USA and the UK
- What is the U.S Sibling Green Card?
- What Benefits Are There to Getting a Sibling Green Card?
- What are the Downsides of Applying for a Sibling Green Card?
- Who Can Apply for a Sibling Green Card?
- How Do I Apply for a Green Card for Siblings?
- What Documents Do I Need to Apply for a Family Based Green Card for My Brother or Sister?
- How Much Does a Sibling Green Card Cost?
- How Can IAS Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is the U.S Sibling Green Card?
With a The Sibling Green Card, a U.S citizen has the opportunity to sponsor their brother or sister who is a foreign national to register permanent residence in the United States. The Sibling Green Card also allows their spouse and unmarried children under 21 to join them in becoming permanent residents in the U.S too.
Step-siblings are eligible so long as you can prove that your shared parents were married before you were 18 and are still married.
If your sibling was adopted, they must have been adopted before both of you were 16 years old.
Please note that the application process and necessary supporting documents are more complicated when applying for non-biological siblings, and it is recommended that you use a professional immigration attorney to support you with the application process.
What Benefits Are There to Getting a Sibling Green Card?
Besides the exciting prospect of having your relative joining you in the U.S, there are multiple benefits to petitioning for a Sibling Green Card. These include:
- Your foreign-born sibling can have their spouse and children join them as part of the Green Card, if applicable
- After five years (or three years if they marry a U.S citizen), your sibling should be eligible for citizenship
- Your sibling can work, live and travel anywhere in the U.S freely, without having to apply for visas and working permits
- They are safe from deportation
- They will be protected by U.S laws
- Travelling in and out of the U.S is easier with a Green Card than with visas.
What are the Downsides of Applying for a Sibling Green Card?
It must be noted that there is a limit to how many family-based Green Cards are issued each fiscal year in the U.S. Applications can be very high, and so it can take several years, perhaps decades, to have brothers and sisters approved for a Green Card.
Unfortunately, of all the family sponsorship-based Green Cards issued, the Sibling Green Card is a family fourth in family preference category, meaning it is the lowest priority family-based green card.
Due to the lengthy consular processing times for Sibling Green Cards, it might be better for your sibling to try another route to permanent residence status in the U.S if they are eligible for other criteria.
Who Can Apply for a Sibling Green Card?
To apply for a Sibling Green Card, the U.S citizen sibling petitioner must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- You are a U.S Citizen and can prove this with one or more of the following documents:
- You are 21 years old or above
- You can prove that you share at least one common parent with your sibling
- You can prove that your sibling and any dependents will be financially supported in the U.S and will not require need-based government financial assistance.
How Do I Apply for a Green Card for Siblings?
The application process is slightly different depending on whether your sibling is already in the U.S or if they are in a foreign country.
If your sibling lives in the U.S, they must keep their immigrant visa or nonimmigrant visa status and not partake in any unlawful activity during the waiting period.
If your sibling lives abroad, the same process applies as above, except that you must also include a petition for the USCIS to contact the US Consulate in the country that your sibling currently resides.
You will be required to gather several important documents, outlined below, in order to complete the application process, which differ depending on your personal circumstances and your sibling’s situation.
Once you have submitted your application, you can expect to wait at least a year for a response from USCIS. Because the Siblings Green Card has a long wait-time for approval, it is vital that your application is completed accurately so that you are not refused due to amendable errors. IAS can help you with the immigration process and your application. Contact us online or call us on +844 290 6312 for expert legal advice today.
The following documents are required to apply for your sibling visa petition to become a legal permanent resident in the U.S.
Documents required from the Sponsor
- Proof that you are a U.S citizen, which can be presented in the form of:
- A valid U.S passport
- A U.S birth certificate or Consular Report of Birth Abroad
- A Naturalization Certificate, or
- A Certificate of Citizenship.
- A completed I-130 Petition for Alien Relative
- A Completed I-485 Application to Register Permanent Resident, which involves having to provide biometric data
- A completed Form I-864 Affidavit of Support. This document is submitted as proof that you can financially support your sibling and that they will not become reliant on government assistance.
Documents required for Biological Sibling Relationship
For siblings with the same birth parents, the following applies:
- Copies of both the U.S citizen and the sibling’s birth certificate, proving that you have at least one parent in common
- Proof of any legal name change if you don’t share the same surnames. Proof can be in the form of a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or a court judgement.
Documents required for Step-siblings
- Proof that prior marriages of the shared parent were legally terminated
- A marriage certificate to show the marriage of the natural parent to step-parent
- If your common biological parent is your father and you have different mothers, then you will require the marriage certificate of your father to both of your mothers, and any other evidence proving the termination of previous marriages of both father and mothers.
Documents required for Siblings Through Adoption
If your are related to your sibling through adoption, you will be required to submit a copy of the adoption decree proving that the adoptee was adopted before they turned 16.
How Much Does a Sibling Green Card Cost?
The full process will cost the applicant around $1760, based on the filing costs of each form:
- Form I-130 – $535
- Form I-485 – around $1140, depending on your circumstances, plus $85 biometric fee
- Form I-864 – $120 if your sibling lives abroad, and no fee payment if your sibling lives in the U.S.
Please note the cost of immigration services is subject to change, and additional costs may be involved, such as needing to translate birth and marriage certificates.
226,000 family members-based Green Cards are issued each fiscal year in the U.S, and USCIS approves 65,000 Sibling Green Cards within this number. Family member Green Cards are highly sought after by U.S citizens, which creates an extremely long waiting list for consular processing. Realistically, it is likely to take several years before your sibling is approved for a permanent resident card.
This might be very disappointing for many who wish to reunite with their siblings living abroad, or for siblings who struggle to gain a Green Card through their own means living in the U.S. IAS can help.
We are a team of expert immigration attorneys who understand the latest regulations regarding family member Green Cards, and can offer the best advice on how to help your sibling become a lawful permanent resident in the United States.
We can also help you with the entire application process, so that you can be sure that your family relationship application is approval-ready and will not be rejected after many years of waiting for a decision.
Contact us online or call us on +1 844 290 6312 to talk with an experienced immigration attorney today.
Last modified on June 26th, 2023 at 11:44 am
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No, in order for the U.S citizen to petition for your sibling to join you in the U.S, you must be an official U.S citizen with a Naturalization Certificate, or Certificate of Citizenship.
If you are a Green Card holder and want to find out how and when you can apply for citizenship, you can find out all the information here.
So long as they have a valid immigrant visa application, that includes working rights, and they keep their visa updated, then there shouldn’t be any issues with your sibling being allowed to work in the U.S.
If they commit a crime or are caught working illegally, then they may be subject to deportation, therefore it is important that they follow all legal procedures and do not break any immigration laws.
For sibling Green Cards, the annual cap is 65,000 issued each year. Within this number, no immigrant visa number or foreign nation can represent more than 7% of that 65,000.
Applicants who are nationals of China, India, Mexico or the Philippines tend to experience the longest wait times due to the high volumes of applicants.
Overall, you should expect to wait several years for your application to be approved – perhaps even decades. Therefore this route is not a quick solution if you want to help your sibling gain permanent residency in the U.S.