Tiger Woods, Elin Nordegren and Spousal Sponsorship Petitions

Spousal sponsorship and the Tiger Woods debacle


I knew you would say that.

Unless you are on a desert island, you have heard about Tiger’s alleged transgressions concerning marital infidelity.  As an immigration lawyer dealing with legal issues on a daily basis, I nevertheless get transfixed by the same gossipy headlines that everyone else does. But my world is seen though a slightly different lens. I find myself  reading the latest TMZ alerts from an “immigration perspective”.

Present case: I have no knowledge of Mrs. Woods (Nordegren) US immigration history. I know she is Swedish and was not born in the US. She was a nanny at one time and was introduced to Tiger by a fellow golf pro. Given these facts, it may be reasonable to assume but by no means is certain, that Tiger sponsored Ms. Nordegren for US Permanent Residence via Spousal Sponsorship Petition. Tiger (or his lawyers), like all US citizens, would have to have filed the necessary paperwork in order to have his bride obtain legal US status. Ms. Nordegren, the applicant beneficiary would have to undergo an immigration interview as part of the process. I would certainly like to have been that “fly on the wall” witnessing the USCIS officer question Elin about her “knowledge” of her Tiger’s life: “So Ms. Nordegren, do you know what your husband does for a living?”. You get the point.

What happens when a marriage breaks up after spousal sponsorship is involved?

Now that Tiger has made his confession in the carefully worded way notables do, I can’t help but think about how fragile and vulnerable relationships can be and how the immigration system is such a blunt instrument. File the paperwork, attend the interview, wait, wait and wait and viola. A new Permanent Resident is born! Now that she has US status, she has all the rights and privileges of a disgruntled US wife. Watch out.

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

  • Well I am not sure all the facts regarding the incident has been substantiated. However, it certainly seems that Tiger was indeed attacked and if so, then charges should have been laid

  • I am a female who is disgusted at how Elin Nordegren has seemingly gotten away with a horrific incident of physical violence against her husband, Tiger Woods! I am shocked that she is a free woman……….if it was the other way around and she was attacked by Tiger, he would be in jail right now. The hypocrisy must stop! As a society, we must open our eyes and realize that women are capable of abuse (just as a man) and they must be held accountable!

    Elin Nordegren needs to be arrested and charged with DOMESTIC VIOLENCE stemming from an incident with her husband, Tiger Woods, on November 27, 2009. Evidence and witness statements confirm that Elin Nordegren, upon discovering text messages from Tiger’s mistress (Rachel Uchitel), confronted him and when he denied her claims, she proceeded to ATTACK HIM WITH A 9-IRON, resulting in him requiring plastic surgery for a gash on his face and having TWO TEETH replaced that she knocked out of his mouth with the weapon of her choice (ironically, his golf club). He attempted to flee out of fear and she pursued him, while continuing to attack him with the 9-iron, causing DOCUMENTED DAMAGE to their home hallway and garage. Not to mention that she bashed in the window of his Escalade as she was chasing him while he was trying to flee, possibly resulting in him losing control of his vehicle!!!

    If it was the other way around and Tiger discovered his wife had been unfaithful and took a 9-iron to her face and chased her out of the home, causing her to crash her car, HE WOULD BE IN JAIL RIGHT NOW.

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