What happens when I file an I-130 for a second spouse?
Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States out of our office here in St. Louis, Missouri.
We’ve had a few consults lately with individuals, US citizens, who have filed an I-130 for their second spouse and they had filed one before for their first spouse. They are experiencing some delays in the processing of the for the second spouse.
They want to know, Jim, what can we do? Can we sue? Can we get this case moving? Of course those are options. Those are tools in our toolbox. The option of filing a lawsuit against USCIS.
But I wanted to shoot this video to get to the question of, why are cases involving a second spouse taking so long? I think there’s a variety of reasons for this.
Number one is, if you have filed for a spouse before and now you’re filing for a second spouse, it makes USCIS wonder if you’re in a business of sponsoring foreign nationals for green cards. So they’re going to get suspicious.
I remember a story a while back where a woman in New York had filed 14 green card applications for different people, different alleged spouses.
Now, of course, that was criminal and not the way you’re supposed to do things, but it reminds me that sometimes things slide right past them. So USCIS had actually missed the fact that this woman was a serial filer.
This is not what I’m talking about in this video. What I’m talking about are situations where someone is a US citizen. They marry someone from back home or from overseas.
They file an I-130 for them. That person comes to the United States, gets a green card, maybe even gets their citizenship. Then they get divorced and the US citizen wants to try it again.
They go back home to the home country or back overseas and file a second application for their new spouse.
I think USCIS and the State Department in particular looked harshly at these cases.
They’re really going to wonder why. Now I had a consult the other day with a fellow who his first wife had become a criminal in the United States. She had gotten her citizenship and she was a criminal.
I think that some of that behavior by the foreign national ex spouse blows back on the US citizen and makes it harder to get their second case approved.
I think just generally getting a second, I-130 approved for your spouse is going to be tough. You’re probably going to need help. It’s probably going to be a hard road to hoe.
It’s doable and we’ve seen them approved. But when you have previously sponsored someone, you’re going to be held to a higher standard.
They’re going to want to know everything about you.
They’re going to want to know everything about your relationship with this new spouse. They’re going to want to know whether the second spouse knew about the first spouse or whether this is some kind of a scheme.
Depending on what country you’re from, they might hold you to a higher standard because they view immigration fraud from certain countries, like say Nigeria, a little more harshly than other countries.
So there’s a lot going on here when you want to file for a second spouse. You’re probably going to want to get some help from an immigration lawyer who knows what they’re doing.
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