As a citizen of the U.S., you may help your brothers and sisters become lawful permanent residents of the United States by obtaining what is often referred to as a “green card.” To do so, you need to sponsor your siblings and be able to prove that you have enough income or assets to support them when they immigrate to the United States.
Our immigration lawyer can assist with all stages of the family immigration process. Please request a consultation to begin the family immigration process today.
Below are a few questions we are frequently asked about the sibling immigration process and our responses. Keep in mind, each case is unique, and we encourage you to retain an immigration attorney to represent your family in the immigration process.
Am I eligible to apply for a green card for my brother or sister?
In order to bring your sibling (brother or sister) to live in the United States as a permanent resident (green card holder), you must be a United States citizen and over 21 years of age. Permanent residents may not bring siblings to live permanently in the United States. You must also live in the United States or have evidence that you will relocate permanently to the United States at the same time your sibling is admitted.
What do I need to do to get a family green card for my brother or sister?
You begin the process by filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative with USCIS.
What documents do I need to file a petition?
1. Proof of your US citizenship;
2. A completed Form I 130;
3. Your birth certificate; and
4. The birth certificate of your brother or sister
Does sponsoring my relative for a green card require any financial commitment?
Yes. 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. If a person for whom you file an affidavit of support becomes a permanent resident and is later given certain public benefits, the agency that gave the benefits can require that you repay that money. If you do not earn enough income, you will need a co-sponsor to join your case.
How long will the family green card application process take?
Only 65,000 visas may be issued to brothers and sisters of US citizens per year. Because of the numerical cap, there are long waiting periods to obtain a visa in this family immigration category.
Your brother or sister’s place in line will be based on the date you file your petition. Therefore, you should as soon as possible. Your sibling is not allowed to wait for a visa in the United States unless he or she is in lawful status such as a temporary worker visa or student visa.
When your relative reaches the “front of the line,” the U.S. Department of State contacts your relative and invites him or her to apply for an immigrant visa.