Green Cards Through Family

Do you have a brother or sister who lives in a different country? If so, did you know that you can help them immigrate using basically the same process as is used for helping parents or children immigrate? It’s true!

Citizens of the United States can help get a green card for a sibling to the U.S. right now. However, if you’re a permanent resident of the U.S., you’ll have to go through the naturalization process (to become a U.S. citizen) before you sponsor a sibling.

Who Can I Sponsor?

  • U.S. citizens can sponsor siblings of any age whether they are adopted or not.
  • Remember that during the application process, you’ll need to prove your relationship to your sibling. This can be shown using birth certificates or adoption papers.

Which Forms Are Needed?

  • In order to get the immigration process started, you will need to sponsor your sibling for immigration to the United States.
  • You can sponsor a relative by filing an immigration petition on their behalf. For family-based immigration cases, the form used is Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. You will need to include copies of the documents that show your relationship to your sibling in this application.
  • The second most important form needed in this process is Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This form needs to be filed by your relative when they get approval from the government.

What is the Process for a Getting a Green Card for a Sibling?

The process can be described using the following steps for helping a relative immigrate to the United States:

  1. The sponsor files an immigration petition for the immigrating family member
  2. The petition is approved and a priority date is assigned
  3. A visa number is available when the priority date surpasses the date in the visa bulletin
  4. Once a visa number is available, the immigrant can apply for an immigration visa
  5. Then the immigrating relative applies for a green card with Form I-485

A brief note on wait times. Because siblings are assigned a low priority in the United States’ immigration system, the wait times can become very lengthy. In order to make sure that the process doesn’t take that much time, it is a good idea to apply for an immigration petition earlier than later.