Q: Immigration does not recognize 1991 divorce from the DR. Does he have to get a divorce here in MA to be recognized?
Both husband and wife did not have a domicile in DR at the time of the divorce. Now in 2021, he is trying to remarry but immigration states before getting married to someone else he needs proof that one or both needed to reside in the Dominican Republic of which neither lived in DR. Is there something he can do other than to file for divorce here in MA for the divorce to be recognized? Meaning is there a form/petition he can file other than divorcing again?
The divorce parties have to comply with the residence requirements of the place of divorce in order for that divorce to be recognized by USCIS. In other words, the validity of a divorce abroad depends on the interpretation of the divorce laws of the foreign country that granted the divorce and the reciprocity laws in the state of the United States where the applicant remarried. If the divorce is not final under the foreign law, remarriage to a U.S. citizen is not valid for immigration purposes.
From what is available on Google, it appears that Dominican Republic enacted law 142 in the 1971 that specifically waives the residency requirements to foreigners willing to get a divorce in this country. Special law provides special rules, not applicable to regular dominican residents to obtain a divorce in less than 15 days.
I would recommend that you contact an attorney in DR to have him draft a letter explaining and citing to the law in the DR and submit that to USCIS in response to their Request for Evidence (which I assume you got). You can also hire an immigration attorney in the US to help you respond to USCIS.
Alexander Ivakhnenko agrees with this answer
It certainly presents a problem as if the USCIS does not recognize that DR dissolution of marriage then any attempt to marry a person in the United States would create an allegation of polygamy (being married to two or more people a the same time).
It definitely needs to be properly completed.
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