Received Green Card Through Prior Marriage…Can I Get a Green Card For My New Spouse

Received Green Card Through Prior Marriage Can I Get a Green Card For My New Spouse

If you were previously married and received a green card from that spouse, however, that marriage didn’t work out. It is understandable to wonder if you remarry. Can you get a green card for your new spouse? The short answer to this question is yes. However, there are specific steps you must follow, and our immigration law firm will explain how you can obtain a green card for your new spouse.

USCIS Rule: How to get a green card for your new spouse

First, it may seem suspicious to USCIS that you married a resident green card holder or U.S. Citizen and presented to USCIS that you and your previous spouse had a bona fide marriage or a marriage of good faith. Then, for whatever reason, that marriage did not work out, and now you want to marry someone else. Because of the risk of fraudulent marriages to receive a green card, USCIS has a rule in place that you must either:

  1. Wait 5 years from the date that you originally received your green card.
  2. Or you became a U.S. Citizen within that 5 years.

If you do not wait 5 years, USCIS will typically not approve your I-485 for your new spouse unless you can prove that it was a bona fide marriage or unless your prior spouse died. Also, if you decide not to wait 5 years, proving that your previous marriage was a bona fide marriage or a marriage of good faith can be extremely challenging.

If you need additional guidance in obtaining your green card or have questions about how to get your green card for your new spouse, our immigration law firm in New Jersey can help you. We work with clients locally, nationwide, and internationally.

Steps on how to get a green card for your new spouse

If you have waited 5 years since the date that you received your green card from your previous spouse, become a U.S. Citizen, or this is your first marriage. Here is the process for getting a green card for your spouse.

File Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative and Form I-485 concurrent filing. These forms establishes your relationship with your spouse and shows that you are eligible to sponsor them for a green card.

If not filed concurrently, then once your Form I-130 is approved, your spouse can apply for a green card if they have a visa and are already in the United States. If they are outside the United States, they must apply for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country.

  1. To apply for a green card in the United States, your spouse will file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status. They must also submit; 
    1. Filling fees
    2. Supporting documentation
    3. Medical exam
    4. Complete your biometrics appointment.

Once your spouse’s Form I-485 is approved, they will be scheduled for a green card interview. This interview is an opportunity for USCIS to verify that your marriage is bona fide and that you meet all other eligibility requirements for a green card.

If your spouse’s green card interview is successful, they will be issued a green card. Their green card will allow them to live and work permanently in the United States.

Steps on how to get a green card for your new spouse if you have been married for less than two years 

If you and your spouse have been married for less than two years when you file Form I-485, your spouse will receive a conditional green card. A conditional green card is valid for two years.

This article explains the differences between two-year and ten-year green cards.

File Form I-751 to remove the conditions on their green card. You and your spouse must file a joint petition with USCIS within 90 days before the conditional green card expires.

How long will it take for my new spouse to receive their green card?

The processing time for marriage-based green card applications can vary depending on several factors, such as where the case is being processed.  However, you can check the USCIS website for current processing times.

It is important to note that there are some additional requirements for marriage-based green cards, such as income requirements and criminal history checks.

Because of the complexity of obtaining a green card, it is highly recommended that you consult with an experienced immigration attorney to discuss your specific situation and to help you with the green card application process.

We can help with your immigration case.

If you have any additional questions about immigration or are looking for immigration services, don’t hesitate to contact the Odunlami Law Firm at 973-993-1900 or

Areas of Immigration Law:

  • Naturalization (Citizenship) Application
  • Immigrant Relative Petitions
  • Fiancé Visa Applications
  • Adjustment of Status and Consular Processing
  • Criminal Consequences and Deportation Defense
  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Application
  • Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
  • Green Card Renewals
  • Temporary Work Visas
  • Temporary Protected Status
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
  • Waivers

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