If you received your U.S. permanent residence courtesy your ex-spouse and then, before the fifth anniversary of your Green Card, file a petition for your new spouse to reside in the U.S., be prepared to give compelling evidence to USCIS justifying why your petition for your new spouse should not be denied.
Forget having to respond to a "Request for Evidence" ("RFE"), USCIS will likely skip over that entirely and hit you right out of the gate with a "Notice of Intent to Deny" ("NOID"). You’ll submit more evidence, but you’ll likely still receive an outright denial decision. After that, you may have to file a Motion for Reconsideration with USCIS on an I-290B, then an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA"). If you didn’t prevail there, you may have to seek relief in U.S. Federal Court.
Yes, it's not pretty. The problem is that U.S. law, specifically INA 204(a)(2)(A), requires you to not just submit evidence of a bona fide current marriage, but "clear and convincing evidence that the prior marriage was not entered into for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws."
Many law firms counsel people to just wait the five years, but that's not always possible. Five years is a long time, and for lovebirds who are anxious to wed, an eternity. Waiting five years can mean that your new spouse has to sacrifice a lucrative job in the U.S. and return home, destroying a budding career path that took years to cultivate.
While your application will be a difficult process, it's not an impossible venture. There are going to be many layers of spirited submissions to present in your quest for an approval. The earlier that you involve a lawyer, the greater your chance will be of receiving an approval without having to escalate your fight to the next stage.
Photo by Álvaro CvG on Unsplash