How Do I Bring a Sibling to Live in the United States?
How Do I Bring a Sibling to
Live in the United States?
This information is for U.S. citizens who wish to bring a sibling to
live permanently in the United
States. Only U.S. citizens can bring their
siblings to live permanently in the U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents can not.
Definition of a Sibling
A sibling is a brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or adopted brother or
sister. For the necessary sibling relationship to exist, each person must have
been a child of at least one of the same parents. The siblings need not share
the same biological parents as long as both became “children” at the
appropriate time (before the age of 16 in cases of adoption, and before the age
of 18 for stepchildren).
of the Immigration Process
A legal immigrant (or “lawful permanent resident”) is
a foreign national who has been granted the privilege of living and working
permanently in the United
States. There is a three-step process for
your brother or sister to become a legal immigrant:
1. The USCIS must
approve an immigrant visa petition that you file for your brother or sister.
2. The State Department
visa bulletin must show that a sibling immigrant visa is available to your
sibling, based on the date that you filed the immigrant visa application.
3. If your brother or
sister is outside the United States
when an immigrant visa number becomes available, your brother or sister will be
notified to go to the local U.S.
consulate to complete the processing for an immigrant visa. If your sibling is
legally inside the U.S.
when an immigrant visa number becomes available, he or she may apply to adjust
status to that of a lawful permanent resident using the Form I-485.
Depending on the relationship
and the country involved, the wait for an available sibling visa number may be
several years. You may refer to the Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for
current priority dates.
For an excellent overview of
immigration, please see the chapter and tables on immigrants in the Immigration
Statistical Yearbook. For more information on immigrant visa numbers, please
see How Do I Get an Immigrant Visa Number?
Does the Law Say?
The Immigration and Nationality Act is a law that governs the admission of all
immigrants to the United
States. For the part of the law concerning
immigrant visas for siblings, please see INA § 203 and INA § 204. The specific
eligibility requirements and procedures for applying for immigrant visas and
permanent residence are included in the Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] at 8
CFR § 204.1, 8 CFR § 204.2 and 8 CFR § 245.
Eligible to Sponsor a Sibling?
If you are a U.S. citizen
and at least 21 years old, you are
eligible to petition to bring your brother or sister to live
and work permanently in the United
States. If you are a lawful permanent
resident, you are not eligible
to apply to bring your brother or sister to live and work permanently in the United States.
I File the Visa Petition?
For more information on how to petition for your brother or sister to live in
the United States
permanently, please see the Petitioning Procedures.
Can I Check the Status of My Visa Petition?
To check the status of your visa petition, you will need to contact the USCIS
office that received it. Full instructions can be found at Finding
the Status of Your Case.
Anyone Help Me?
If advice is needed, you may contact the USCIS District Office near your home
for a list of community-based, non-profit organizations that may be able to
help you in applying for an immigration benefit. In addition, please see our
web page that provides information on obtaining free legal advice.
Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Do you want further information? See our Frequently Asked Questions on
for Your Alien Relative
For more information on adjusting to permanent resident status the alien
relative should refer to How Do I Become a Lawful Permanent Resident While In the United States?