Sponsoring Siblings

How To Get A Green Card For Siblings

Having a sibling is one of life’s greatest gifts. Unfortunately, it can be challenging for many families separated by international borders to keep siblings together due to immigration laws and regulations. If you are looking for ways to reunite with your brother or sister in the United States, sponsoring them through the green card process may be an option.

In this article, we will discuss how you can get a green card for your sibling so that they can join you in the US and what steps need to be taken to reunite with your loved ones.

Bashyam Global Is Dedicated To Reuniting Families in the US

If you have questions about sponsoring your sibling in the US, contact the family immigration lawyers at Bashyam Global. Our sibling sponsor lawyers can help you understand the process and provide advice on how to apply for a green card successfully. Contact our team for a free consultation today.

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Overview of the Sibling Sponsorship Program

Family sponsorship is a crucial aspect of the US immigration process, which includes a subsection called “sibling green card.” Only a US citizen petitioner can sponsor their siblings, unlike other categories of familial sponsorship which allow a lawful permanent resident to sponsor. The family sponsorship process involves two main forms, including:

Form I-130 – Petition for Alien Relative

Form I-864 – Affidavit of Support

There is a numerical limitation on the number of siblings of US citizens that can immigrate to the United States each year. Because of this, we always encourage families to begin this process promptly.

Who Can Apply for a Sibling Green Card?

Any US citizen over 21 can apply for a sibling green card if their brother or sister is unmarried, under 21, and living abroad.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements for a Sibling Sponsor?

According to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), these categories of individuals count as siblings:

  • Biological sister or brother
  • Half-sister or half-brother
  • Adopted siblings
  • Step-sisters and step-brothers

Note: Additional evidence is required for cases that do not involve relationships between full-blooded siblings.

To sponsor a sibling, the sponsor must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be a US citizen. You cannot be a green card holder and apply for sponsorship.
  • You must have a legally recognizable immediate relationship with your sibling (brother/sister, son/daughter, parent, spouse).
  • You must prove that you can financially support your sibling during their US stay.

If you have any questions about your relationship with your sibling and how it affects your ability to apply for a green card for your siblings, contact Bashyam Global today.

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What are the Steps Involved in Filing for a Sibling Green Card?

You can start the green card application process if you and your sibling meet the eligibility requirements. Here are the steps involved:

File Form I-130 – Petition for Alien Relative

Sponsoring a sibling for a green card begins with filing Form I-130 with USCIS. This form is used to petition (or “sponsor”) family members of US citizens and legal permanent residents for immigration benefits in the US.

Filing Form I-130 is a complicated process requiring much paperwork and documentation. It is best to have the help of an experienced immigration attorney when filing this form. They can ensure all necessary documents are filed accurately, on time, and with complete information.

Submit Proof of Relationship as Part of Form I-130

To successfully file Form I-130, you must provide proof of your relationship with your sibling and evidence that they are not inadmissible to the US due to health, criminal, or other issues. You will also need to submit documents such as:

  • birth certificate
  • your parents’ marriage certificate (if your sibling is a step-sibling)
  • high school diplomas
  • medical records
  • police records

Once form I-130 is approved, you will be provided with a priority date. You can always check to see the status of your visa petition online.

File Form 1-864 – Affidavit of Support

Form I-864 shows the US government that you, as the petitioner, have enough financial means to support your sibling, if necessary, financially. Essentially, the affidavit of support promises the government that you will provide financial support for your sibling during their US stay so that the government will not have to support them.

This form requires detailed financial information and is typically filed at the National Visa Center. Form I-864 will demonstrate that your income is equivalent to or higher than 125% of the Poverty Guidelines established by the Health and Human Services Department. Evidence such as tax records and bank statements may be required to serve as evidence to accompany this form.

Sometimes, you can get a co-sponsor for the I-864. This is another individual who is willing to become financially responsible for your sibling, if necessary. The co-sponsor should meet the same requirements as you and will need to fill out their own Form I-864.

Seek the help of an immigration attorney to ensure that the petition is filed correctly.

What Does Your Immigrant Sibling Need to Do Once the Petition Has Been Approved?

Once you have successfully petitioned your sibling through Form I-130 and provided evidence of their admissibility, they can apply for an immigrant visa at a US consulate or embassy in their home country. A consular officer will review the documents you submitted with the I-130 form and interview your sibling to determine whether they are eligible for a green card.

Pre-Interview Preparation

At Bashyam Global, we believe that your sibling should have a pre-interview preparation session with one of our lawyers to give the best chance of success at the interview. In this session, they learn how to approach the interview and any additional documents that may be needed for the application. Our attorney will review the case with your sibling and conduct a “mock interview” to best prepare them for the questions they will encounter at their interview.

Travel to the US and Wait for the Green Card

After your sibling arrives in the United States, wait for the Permanent Resident Card, or the Green Card, to be sent to the address you indicated on the USCIS form. 

a woman holding an American flag at a naturalization ceremony.

Does the Sibling Relationship Affect the Immigration Process?

Yes. The immigration process can and will change depending on the sibling relationship. Generally speaking, there are four categories that affect the immigration process and obtaining a family-based green card: direct siblings, step-siblings, half-siblings, and adopted siblings.

Direct Siblings

For direct siblings, both parent’s names must be listed on all documents to prove a genetic relationship between the two.

Step-Siblings

For step-siblings, it is necessary to provide evidence of a legal marriage between the parents to prove a relationship. You must submit your parents’ marriage certificates and other relevant documents.

Half-Siblings

For half-siblings, at least one parent must be listed on all documents as evidence of a genetic relationship. If there is no shared parent, you must provide other evidence proving a biological relationship between the two siblings, such as a birth certificate or DNA test results.

Adopted Siblings

For adopted siblings, the process is a bit more complicated. To prove their relationship and be eligible for immigration benefits, both parents must have legally adopted the child in question. This means you must provide documents such as a court-issued adoption decree or adoption certificate.

Large domed government building

When Should You File an Immigration Petition for a Brother or Sister?

If you meet the eligibility requirements and are ready to begin filing an immigration petition for your brother or sister, file immediately. Your brother or sister must wait for the immigrant visa number to become current before applying to adjust to permanent resident status. There is an extremely long waitlist for sibling visas, so it is best to file as soon as possible.

How Long Is the Sibling Green Card Wait Time?

The wait time for a sibling green card petition depends on the visa category of your brother or sister. Currently, the wait time can range anywhere from 7 to 14 years, depending on their country of origin and other factors.

The best way to avoid delays is by having an experienced immigration attorney prepare and submit your application as soon as possible. Having a lawyer to help can speed up this process and make it much smoother for you and your family. Contact Bashyam Global today for more information on how to file an immigration petition for a brother or sister. We are here to help!

What If Your Sibling Is Already in the US?

Your sibling may also need to file Form I-485 (Adjustment of Status), which is the application for adjustment of status. This form is only used to apply for a Green Card (permanent residency) while already present in the United States. It must be filed with USCIS, and it allows your sibling to become a legal permanent resident of the US. Once approved, their green card will be valid.

two immigrant brothers standing together with an American flag wrapped around them looking off of a mountain.

How Can Bashyam Global Assist You in Successfully Completing the Sibling Sponsorship Process?

The sibling sponsorship application process is complex. Having one of our experienced lawyers by your side will help make the process go smoothly. Our family immigration lawyers will handle all requirements professionally and efficiently. Our team will help with the following:

  • Understanding the I-130 and I-485 forms
  • Preparing a complete visa application package
  • Advising you on what additional documents may be needed
  • Representing you at all USCIS interviews
  • Ensuring that the petition is filed correctly with USCIS
  • Preparing your sibling for their interview
  • Assisting you and your family throughout the entire process until a decision is made

Immigration can be a stressful and complex process. Our family sponsorship lawyers are here to provide expertise in helping families achieve their immigration goals.

siblings holding hands stand in a field with a setting sun

Navigate the Sibling Sponsor Process with Bashyam Global Immigration

Navigating the sibling sponsor process can be intimidating and strenuous, but you don’t have to do it alone. We understand the complexities and stress that come with attempting to sponsor a sibling for a Green Card, and our team of experienced family immigration lawyers is here to support you throughout the entire process.

From start to finish, we will guide you through every step of the way, ensuring that all requirements are handled professionally and efficiently.

Our team takes pride in helping families achieve their immigration goals. We are dedicated to providing comprehensive legal services tailored to your needs. Our lawyers are experts in navigating the sibling sponsor process, and we are committed to helping you make your dream of living in the United States a reality.

Contact the Bashyam Global team today to pursue permanent residence in the US.

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