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Hi I was wondering about marrying a Brasilian that has a child from a previous relationship. I am American, she is Brasilian and her child is Brasilian with Brasilian father? Will the immigration process be really difficult. What kind of agreements or visitation arrangements will we have to make in Brasil for her father? I know you can't really comment too much on a legal matter like this, but was wondering if you might know someone has gone through this or can tell me what resources we need to seek out in Brasil and in the U.S.

Answer
Any Brazilian child needs written permission of both parents (a form from the juizado dos menores, which you can probably get a copy of at a BRazilian Consulate in the US) to even travel out of the country.
Here is some info on that:
http://www.tjsp.jus.br/Download/CoordenadoriaInfanciaJuventude/pdf/AutorizacaoVi
(Better get used to reading and communicating in Portuguese sooner rather than later, if you don't already.)

So let's look at some of the worst case scenarios, vis-a-vis the Brazilian side/law, so you can be prepared.
IMO the main problem is if the child's father will be cooperative. I have heard of some fathers who have tried to obstruct the process and have been more or less aided by Brazilian law. I have heard of cases where the father wanted to make money (be bribed) for letting the kid go to the US.
Does the mother have sole custody of the child? What is the nature of her divorce paperwork? Better for you to get a copy and have it translated so you know what you are up against. I have also heard about cases where the woman was either not up front or ignorant of the legal repercussions of her own divorce settlement, or chose to lie outright about them. The divorce agreement probably already has some arrangements for visitation.

You might want to go on the forum of the expat site www.gringoes.com to get (alongside some "flame" probably) some other experiences/opinions.

As far as US law, you would probably apply for a fiancee visa for your GF (easier than trying to get married in Brazil first, because of the number of documents and translations, etc needed, and applying for a spouse visa, and takes about the same amount of time--about 7 months from submitting the forms to the interview). You can do the paperwork yourself, with careful attention to detail and supporting documents, or hire a US lawyer specializing in immigration. When you apply for her, you include the child's info on the form in the indicated place. They will both need a medical exam eventually and will go (probably to Rio) to the US Consulate for an interview before being alowed to travel to the US.

Hope this helps a bit. Best of luck.

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Sandra

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Drawing on my personal travel experience in Brazil (more than a decade's worth), as well as time spent living in Brazil (especially Salvador, Bahia) and knowledge of the Brazilian community in the U.S., I can help with most questions concerning travel, specific destinations, paperwork for moving, marriage or business, and more. I enjoy helping people get the most from their stay in Brazil. I'd be happy to hear from you.

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I have spent considerable time in Brazil, living and travelling, over more than a decade. I have travelled widely throughout much of Brazil, sometimes solo and sometimes with Brazilian friends and relatives, and am familiar with many destinations. I have done translation and interpretation, and also have taught ESL.

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I write for a number of travel forums, blogs and publications concerning Brazil.

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BA, technical certificates

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