I am being transferred to the USA in 30 days. My daugthers and I are US citizens but my wife is not. What is the best course of action so that we are not separated?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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I am being transferred to the USA in 30 days. My daugthers and I are US citizens but my wife is not. What is the best course of action so that we are not separated?

My wife and I have been married since 2007 and we live in Brazil. She got a green card in 2009 but we only stayed for 6 months so she returned the green card as instructed. We have two daughters ages 3 8 and both are US citizens. Now I am about to be transferred to the USA via my company and we do not want our family to be separated. Can she enter on her tourist visa and then do the green card process in the USA? Or does she have to do the green card visa process in Brazil?

Asked on May 17, 2017 under Immigration Law, Florida


SB Member California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

She can try to enter the US as a visitor but it is possible that she would not be permitted to enter because of the immigrant intent.  It is not possible to enter the US as a visitor if one's intent is to immigrate and the port of entry officer would presume that intent based on the fact that the daughters and  husband are US citizens and that she had previously had a green card.  However, if you petition for her, it should only take about 9-12 months and it is possible for her to then enter as a visitor if she can document and demonstrate that she intends to consular process for the immigrant visa in Brazil once the petition is approved.  Please let me know if you have any additional questions or how I can be of further assistance to you in this matter.

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