So, the next bit of news, this has been a topic for a while, and something that we started to see a lot of denials for at the beginning of the year. Since we do a lot of business with the Philippines with fiance visas and spousal visas, Philippines is one of the few countries in the world, to give you a little bit of history, that it’s really hard to get a divorce, especially if you marry in a Catholic church.
So, while they call it an annulment, going through that whole process can take years, it’s really expensive for the average Filipino, and it’s pretty limited to the wealthy, or if you’re willing to bankroll an annulment for your fiance. It’s really difficult.
So, a popular route was people would convert to Islam, and then get a divorce because it was cheaper and faster, and in the Philippines, it’s kind of accepted. They let it go through. Really, government is really that person you’re talking to behind the counter, and they were letting them through and people were trying that and getting all the way to the interview with the US Embassy in Manila, and then getting a denial.
So, we started hearing about this. We had a congressional inquiry. We had for spousal visa, for one customer, and then a fiance visa for another, and they both were denied. Kyle is putting up one of the denial letters from the consular. You can see that that green box in the middle of the page specifically goes into which part of the law they’re sticking to, the US Embassy.
So, like Ben said earlier, if you’re trying to do things the quick way, get that easy solution and just get moving on, a lot of times it comes back to bite you. What we’ve seen is you put all this time and effort into it and stress and getting your hopes up that you’re almost done with the process, it’s already long enough, get all the way to the interview just to walk away with a denial, and you still have to get the annulment and go through it the right way.
So, an easy way to think of it is, if you married in the civil court, which is Catholic there, then you have to get annulled in the civil court. If you get married in Sharia court or Islam court, then you can get divorced in the Islam court. That’s really the easiest way to look at it, and that’s how they base their laws.
Yeah, that’s right, and people have, I’ll use the term gotten away with it in the past, but as always, with any of these kind of end run around the rule things, the early adopters might get away with it, but doesn’t take the government long to wise up to it, and then they shut it down. So again, just do it the right way and save yourself some heartache.