You may be able to help your brother or sister become a lawful permanent resident of the United States by obtaining what is often referred to as a “green card.” To do so, you need to sponsor your relative by filing a petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Eligibility to Sponsor Your Sibling for a Green Card
In order to be eligible to sponsor your brother or sister for a green card, you must meet three requirements:
1. Be a citizen of the United States (Permanent residents are not eligible to sponsor their brothers and sisters for a green card).
2. Be at least 21 years of age; and
3. Have the ability to support your relative financially.
In order to prove your ability to support your relative financially, you must file an affidavit of support before your relative can be issued a family green card. The affidavit of support helps ensure that new immigrants will not need to rely on public benefits such as Food Stamps, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families.
Affidavit of Support Requirements
The law requires you to prove an income level at or above 125% of the federal poverty level. (For active duty military personnel, the income requirement is 100% of the poverty level when sponsoring his/her husband, wife or children.) If your income does not meet the requirement, your assets, such as checking and savings accounts, stocks, bonds, or property, may be considered in determining your financial ability.
You complete an Affidavit of Support by filing Form I-864. If you do not meet the financial qualifications, the income of certain other household members can be added to your income level if they sign a contract on Form I-864A, Affidavit of Support Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member, agreeing to make their income and/or assets available for the support of the relative applying for permanent residence.
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