence, negotiations with Aguinaldo, which specified that the Spanish would give self-rule to the Philippines within three years if Aguinaldo went into exile, began in August and concluded in December with the signing of the Pact of Biak-na-Bato. Also, under the pact, Aguinaldo agreed to end hostilities in exchange for amnesty and 800,000 pesos (Filipino money) as an indemnity. He and the other revolutionary leaders would go into voluntary exile. Another 900,000 pesos was to be given to the revolutionaries, who remained in the Philippines but agreed to surrender their arms. However, both the Spanish and Filipino authorities failed to fol- low the terms of the pact. Of the total war indemnity of P1.7 million, only P600,000 was actually paid by Spain -- P400,000 was given to Aguinaldo and P200,000 was distributed among the revolutionary leaders in the Philippines. The rest of the indemnity, amounting to P1.1 million, was never paid. Many of the Filipino patriots who had surrendered their arms and returned to their homes were arrested, imprisoned, and persecuted, contrary to the amnesty proclamation, and not one of the promised reforms was granted.
For their part, Filipinos were equally guilty of breaking the terms of the agreement, as Aguinaldo kept the money in the banks of Hong Kong to be used in future struggle against Spain. Revolutionist in the Philippines also did not surrender all their arms.
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