Green Card for Siblings
A U.S. citizen, (hereinafter referred to “USC”), who is 21
years or older, may petition to bring his or her sibling to live in the
United States as a green card holder. USCIS defines siblings as those
who are 1) blood related by sharing a common parent; 2) adopted; or, 3)
by sharing a step-parent. In order to sponsor a sibling, the USC must
file an Immigration Application and submit proof that the USC is a citizen
of the United States. Additional documents to evidence the relationship
between the USC and sibling differ on the relationship between the sibling
and the USC.
Blood Related Sibling
A USC may sponsor a sibling for a green card when the USC can establish
that he/she and the sibling share a common parent. If both USC and the
sibling only share a mother, the sibling must produce a birth certificate
to show that he or she have the same mother. If both the USC and the sibling
only share a father (but have different mothers), they must produce the
following: 1) birth certificates showing that they have the same father;
2) copies of the marriage certificates to each mother; and, 3) copies
of documents evidencing that the prior marriages were legally terminated.
If the USC and the sibling both have the same parents, then the USC and
the sibling only need to produce their birth certificates to evidence
If the USC and the sibling are related through adoption, then the adopted
sibling must submit an adoption decree and provide that the adoption took
place before the 16th birthday.
If the USC and the sibling are related through a step-parent, then the
Immigration Application must be accompanied with the following: 1) documents
of any prior marriages of the natural parent and/or step parent were legally
terminated; and, 2) copy of the marriage certificate between the step-parent
to the natural parent.
How long will the process take?
As soon as the USC files the Immigration Application with USCIS, the sibling
will receive a receipt notice with a priority date. USCIS will adjudicate
the petition within 4-6 months. Once the petition is approved, USCIS forwards
to the petition to the National visa Center (“NVC”). This
is where the application will remain until the sibling’s priority
date becomes current. Presently, the wait is extremely long for siblings
of USCs because numerous petitions were filed in previous years and there
is a limited number of immigrant visas that are available each year for
siblings of USCs. Currently, NVC is processing Immigration Applications
that have a priority date of August 8, 2003 for siblings worldwide except
for China, India, Mexico, and Philippines (the wait time for these countries
When a sibling’s priority date becomes current, the NVC transfers
the petition to the U.S. consulate abroad where the sibling lives. The
processing time at the U.S. Consulate and the scheduling of the interview
depends upon the volume of work at the particular U.S. Consulate. Subsequent
to the interview, an immigrant visa is stamped in the passport. The actual
Green Card is mailed after the sibling has entered the U.S.