Do I have to wait for my future wife to be a resident before I can bring her daughter here?


Q: I am looking to marry a woman who is from another country. She currently resides here illegally. Also she has a daughter that resides in her native country. Do I have to wait until her mother (my future wife) is a legal resident before I can bring her here safely? And is it true that it takes 9 months before her mother can reside here legally with me? I am a legal citizen that was born here.

A: You do not have to wait for your wife to receive green card before you file petition for your stepdaughter.  Once you marry her, you can file petition for your stepdaughter right away.  For your wife, unless she entered the US legally, she may not be eligible to adjust her status to permanent resident.  Instead, she may have to return to her own country to apply for immigrant visa.  Then she will be subject to 3 year or 10 year bar depending on how long she has been in the US illegally.