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Stepdaughter wants to immigrate

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My wife came to the US from Vietnam on the IR-1 several years ago and now has a US passport. Her now 16 year daughter would like to move to the US.

The back story.....the girl is not my wife's biological daughter nor has my wife ever reported having a daughter to any US agency.

My wife had a brother who got his girlfriend pregnant and then he died in a motorbike accident. The pregnant girlfriend stayed with my wife's parents until the baby was born in the house. 2 days after the baby was born the mother went for a walk and was never seen again; the baby was abandoned by it's true mother. My wife's parents decided to raise the baby girl and get the birth certificate when the girl was age 5 when she was ready to attained school but they couldn't get a birth certificate issued as the officials said they were too old to be the girls parents and need the girls mother. They asked about adoption but again were told they need the mother to sign something. They said the mother was dead but without a death certificate.....etc.etc......ahhh Vietnam bureaucracy. Birth certificate issues are common in Vietnam.....some people never have a birth certificate. So they asked my wife to claim to be the girls mother to get a birth certificate issued; the certificate lists no father. I guess she would be the wife's adopted daughter.

4 years later the wife and I met and we get married and file for her IR-1. I start supporting my in-laws and my "niece-stepdaughter" who live in our house in Vietnam. At the time I had no idea the girl was my wife's daughter on paper so she was never included on any of the wife's paperwork during the immigration process. My wife didn't even think of it as her niece never had any intention of leaving Vietnam.

When my step daughter was 11 years old the wife and I started sending her to an international school in HCMC and she has excelled amazingly. She now speaks fluent english and she has asked the wife and I if she could immigrate and move in with us in the US, she wants to complete high school and go to college in the US. The wife and I are delighted with the idea and will support her financially with her studies and my wife's parents have also giving their blessing. I've considered her my daughter for sometime anyhow.

To me it seems it would just be a straightforward IR visa case by either myself or my wife but my wife never listed any children when she came to the US.

Would this be a problem? If this is a problem I suppose I could just legally adopt her and file the application.

Currently she is visiting the wife and I in the US on a tourist visa while she's on summer school break so we're also debating about doing an AOS and have her stay now but I don't know if her never being listed as my wife's daughter on my wife's US immigration or citizenship applications will be a problem.

My step daughter didn't come to the US on a tourist visa with intention to immigrant; 2 months into her visit she said she wanted to stay and the wife and I which we started talking seriously about it. In fact my step daughter has visited the US every summer for the last 6 years so save your breath on tourist visa fraud comments.

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Yes this will be a problem.

You are kind of stuck with two different problems actually-

first, your wife did not list a child on her own visa forms, when she is listed on a official birth cert as the child's mother.

Second, the child is not her biological child, yet not legally adopted.

Due to the first issue, it is very likely a DNA test would be ordered, and as the "daughter" is not the biological child, nor adopted properly, she cannot get a visa. You can certainly adopt her now, but adoption after age 16 does not count for immigration purposes. Your best option may be to get her an F1 student visa and hope it will lead to a work visa later.


Bye: Penguin

Me: Irish/ Swiss citizen, and now naturalised US citizen. Husband: USC; twin babies born Feb 08 in Ireland and a daughter in Feb 2010 in Arkansas who are all joint Irish/ USC. Did DCF (IR1) in 6 weeks via the Dublin, Ireland embassy and now living in Arkansas.

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Completely agree with Penguin. I have a feeling that USCIS would wonder where this daughter came from all of a sudden. As mentioned, she's too old to adopt for immigration so an AOS is out of the question. Trying for an f1 is an option but she must prove her ties to Vietnam and that she intends to return after her education has been completed. What happens while she's in America (meets someone, falls in love, or perhaps a job offer on an h1b etc) is something to deal with at a later time.

However, if she comes on an f1 her education would be needed to be funded privately which to finish high school would likely be $15-20k annually.

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Yeah I know it's a mess. I'm debating filing the AOS and see what comes back. The worst that can happen is a denial and she leaves until we file for a student visa when she is college bound. I wanted to adopt her but I couldn't until last year. After Brad-Jolina adopted a Vietnamese baby the Vietnamese government accused Americans of baby stealing and blocked adoption to US nationals.

Can a 16 year get a student visa for attending private school?

All 6 tourist visas for the last 6 years my step daughter put my wife down as her mother and her reason for visiting as to see her mother, stepfather and half siblings. All documentation from Vietnam my wife is her mother. When my brother and his wife adopted a 6 month old baby they received an amended birth certificate that had their names as the birth parents with nothing to indicate the certificate was amended. By my understanding my wife is her mother by adoption or birth as long as she has the certificate. I don't think biological child matters if you're not filling for a CRBA. Am I wrong?

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Not certain how to answer the last but but something to think about: if you file an aos for her that fails, she will have to disclose this on any future f1 application which could make things greatly difficult.

I still believe that the fact that she was not listed on your wife's documents would make her ineligible. USCIS doesn't tend to overlook ignorance in these matters.

Edited by Transborderwife

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Legal advice e is needed, a fraudulent application to adjust status could seriously complicate matters.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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Yeah I know it's a mess. I'm debating filing the AOS and see what comes back. The worst that can happen is a denial and she leaves until we file for a student visa when she is college bound. I wanted to adopt her but I couldn't until last year. After Brad-Jolina adopted a Vietnamese baby the Vietnamese government accused Americans of baby stealing and blocked adoption to US nationals.

Can a 16 year get a student visa for attending private school?

All 6 tourist visas for the last 6 years my step daughter put my wife down as her mother and her reason for visiting as to see her mother, stepfather and half siblings. All documentation from Vietnam my wife is her mother. When my brother and his wife adopted a 6 month old baby they received an amended birth certificate that had their names as the birth parents with nothing to indicate the certificate was amended. By my understanding my wife is her mother by adoption or birth as long as she has the certificate. I don't think biological child matters if you're not filling for a CRBA. Am I wrong?

That is not the worst that can happen, if you guys file, and DNA is done and shows that she is NOT your wife's bio child both your wife and the girl are found guilty of misrepresentation. The girl would be banned for life ( no F1 no B2 again ) and your wife could end up with no green card and deported.


This will not be over quickly. You will not enjoy this.

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Exactly


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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Completely agree with Penguin. I have a feeling that USCIS would wonder where this daughter came from all of a sudden. As mentioned, she's too old to adopt for immigration so an AOS is out of the question. Trying for an f1 is an option but she must prove her ties to Vietnam and that she intends to return after her education has been completed. What happens while she's in America (meets someone, falls in love, or perhaps a job offer on an h1b etc) is something to deal with at a later time.

However, if she comes on an f1 her education would be needed to be funded privately which to finish high school would likely be $15-20k annually.

F1, that's what I thought. I called the local catholic school. They admitted on the phone "we would love an asian student to attend, we don't have any". Kinda weird, anyway on Friday they said they could help with the F1 as it's an SEVP school and her school in Vietnam will be sending her transcripts over on Monday and we have a meeting and tour of the school Monday. After a review of her transcripts and an interview they said they would decide if they would invite her to attend.

The school would apply for the I-20 and I would apply for the I-539 and she can get an F-1 without leaving the country. They believed see could be approved before the school year stated.

The cost is $14,000 a year but they have a $3,000 a year discount if you pay in full before the start of the school year and she would receive another $2,000 discount for being an exchange student. So $9,000 a year wouldn't kill me.

Also the local public high school is an SEVP school. She can enroll there for 12 months and I'd only have to reimburse the school it's per student cost for the year which is only $2,100. She's got 2 years of high school left, maybe we'd do one year private school and one year public school.

I was hoping for an AOS but it seams the F1 is the way to go.

If see is studying on an F1 and tried and AOS based on being the child of a USC what happens to the F1 if denied?

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That is not the worst that can happen, if you guys file, and DNA is done and shows that she is NOT your wife's bio child both your wife and the girl are found guilty of misrepresentation. The girl would be banned for life ( no F1 no B2 again ) and your wife could end up with no green card and deported.

OP consider this post VERY carefully. A DNA test would likely be ordered seeing as your wife never claimed to have any children previously Edited by Transborderwife

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State student cost per year in Colorado is nearer 10k

PS you can not get a visa in the US, you can in some circumstances chnage status or seek to do so.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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That is not the worst that can happen, if you guys file, and DNA is done and shows that she is NOT your wife's bio child both your wife and the girl are found guilty of misrepresentation. The girl would be banned for life ( no F1 no B2 again ) and your wife could end up with no green card and deported.

You adopt a child. Your name then goes on the amended birth certificate, not the biological parent. In every court on earth it is your child, biology has nothing to do with it. Like I said my nephew in the US was adopted and his birth certificate has my brothers name and his wife's name in the space of mother and father, biological parents are not mentioned nor do they even know who they are. The only thing that looks strange is the certificate was issued 6 months after the birth. The only record that even indicates the child was from an adoption is on file at the county clerk's office.

You're confusing the certificate of live birth issued by the hospital with the birth certificate issued by a government office. We are not talking about a CRBA.

My wife is a USC and has been for 4 years. I fail to see how my wife could be charged with fraud and deportation based on an application for another individual. See's not misrepresenting her own status.

Anyway we'll probably just do the F1

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State student cost per year in Colorado is nearer 10k

PS you can not get a visa in the US, you can in some circumstances chnage status or seek to do so.

Not true. The school and the USCIS web site states a B2 visa holder can apply for an F1 when they are accepted by a school while in the US on a valid B2.

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How much time does she have left on her visa? I believe that she needs to have at least 60 days left to change status. As well, she needs to show why she should study in the USA and not at home in Vietnam. One could argue a better education. The one thing that I'm unsure of is overcoming her ties to the USA showing that she'd return home especially seeing as she has a parent and step parent here.

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