Green Card for Siblings: Can a Green Card Holder Sponsor Siblings?

Green Card for Siblings: Can a Green Card Holder Sponsor Siblings?

If you would like to come to the United States as a lawful permanent resident, your sibling may be able to petition for you to become a green card holder. If your sibling is a United States citizen and at least 21 years old, they can petition for you with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) green card for siblings form.

What Is the Green Card for Siblings?

Securing a green card for siblings is a process in which a U.S. citizen sibling petitions for their brother or sister to immigrate to the United States. The process of attaining a green card with a sibling petitioner is done by filing Form I-130, which is the USCIS petition for an immigrant relative.

Applying for a green card is a multistep process. Before even beginning the green card application itself, the U.S. citizen sibling must petition for the immigrant sibling by using Form I-130.

Once Form I-130 is approved and you receive a priority date, then you can start the application process itself. Please note that Form-130 approval does not give you the right to enter the United States, it only gives you the date on which you are allowed to apply for a green card.

The sibling green card is a fourth preference green card. Because it is a lower preference level, siblings can end up waiting quite a while—often multiple years—because there are annual limits on the fourth preference category.

I-130 Checklist for Brother or Sister

As the U.S. sibling petitioner, you must meet specific requirements to prove you are a U.S. citizen. When submitting Form I-130 to USCIS, you, the sibling petitioner, must also submit the following documentation:

Proof of U.S. Citizenship

To prove that you are a U.S. citizen, you can submit copies of your:

  • Naturalization Certificate
  • S. birth certificate
  • S. passport
  • Certificate of Citizenship
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad

Proof of Relationship with Your Sibling

You must also gather documents that prove you and your sibling are related. This can be done by providing copies of both (or all) siblings’ birth certificates.

Along with the items listed above, you must also submit:

  • Proof of legal name changes if you have changed your name
  • Two passport-style photographs

Additional I-130 Checklist for Brother or Sister from Other Parents

To be eligible for the green card for siblings, you must be a legal sibling of the U.S. citizen who is petitioning. Additional documentation is necessary depending on your relationship with your sibling. Let’s review what siblings are legally in the United States under the U.S. code. If you would like the official subchapter, visit I.N.A. Section 101(b)(1) and (2), 8 U.S.C. Section 1101(b)(1) and (2).


Under the U.S. code, step-siblings are eligible for the sibling visa. Step-siblings are your siblings who you are related to through marriage; if your mom or dad remarried, and the person they remarried has children, those children are considered your step-siblings.

You can be the beneficiary for a green card for siblings as your brother or sister’s steps-sibling if:

  • Both you and your U.S. citizen step-sibling were both 18 years or younger when your parents got married
  • Your parents are still married

Along with Form I-130, you and your step-sibling need to submit documentation of divorce or termination of your parents’ prior marriages. The termination of the marriage(s) must be legal. You must also submit the marriage certificate of your step-parent and natural parent.

Adoptive Siblings

If your U.S. citizen sibling is adopted, or you are adopted, you are eligible to receive a green card for siblings. However, the following conditions apply to your relationship and sibling status:

  • You and your sibling were both younger than 16 when the adoption took place
  • The adoption met the requirements for a legal adoption

In addition to your Form I-130, you and your sibling will need to present the adoption decree(s). The decree(s) must prove that the adoptive child, either you or your sibling, was under the age of 16 when adopted.

Paternal Half-Siblings

Siblings who share the same father but have a different mother—called paternal half-siblings—also have additional requirements when petitioning for a green card. You and your paternal half-sibling must submit the following evidence in addition to the general requirements:

  • Marriage certificate copies of each mother’s marriage to the shared father
  • Documents proving that the previous marriage(s) either your father or mothers were in have been legally terminated

I-130 Processing Time for Brother and Sister

The actual processing time for Form I-130 is not as long as the processing time for the application for a green card itself. After you send in your Form I-130, you will receive a receipt notice from USCIS. The receipt will tell you your expected I-130 for siblings’ processing time. Use your receipt number to check for updates.

You will then receive an approval, denial, or request for evidence. If the petition is approved, you will be given a priority date. The priority date tells the immigrant sibling’s place on the waiting list. Take a look at the Department of State’s Visa Bulletin to see your category’s wait time.

How Long Does it Take to Sponsor a Sibling to the USA?

The wait time for a green card for siblings is long. Wait times also differ depending on the county of origin. There is no guaranteed or established time frame, but it is not atypical for petitions to remain pending for 10 years or more. The lengthy wait time is due to the fact that the green card for siblings is a fourth preference category and there is already a limited amount of approved family petitions per year. You will most likely have your petition added to a waitlist.


What Are the Form I-130 Fees?

The filing fee for Form I-130 is $535. Fees can be paid with a:

Where Do I File the Green Card for Siblings Form?

Form I-130 can be filed online or by mail. In order to submit online, you need to create an online account with USCIS.

If you file by mail, you need to mail your Form I-130 to a direct filing address. The location of the address depends on which state you live in, if you are filing from outside the United States, and if you are filing Form I-130 with Form I-485.

Can a Green Card Holder Sponsor Siblings?

No, lawful permanent residents cannot petition for their siblings. In order to petition for your sibling to come to the United States, you must be a U.S. citizen. If you have gone through the naturalization process and have become a U.S. citizen, then you may. But with a temporary green card or without a certificate of citizenship, you cannot petition for your sibling to come to the United States.

What if My Sibling Is Already in the U.S.?

If your sibling is in the United States legally for a green card, then you may file Form I-485, Adjustment of Status. However, applying for adjustment of status is only possible if your Visa Bulletin date and status are current.

Can I Sponsor My Sibling in the USA?

If you are a U.S. citizen, then you are able to sponsor your brother or sister by petitioning for them to come to the United States.

For the Fastest Way to Bring Sibling to the USA, Contact an Immigration Lawyer Today

The experienced attorneys at Scott D. Pollock & Associates P.C. are here to help you on your journey to the United States through a green card for siblings. The process of petitioning for a sibling—or being the beneficiary of your citizen sibling—can quickly become complex. Between wait times and a long list of evidence to submit, having an immigration attorney on your side can be a great benefit. Contact our lawyers at 312.444.1940 or fill out an online form today. We look forward to working with you.

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