Green Card for Siblings

Green Card for Siblings United States citizens with siblings (brothers or sisters) born abroad can acquire green cards for them, their spouses, and their children If you are a citizen of the United States and have foreign-born siblings, you can acquire green cards (lawful permanent residence) for them, as well as their spouses and unwed children who are under the age of 21. To be able to sponsor your siblings, you must be at least 21-years old yourself.

United States citizens with siblings (brothers or sisters) born abroad can acquire green cards for them, their spouses, and their children

If you are a citizen of the United States and have foreign-born siblings, you can acquire green cards (lawful permanent residence) for them, as well as their spouses and unwed children who are under the age of 21. To be able to sponsor your siblings, you must be at least 21-years old yourself. Additionally, you must pledge that your sibling and his or her family will not be financially dependent on any need-based government programs. It is mandatory that you be a U.S. citizen- permanent residents cannot legally bring siblings into the country or sponsor them for green cards.

The biggest drawback to this process is the very long wait time. There is a limited number of visas available in this category and the waiting list is extremely long.

Read on for more details about how you, as a United States citizen, can help your brothers and/or sisters come to the U.S. too.

Video — How you must file the Form I-864 Affidavit of Support?

How Long Does It Take to Get a Green Card for Siblings?

Siblings of U.S. citizens are last priority on the preference list of family members- denoted as category F4. Your brother or sister will be put on the waiting list for a visa immediately after you file a visa petition on Form I-130 with USCIS. However, due to the fact that so many people have applied for F4 visas over the years, the wait is exceptionally long- a minimum of 10 years for siblings from most countries. Because of per-country visa limits placed on some countries, applicants from India, Mexico, and the Philippines may have to wait an especially long time — sometimes as much as 25 years. Even then, actually obtaining the immigrant visa and green card may take several more weeks or months after the wait for a visa number is over.

Rules for Pledging Financial Support for Your Sibling

If you decide to bring a sibling to the United States, and you meet all the requirements, you must give proof that your household income is greater than 125% of the U.S. poverty level. By doing so, you are showing that you can provide for your household and provide assistance to your sibling and his or her family. Near the end of the application process, you will need to fill out a Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. This form is basically a contract with the U.S. government and by signing it, you are stating that if your sibling claims any need-based assistance, the government can come to you for repayment of the total amount.

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Green Card Application Process for Sibling of U.S. Citizen

If you want to apply to get a green card for your sibling, the first thing you must do is complete a USCIS Form I-130. To successfully do this, you will need to pay a fee, prove your U.S. citizenship, and prove that you are one another’s siblings. Typically, photocopies of both of your birth certificates showing that you have at least one parent in common will be sufficient. Additionally, if either one of you has changed your name for any reason, you will need a copy of the document showing the reason for that change (i.e. a marriage certificate).

If your father is the parent you have in common, in addition to your birth certificates, you will also need a copy of his marriage certificate to your mother and a copy of his marriage certificate to your sibling’s mother. You must also be able to prove that the first marriage ended legally. For this, you will need a copy of a marriage annulment or death decree, etc. In the event that the parents were never married, you and your sibling must be able to show proof of a legitimate relationship with the father- financially or emotionally- before the age of 21.
Once USCIS has approved the petition for a visa, your brother or sister will receive a “priority date.” This date will be based on the day your petition was first received by USCIS. After this, their long wait begins. If your sibling is planning on bringing children with them, there are two important factors that could hinder that process. Your sibling’s children can accompany them on this visa only if the children are under the age of 21, and unmarried.

You will want to start monitoring the progress of priority dates for the fourth category (F4). This can be done at the State Department’s Visa Bulletin. You’ll know to begin looking for correspondence from the National Visa Center (NVC) when the dates on the family-based visa chart for category F4 start getting close to your sibling’s priority date. If you begin seeing dates on the chart later than that of your sibling’s priority date, you should contact the NVC. Maybe you forgot to update your address or their letters may have become lost.

When your sibling’s priority date becomes current, he or she will most likely do “consular processing”- this process involves communicating with a U.S. consulate in his or her home country where he or she will also attend their visa interview. If everything goes well, your sibling and his or her family will be granted immigrant visas to enter the U.S., becoming permanent residents. They will receive their green cards a few weeks after arriving.

If, by some chance, your sibling is already in the U.S. on a valid visa when their priority date becomes current, he or she would be able to obtain their green card here through an adjustment of status without having to return to their home country to do consular processing. This does not mean, however, that it is a good idea for your sibling to obtain a tourist visa and come to the U.S. right before his or her priority date becomes current. Doing so would actually be a fraudulent use of the tourist visa, and could prompt USCIS to deny the green card.

What Can I Do If My Sibling’s Visa Petition is Denied?

You are allowed to appeal if USCIS denies the petition you filed, and the denial letter you receive will let you know how. Your appeal will be referred to the Board of Immigration Appeals following the processing of the appeal form and necessary fees.

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