Green Card for Siblings:Everything You Need to Know

Green Card for SiblingsIf you’re eyeing a move to the US as a permanent resident, having a sibling who’s a US citizen over 21 can be your ticket.

They can sponsor you for a green card through a process called Form I-130, where they basically vouch for you.



What Is the Green Card for Siblings?

The green card for siblings is a way for a US citizen brother or sister to help their sibling immigrate to the United States. It involves the US citizen sibling filling out Form I-130, which is like a formal request to bring their sibling over.

Getting a green card involves several steps. First, the US citizen sibling needs to fill out Form I-130 to officially request immigration for their sibling.

Once Form I-130 gets the thumbs up and you’re assigned a priority date, then you can dive into the actual application process. But remember, just because your Form I-130 is approved doesn’t mean you can hop on a plane to the US right away. It simply marks the date when you can start the green card application.

Now, here’s the point: the sibling green card falls under the fourth preference category. This means there’s a bit of a wait involved, sometimes spanning several years, due to yearly limits in this category.

I-130 Checklist for Brother or Sister

So, when you, as the sibling petitioner in the US, are getting ready to send in Form I-130, you’ve got to make sure you’ve got your ducks in a row. Here’s what you’ll need:

Proof of your US citizenship

Show ’em you’re a bona fide American with documents like your naturalization certificate, US birth certificate, passport, certificate of citizenship, or consular report of birth abroad.

Proof of your relationship with your sibling

Gather up those birth certificates to prove you’re really siblings.

Don’t forget:

If you’ve ever changed your name legally, bring along the paperwork to show that.

You’ll need two passport-style photos to complete the package.

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

Alright, if you’re looking to score that sibling green card but you’re not directly related through both parents, don’t worry, there’s still a shot.

Here’s what you’ll need to prove your relationship:


  • Both you and your US citizen step-sibling were under 18 when your parents got hitched.
  • If your parents are still happily married-  You’ll also need to show proof of the divorce or termination of your parents’ previous marriages, plus the marriage certificate of your step-parent and natural parent.

Adoptive Siblings

  • Just make sure both you and your sibling were under 16 when the adoption went down.
  • If the adoption was legit-  You’ll need to provide the adoption decree(s) as proof.

Paternal Half-Siblings

  • Copies of marriage certificates showing each mother’s union with your shared dad.
  • Proof that any previous marriages your dad or moms had are legally history.

I-130 Processing Time for Brother and Sister

Alright, let’s talk about how long it takes to get through the Form I-130 process. It’s not as lengthy as the whole green card application ordeal, thankfully. Once you’ve sent in your Form I-130, you’ll get a receipt notice from USCIS with an estimated processing time. Keep an eye on your receipt number for any updates.

Next up, you’ll either get the green light, a denial, or a request for more info. If you’re approved, you’ll snag a priority date, which basically tells you where you stand on the waiting list. Check out the Department of State’s Visa Bulletin to get an idea of how long you might be waiting in your category.

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

Now, let’s get real about the waiting game. Bringing over a sibling can take a long time, and it varies depending on where you’re coming from. There’s no set timeline, but it’s not uncommon for petitions to hang in limbo for a decade or more. Blame it on the fact that sibling green cards fall into the fourth preference category, and there’s a cap on how many family petitions get approved each year. So, buckle up for a wait, and don’t be surprised if your petition gets thrown onto a waitlist.

Final Words

Obtaining a green card through a sibling sponsorship in the United States involves a multi-step process that begins with the US citizen sibling filing Form I-130. While the initial processing time for Form I-130 may not be overly lengthy, the overall journey to securing a green card for siblings can be prolonged due to the significant wait times associated with the fourth preference category and the annual limits on family-based petitions.

Additionally, for individuals who are not directly related through both parents, there are specific documentation requirements to prove their relationship eligibility, whether they are step-siblings, adoptive siblings, or paternal half-siblings. Despite the challenges and uncertainties in the process, patience and persistence are key virtues for those embarking on the journey to reunite with their siblings in the United States.

Leave a Comment