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Sponsoring a Second Spouse

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Can I sponsor a second spouse for a green card? Hi, I'm Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States out of our office here in St. Louis, Missouri.

Had a few consults last week in which the US citizen was trying to sponsor a second spouse. What do I mean by that? Well, this is a situation where someone is a US citizen, they married someone from overseas and obtained a green card for that spouse and ultimately that marriage ended, they got divorced, and the US citizen has now remarried and has a second spouse that they are considering sponsoring for. I thought I'd make this video to talk about this scenario and to share my thoughts with what happens or what special considerations you need to take into account in this situation. Now, I've seen this many different times and it plays out differently.

When I have a consult like this, one of the things that I'm thinking about is, okay, how much time has elapsed between the sponsorship of spouse number one and the sponsorship of spouse number two?

If you got married, got the person their immigration benefit and got divorced relatively quickly and then jumped and married someone else right away, then I think that's going to be a little bit harder to get that case approved. Not to say that the case cannot be approved, but rather that the case is probably going to be subjected to some extra scrutiny.

And USCIS and the state department, they don't like to give out lawful permanent resident status like candy, and if you're bouncing from one spouse to another, I think that's going to make it a whole lot harder. Now, if you let some time elapse, if you let there be a break and if you are not just jumping into another marriage right away, I think that's going to make your case a little bit stronger. Another consideration that we think through in these scenarios is, well, what happened to that first spouse?

Because sometimes the first spouse after the divorce or as part of the divorce goes back home and gives up their green card. I think it's going to be actually easier for you to sponsor a second spouse if your first spouse is no longer here. Now, if your first spouse has already become a citizen or has a 10 year green card, they're going to want to know what's going on and why you are sponsoring someone else, because you've given citizenship to one person and now you want to bring someone else here.

And of course you have the legal right to do that, but they don't really like that. The other thing that I often look at in these scenarios is, well, what were the circumstances of the original divorce? Was it a situation where we could sort of put the blame on the first spouse who got the green card?

Not the US citizen, but is there a way that we can shift sort of responsibility for the marriage falling apart onto that foreign? In other words, to make our current client, the U S citizen look to be the voice of reason. Look for it to be completely understandable as to why they ditch that first spouse, and now want to sponsor a second spouse. I think that at least thinking those things through and maybe sprinkling in a little bit of detail about what happened with the first marriage is beneficial.

So these are the kinds of things that I think about when I'm sitting across the table from someone who tells me they want to sponsor spouse number two or frankly spouse number three, because we've had that happen before. But generally, subsequent marriages are always going to be a little bit tougher. There's probably not anything in the rule book, but I think that just on an emotional level and on an analysis level that USCIS and the state department look at those second marriages a little bit more harshly.

So what that means is you've got to submit more evidence. You've got to put in a stronger case. You've got to sort of explain why it is that you're sponsoring spouse number two. I sure hope you found this video helpful. If you did, be sure to join us in our Facebook group, it's called immigrant home. And if you liked the video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel, follow us on LinkedIn or Facebook or wherever you're finding this.

If you have questions or need help with a marriage-based green card case or any other kinds of immigration case, give us a call at 314-961-8200. You can always email us questions or comments at [email protected]. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.

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