The Family Chantel star Pedro Jimeno can still bring his family, including his mother and sister, over to the U.S. amid his divorce from Chantel Jimeno (née Everett), but first, he “must naturalize and become a U.S. citizen to petition for them,” attorney Emily Davis of the Ross and Pines law firm in Atlanta tells In Touch exclusively.
“He cannot petition for them as a lawful permanent resident,” she adds about his current immigration status, but adds that he “is able to naturalize even if he and Chantel are divorced.”
Pedro “would be the petitioner for his family members” and his “divorce from Chantel has no bearing on his ability to petition for them.”
In addition to still being able to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, Pedro is not at risk of losing his green due to the legal separation proceeding, owing to the he’s “a lawful permanent resident with a 10-year green card,” Davis previously told In Touch.
“[Simply] going through a divorce from Chantel, who is a U.S. citizen, does not mean that Pedro will face deportation,” she revealed, before confirming that would “still legally able to remain in the United States as a lawful permanent resident.”
In fact, Pedro and Chantel’s divorce will not affect a considerable amount of his immigration status. Since he’s a “lawful permanent resident, Pedro can become a U.S. citizen without Chantel’s assistance.”
However, Chantel remains “financially responsible” for her estranged husband “[if] Chantel sponsored Pedro for the green card application after the K-1 visa was granted.”
“The form that Chantel submitted when she petitioned him to get a green card is a binding contract between Chantel and the U.S. government,” Davis revealed. “That contract obligates the sponsor to support the sponsored immigrant at 125 percent or more of the U.S. Poverty Guidelines. Divorce does not automatically terminate the contract.”
Pedro listed their marriage being “irretrievably broken” as the reason behind his divorce in his May 27 filing. While he claimed Chantel withdrew more than $257,000 from their account and transferred that into an account in Chantel’s name and sister Winter Everett’s name, Chantel had allegations of her own in her response.
Alleging Pedro committed “adultery” and “cruel treatment” in her July 7 filing obtained by In Touch, she also claimed she endured “physical domestic violence, as well as mental pain.”
Pedro and Chantel were placed, and remain, under a mutual restraining order after Pedro filed for divorce.
After appearing on 90 Day Fiancé season 4, the couple, who married on March 25, 2016, went on to star on seasons 2, 3 and 4 of 90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After?