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My husband and I are permanent residents. We want to bring my husband's cousin who is 12 to live with us. How we can do that?

West Jordan, UT |

is there a high school exchange program she can qualify for - but i guess it may cost a lot. or can we adopt her in her country, and bring her on non-immigrant visa, and somehow change her status of visa?

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Attorney answers 3


Need to adopt her first, in accordance of the child's adoption laws, by that time hopefully at least one of you will become a US citizen.

Behar Intl. Counsel 619.234.5962 Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.


Hire an immigration attorney. In essence, you have to legally adopt your relative and do that before the relative turns 16. Given the fact that adoption would require many steps including two years of residing with you, the time is running out on you.

NYC EXPERIENCED IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS; email:; Phone: (866) 456-­8654; Fax: 212-964-0440; Cell: 212-202-0325. The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.


This is more complex than your question indicates. First, you must be a US citizen in order to confer benefits on an adoptive child. Second, she must be adopted before the age of 16. Finally, she needs to be in your legal and physical custody for 2 years before she can receive any immigration benefits through you and your husband. See below.

(213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration experience. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.

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