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Wilton A. Person
Wilton A. Person, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 4147
Experience:  Knowledgeable and experienced immigration lawyer.
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I am wanting to marry a Brazilian woman who entered the us

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I am wanting to marry a Brazilian woman who entered the us legally but has overstayed her visa. she also has two daughters with her that are 18 and 20.
With the existing immigration laws, you would be eligible to file a I-130 petition for your fiancee that would allow her to obtain a green card but unfortunately you would not be able to petition for her daughters because they both would be over the age of 18 at the time of your marriage. In order for a US citizen to file a petition for a step-child, the marriage creating the step-child/step-parent relationship must be created prior to the child's eighteenth birthday.

However, your wife would be eligible to file for her daughters but they would not be eligible to receive an immediate green card in the United States and would need to receive a green card abroad which currently takes at least 2.5 years in most cases for a lawful permanent resident filing for a child under the age of twenty-one. Once a child is over twenty-one, he or she is no longer considered a child for immigration purposes so the twenty year old will probably not be eligible by the time the immigrant visa becomes available.

The process to file a petition for your fiancee is outlined briefly below:

You would file the I-130/I-485 Packet (Petition for Alien Relative) and your future wife could adjust status in the United States without returning to Brazil. The entire process takes a little over a year and would require that your future wife take a Biometrics exam and that you and your wife be interviewed by a USCIS officer who will determine if she married for the purpose of obtaining permanent resident status. If approved, she would be issued a conditional permanent residence card because she has been married less than two years at the time that you filed the petition.

The I-130/1-485 packet is found at the USCIS website at

You and your future wife should file the following forms with supporting documents:

I-130-your petition
I-485-green card application
I-765 -Work permit application
G-325A-biographic form for both of you
I-864-Affidavit of support

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

All of these forms should be filed before marriage or after?

What happens to the older daughter after she is 21?

Do the new proposed immigration laws make all of this obsolete if enacted or would this still be the best course of action regardless?

Thank You.

The forms should be filed after the marriage. After the older daughter turns twenty-one, your wife would only be eligible to file for your daughter after she is a US citizen but the issue with the older daughter is that unless she were to marry a US citizen, she would not have an option available to obtain a green card in the United States because her overstay is only forgiven based upon a petition by an immediate relative US citizen.

If she leaves the United States, she would be subject to a ten year bar. She is in a precarious situation with respect to obtaining her green card.

The proposed immigration laws would probably not have any effect as to your wife's option but could potentially help both of your step-daughters depending upon whether the Republican House has enough courage to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

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