What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? VIRGINIA
I am a US citizen and recently received the legal custody of my 16 year-old French niece. The situation that led to this is complicated but the fact is that I have her legal custody in Fairfax County, VA.
She entered the US 3 months ago on a visa waiver program and we went to the immigration office this morning to find out what we need to do since her 90 days authorized stay ended 2 days ago. I am very alarmed as the officer said that she has to leave the US and I have to seek attorney advice.
She started as a high-school junior and is getting straight As. A student visa (F-1) will not work as I will have to pay $20K year tuition (even though she goes to a public school in a state where I pay taxes...)
She just turned 16 so legal adoption will not help either (only under 16 can be adopted and then sponsored by US citizen).
Right now, she is considered ILLEGAL even though she lives with me. I have researched this quite a bit and realize that the problem is not a family law matter but an immigration matter which is why I am posting here.
If she stays illegally, then she will be banned from re-entering the US when she travels abroad. What should I do to allow her to finish her studies in the US yet still allow her to visit her family in France?