¿Habla español? | Our firm is fluent in English, Spanish, French, Bengali, Creole, Punjabi, Gujarat, and Afrikaans!

  • Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • Guide To Bring Your Siblings To The US

Guide To Bring Your Siblings To The US

Guide To Bring Your Siblings To The US

Moving to the US and bringing a sibling or another family member can be stressful and intimidating. As with any US immigration process, bringing your brother or another relative for green card purposes comes with its share of challenges.

One of the most popular ways to achieve this is through family-based petitions. However, these petitions can be time-consuming and difficult to complete. Immigrants, permanent residents, and naturalized individuals often feel isolated in the United States, which can be due to the distance from their home country and their family roots.

In these cases, bringing a sibling to the United States can be a great way to make them feel at home and help them progress in their professional lives in the US. As an American citizen, you possess the right to bring natives of a foreign country to the United States and get a green card for that person.

This can help them become American citizens in the future. However, you must follow certain rules to bring your siblings to the United States. Filing for your sibling’s green card is a life-altering process that can lead to family reunification. Family-based green cards can be issued to eligible siblings and petitioners.

Bringing a sibling into the United States is a thrilling experience. However, the process can also be lengthy and require time, effort, patience, and attention to detail. This post contains useful information that can give you an idea of the process.

Who can petition for siblings?

To be eligible for a family green card through USCIS, a petitioner must establish a valid relationship with a sibling or a relative. Also, the petitioner must be an American citizen of more than 21 years of age.

If you meet the above requirements, you may be able to sponsor siblings, parents, children, or spouses to immigrate to the United States as green card holders. You must also show that your siblings are not affected by any of the bars or limitations on admission to the United States listed in INA section 212(a).

Who qualifies as siblings?

While there are many definitions of family, there are certain legal perimeters that USCIS requires for siblings to qualify for a sibling-based green card. These parameters include:

  1. A brother or sister you share biological parents with;
  2. A half-sibling you share either mother or father with;
  3. A step-sister from your parents’ marriage to another person who has children;
  4. An adopted sibling provided your family adopted them before age 16.

If you have questions about your relationship with your sibling to qualify for a siblings-based green card, contact an immigration lawyer today.

What is the visa cap and waiting time for siblings

The quota for sibling sponsorship each year is 65,000. Siblings who apply for their immigration visa may also apply for green cards for their immediate family members, including their spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age. You can petition for sibling immigration, but it is at the bottom of your family preference list.

Your sibling will be placed on the visa waiting list, and the waiting period for this category of immigration usually takes a long time. Depending on which country your foreign sibling is from, you may have to wait up to 20 years for your green card. This is true for nationals from Mexico, India, and the Philippines.

Once the wait period is over, your sibling will have to wait another few weeks or months for their green card. Although sibling green cards are family-based, the US citizen petition process for a sibling can take quite a while since it is the final preference level.

However, we strongly recommend working with an experienced immigration lawyer to file your forms properly and speed up the process. Due to the long wait time for sibling green cards, applying for one as early as possible will move you up the waiting list.

The application processes

Whether you are trying to bring a sibling into the United States for the first time or you have been applying for a green card for years but have been denied due to a lack of evidence or follow-through, the bureaucracy can be overwhelming and emotionally draining.

Without the guidance of an immigration lawyer, navigating the US immigration system can feel like a never-ending process of disappointment and rejection. Getting legal advice is the first step to bringing a sibling into the US.

A good immigration lawyer will evaluate your case and guide you through the process so you don’t make the same mistakes that could cost you the chance to protect or reunite with your family. Regardless, you should be aware that the process involves the following steps:

1. The form I-130 filing.

The first step is to file a petition for alien relatives (form I-130) with the USCIS. If you want your petition to be successful, you must complete it. Keep these tips in mind when completing your I-130 petition.

  • Don’t leave blank spaces – You must fill in all sections of the form I-130 because if you leave any parts blank, your application will be rejected. If you don’t see a section that applies to your case, you can fill it out with the letter “N/A”.
  • Follow the rules strictly – You must follow strict rules when filling out form I-130. For example, you must complete the form by writing or typing in legible black ink only. Also, be sure to append all required signatures before filing. All photos submitted in USCIS applications must follow certain guidelines, such as using a plain background and taking off any sunglasses or glasses first.
  • Attach supporting documents – To increase your chances of success, you must back up your petition with relevant evidence.

2. Wait for USCIS approval.

Several factors influence the length of time it will take for the form I-130 petition to be approved to bring your siblings into the US. The USCIS’s current workload and the number of petitions in its backlog play a big role in determining this. Errors or omissions can also affect the timeline.

Family green card applications may take two to five years to be approved, depending on the situation. At this point, you have to wait for USCIS to confirm whether your application has been approved. Only then will you know what to do next?

3. The affidavit of support.

Once USCIS has approved you for your family-based green card petition, you will need to go to the National Visa Center (NVC) to file a form I-864 (affidavit of support). This form is a legally binding agreement that holds the sponsor legally responsible for the relative you are applying for.

For family-based petitions, you must prove that you have the financial resources and means to support your relative once they enter the US.

4. The immigrant visa stage.

If you can continue, your foreign siblings will have a planned interview after visiting the NVC, during which the visa application will be either approved or rejected. If you are approved, your sibling or family member will receive an immigrant visa to enter the United States.

5. Wait for a green card.

Once the sibling or relative enters the United States, they must wait for the green card. The USCIS will send it to the address you gave on the form.


Every American citizen would love to get their siblings into the US on the first try. However, getting rejected doesn’t mean your sibling can’t become a green card holder. On their refusal letter, you will find an explanation of why their green card has been rejected and how to access an appeal form.

You must file this appeal with the USCIS within 30 days of receiving your denial, and then you will have to wait several months for a decision. It is no secret that appealing your denial will significantly delay your siblings’ ability to enter the US as green card holders, so you may want to explore other options.

Exploring other options

Families want to spend quality time together, which can be hard when family members are scattered all over the globe. If you want to bring your brother or sister into the United States, you may want to consider sponsoring them to move here. As an American citizen, you can sponsor your siblings to immigrate to the United States as legal permanent residents.

You must sponsor your brother or sister for an F-4 visa. However, there is an annual cap on this type of visa, which is 65,000 per year. This is because it is in the fourth preference category for family-based immigration.

The waiting lists for this type of visa can be extremely long, and it can take years to get your siblings’ green cards. However, there are other ways to help your siblings settle in the US, as they may qualify for several alternative visas that don’t require a petition from a family member.

Several options are available to US citizens who want to bring family members to the US. Family-based visas are the most common way to bring siblings to the US. However, due to the high demand for these visas, they can be time-consuming to apply for. Other options are also available to siblings who want to immigrate to the US for the long term.

If your sibling is a skilled worker, they may be able to immigrate to the United States on any of the employment-based visas. Another option is for your siblings to apply for the green card lottery.

They can apply online for the program that grants green cards to foreign nationals with a very low immigration rate to the United States. The chances of becoming a green card holder vary depending on where in the world your siblings are located.

You can explore more options by talking with an immigration lawyer to assess your needs.

Get help!

Siblings reuniting in the United States is a beautiful thing to witness. However, reuniting with your foreign siblings in the United States can be exhausting and unproductive without proper assistance. We at Gehi and Associates understand the importance of reuniting siblings in the United States.

We have worked hard to reunite many families in the US. Our immigration lawyers can help you with all the details of the process to get amazing results at good rates. Contact us today!

Share it!

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Free Consultation

Scroll to Top

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Signup to our email newsletter for Legal Updates, Tips & Webinars!

Skip to content