Due to the ever-growing economic crisis in Brazil, living in the United States is becoming an option for a portion of Brazilians. However, it is important to follow all the legal procedures to obtain a permanent residence permit in the country and not to choose disastrous shortcuts.
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Daniel Toledo, an attorney practicing international law and partner at LeeToledo PLLC, reports on the case of a Brazilian family who was denied entry to the United States and had their tourist visas revoked. “They spent 14 hours inside the airport, continuous controls, lots of people asking questions and enormous pressure. They received some documents and were forced to return to Brazil without even understanding what was happening”, he reveals.
The family arrived in Boston, Massachusetts on April 17. Exiting the plane, they passed the first immigration agent and had no problems. But the situation is different at the second stop. “The Brazilians announced that they would be staying in the country for 22 days, booking a hotel and a car for that period. However, the family’s real intention was to live in the United States after this initial period, rather than return to Brazil on the planned date,” reports Toledo.
Information on reasons for denial of entry can be found in the Brazilian Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). According to the document, the family maintains a WhatsApp group in which several Brazilians living in Boston report information related to living illegally in the United States. Tips ranged from shopping at the supermarket to enrolling children in government schools. All this is documented along with sources and prints of the group in question.
Families who have been on tourist visas for years and have visited the United States on other occasions have been deported, have their visas revoked, and are unable to reapply for the next five years.
For an expert in international law, trying to stay in the U.S. illegally is a no-brainer considering the risks these immigrants may face. “Agents know everything very well. There is no point in getting a tourist visa and hoping to stay in a North American country for more than 6 months. There are people who can, of course. But in general, this is a vast minority. “Most immigrants who try this approach are deported and never have a chance to enter the country,” he reports.
Toledo believes the best alternative is to create a robust immigration program that allows for permanent resident visas in the country. “Talk to an immigration attorney. “This is the best way to get a green card and permanent residency in the United States,” he concludes.
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