Hello, my name is ***** ***** I will be the immigration attorney helping you today.
The answer that the previous attorney gave you is accurate.
Your brother's wife can act like a substitute sponsor if the petition was approved before her brother died and it sounds like it was. However, unless the application was filed before April 2001, then when her visa number is ***** she would still have to depart the US in order to receive her green card. Once she departs, it will be difficult to return because she will be subject to the 10 year penalty from returning to the US.
Another option she has is that if she suffering from any severe medical conditions and receiving medical care, she can apply for deferred action humanitarian at her local USCIS office. They will decide whether to approve it or not but if it is approved, she will receive a work permit good for one-two years and then she can renew it.
Good luck to you during this process and I hope this answer has helped you!
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