Can You Receive a 10-Year Green Card if Married Less Than Two Years?

28 Nov, 2023

If you’ve recently married a U.S. citizen and are in the process of applying for a green card, it’s crucial to understand the implications of the timing of your marriage in relation to the issuance of your green card. In this blog post, we’ll explore the rules and considerations surrounding the issuance of 10-year green cards when the marriage has lasted less than two years. We’ll also discuss the potential consequences of receiving the incorrect green card and the steps to rectify the situation.

Understanding the Issue

The basis of the issue lies in the timing of the green card issuance in relation to the duration of the marriage. If you file for a green card and its issue date falls within two years of your marriage, you will be granted a two-year green card instead of a ten-year green card. This rule stems from a law enacted in the early 1990s in response to concerns about marriage fraud, which has since been disproven.

The Two-Year Green Card

Receiving a two-year green card necessitates filing an additional application to prove the authenticity of the marital relationship. This application is aimed at demonstrating that the marriage is genuine and not a sham. It’s important to note that receiving a two-year green card does not signify the end of the immigration process, as further steps are required to obtain the ten-year green card.

Potential Errors and Consequences

In some cases, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may erroneously issue a ten-year green card instead of a two-year green card. It’s crucial to understand that even if the error is on the part of the USCIS, it remains the responsibility of the recipient to rectify the situation. Failing to address such an error can lead to serious consequences, including potential deportation proceedings.

Correcting Green Card Issuance Errors

If you mistakenly receive a ten-year green card when you were supposed to be granted a two-year green card, it is imperative to notify the USCIS of the error. Failing to do so can result in significant legal and administrative challenges. Taking prompt action to resolve such errors is essential to avoid unnecessary complications in the immigration process.

Timing Considerations

If your spouse obtained their immigrant visa through consular processing and the issue date of the green card is approaching the two-year mark from your wedding anniversary, strategic planning of the entry into the United States can ensure the issuance of the ten-year green card. By coordinating the date of entry with the timing of the wedding anniversary, you can avoid the need to navigate the complexities of obtaining a ten-year green card after initially receiving a two-year green card.


Navigating the intricacies of green card issuance in the context of a marriage lasting less than two years requires careful attention to detail and adherence to immigration regulations. Understanding the potential consequences of receiving the incorrect green card and the necessary steps to rectify such errors is essential for a smooth immigration process. By staying informed and proactive, individuals can mitigate the risks of facing challenges related to green card issuance and ensure compliance with immigration requirements. For comprehensive information and resources on the U.S. immigration process, visit our social media platforms for a wealth of educational content and insights.

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