How do I bring my family to the US, including my stepson? 1 Answers as of July 06, 2011I am very confused and I hope you can help me. I am a naturalized US Citizen. I married my wife, a Mexican Citizen, back in Mexico in December of 2002. I brought her illegally to the US, along with her stepson in January of 2003; I was only a resident back then. Since then, we have lived in California, and we had 2 daughters. However, due to family tragedies, she had to go back to Mexico, along with my stepson and my two daughters. My stepson will turn 17 in September of this year, 2011, so I want to take the opportunity to legalize my wife and him. He's a great student, with above average grades, and I want him to finish high school and go to college here in California, since I know he'll have a great future. Ever since he moved to Mexico in September of 2010, he hasn’t been able to get into any public high school, therefore, not continuing with his education. Also my youngest daughter, a US citizen, would be starting pre-school, I want her to attend a school here in California, but she wont leave her mother's side. Therefore, I need my whole family here, together, and not broken apart. So if you could please guide me. What are the steps I need to take to bring them back LEGALLY? How long would it take? I'm planning on visiting them in 2 weeks, and go see the American Embassy, would they help me with my case? Or would all the paperwork be done here in the US?
World Esquire Law Firm | Aime Katambwe
It is very possible to bring your whole family back to the US but you really need to get a good lawyer as soon as possible to plan out how you would go about doing this. The fact that your family was here "illegally" and went back puts you in a tough position, but a position that can be corrected. Under the law, if you come to the US without authorization and remain for more than a year, you may be barred from coming back for 10 years. This would not be applicable to your stepson if he can be immigrated to the US before he turns 18. This is because minors cannot accrue unlawful presence. The question for your wife would be whether the Consular Officer will find her inadmissible under INA 212 (a)(2)(B) or 212 (a)(2)(C). You would want the former if anything at all and not the latter. This sounds like a case a waiver should be able to remedy. I do not want you to do anything before getting an attorney to hear your whole story and map out a scenario for you. In terms of helping you getting your family here, the US Consulate or USCIS are not on your side initially. You have to help them see things your way. Their job is to keep foreigners away from the US for the most part. You should be alright though. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: California