Can I Divorce, Remarry, and Request Residency for My Future Spouse?


What if you gain permanent residence through marriage but decide to divorce and now want to remarry and want to file residency for someone else? Is it a fraud?

Attorney Jeff Peeks answers this question and talks about a specific immigration law provision about this situation and the penalties that can occur if a marriage is fraudulent.

First and foremost, it’s important to note that immigration and the federal government take immigration marriage fraud seriously. It is punishable by a federal felony. You can get time in prison, a hefty fine, and deportation.

Every immigration case is different, but I’ve seen on more than one occasion and where we have a client who received their permanent residency through marriage of a U.S. citizen. After a few years, they want to get a divorce and get remarried and file for their new spouse. It might sound fishy, but first, we have to ask, is it even possible to do that?

There is a specific provision in immigration law which specifically points this out. It says if you are a permanent resident holder and received your residency through marriage, but then you divorce the previous U.S. citizen or resident, and then turn around and want to file for somebody else? Well, that provision states that you cannot do that unless you’ve had your LPR card, residency, for more than five years.

Now, if you cannot wait for those five years, there’s another option where you can show by clear and convincing evidence that the previous marriage was not under the purpose of evading immigration laws.

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