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Did you know that only an American citizen can petition his siblings? In this article we explain everything about the process of bringing siblings to live in the United States as permanent residents.

The application for family based immigration by a citizen includes spouses, children and parents.


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How is the process of bringing siblings to the U.S. as Residents in 2021 for an american citizen

If you are a 21-year-old US citizen, you are eligible to apply for a Green Card for a sibling. This is a legal procedure that our Los Angeles immigration attorneys know very well.  

The Immigration Law (INA) also allows the following petitions:

Other family members may be included in the petition for permanent residence for a brother or stepbrother. In other words, the husband / wife of the brother of the American citizen and their children. 

It is only required that the children of the siblings meet the requirements of the law and be unmarried and under 21 years of age. In the case of stepbrothers, it must be proven that the family bond developed before reaching the age of 16.

Therefore, you already know that bringing siblings to live in the united states as permanent residents is possible. The only problem is that it is a process that can take many years, as it requires a long process. However, at Lluis Law we are specialists in always finding the best options for our clients.

How is the process to petition a sibling?

siblings of citizens in the united states

If the brother is already in the United States and entered legally, the procedure is as follows:

Only foreigners who have legally entered and remained in the country can adjust their status. Otherwise they must apply for a reentry permit or I-601 immigration waiver.

If the foreign relative is outside the U.S., they must:

  • File and wait for Form I-130 approval.
  • The Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) sends the approved form to the consulate / embassy headquarters for consular processing .  

You must also wait for a visa number to be available. You can follow up on the case in USCIS through its official website .

What are the next steps to obtain the Green Card?

After USCIS approves the application, you can refer to the State Department’s Visa Bulletin, which is updated monthly. It should also: 

  • Send any other information requested by USCIS or by the National Visa Center (if you do the consular process). For example:
    • If you have had arrests or convictions; or
    • If the sponsor has sufficient financial resources to ask the family member. 
  • Present the results of the medical examination.
  • Go to the interview at the USCIS Office or at the consulate, depending on the case. After the interview you will be given an envelope that you should not open.
  • When entering the US through a legal port of entry, the immigration officer will stamp your passport. At that time you must deliver the sealed envelope. 

In this way, the delivery of the Residence Card or Green Card is made official. This document will later be sent by physical mail.

Important: Do not forget that all original documents must be brought along with their respective copies to the interview. They must be translated into English by an official interpreter.

Documents required to request the permanent residence of a sibling

The Green Card process for a brother or stepbrother requires the presentation of the following documents: 

  • Form I-130 completed and signed, plus payment of the corresponding fee. In this application you can include the spouse of the brother and his unmarried children under 21 years of age. 
  • Evidence of being an American citizen. Submit any of these documents: 
    • Copy of valid US passport;
    • Copy of the US birth certificate; 
    • Copy of a Consular Report related to the birth abroad; 
    • Copy of the naturalization certificate; or
    • Copy of the citizenship certificate.

What additional documents are needed for a sibling to come to the US while his visa petition is in process?

If the admission of the brother is approved before he can receive the Green Card, the citizen must present: 

  • Copy of the birth certificate.
  • Copy of the sibling’s birth certificate proving that they have at least one parent in common.
  • In case they only have a biological father in common but a different mother, they must also present:
    • Copies of the father’s marriage certificates with each mother (if there are several siblings);  
    • Copies of the divorce certificate showing that the previous marriage of the father or mother was legally terminated.
  • In case the citizen and his brother are related by adoption, he must additionally present:
    • Copy of the adoption decree proving that the brother’s adoption was made before he was 16 years old.
  • If the relationship between the citizen and his brother is through the stepfather, he must present:
    • Copy of the marriage certificate of the stepfather / a with the natural father / mother.
    • Copies of documents that prove the legal dissolution of any previous marriage of the natural father and the stepfather or stepmother.

If the name of the brother or his parents has changed, you must include the respective legal evidence of said change. They serve marriage certificates, adoption decrees, divorce decree or a court order approving the name change.

Where do you send the I-130 form to ask for a sibling?

For procedures in California, the package containing the I-130 form and the supporting documentation must be sent to:  

USCIS

ATTN: I-130

PO Box 21700

Phoenix, AZ 85036.

If the package is sent by ordinary mail. But if you do it by courier service. then you should send it to:

USCIS

Attn: I-130

1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S

Suite 100

Phoenix, AZ 85034

Do not forget to consult with your lawyer to avoid errors in the collection of documents and to correctly fill out the I-130 form. 

How long does it take for a brother’s request to be approved?

After USCIS receives the petition, it verifies that everything is in order. Then, send the package to the California Service Center or the appropriate center according to the applicant’s address.

When the service center receives it, it notifies the applicant of its receipt through the NOA1 notice. This letter contains various information of interest, including where the request will be processed.

bring your brother to usa

The applicant should verify and search the USCIS website for the estimated processing time. Once there, you must choose the Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) option. 

Next, you need to dial the California Service Center and then click the get processing time button Currently, this process takes from 19.5 to 25.5 months on average.

If USCIS deems it necessary for you to submit more information, it will request it or may simply approve or deny the request. This notification is made through the notice called NOA2, which is the priority date of the immigrant visa.

This article contains information that shows everything about bringing siblings to live in the united states as permanent residents. Your case can be very specific and require personalized help. Feel free to consult with our Latino attorneys.

What happens after USCIS approves the petition? 

The approval process for the Green Card petition for a sibling continues. Both the sponsoring citizen and his brother must wait for a visa number to be available.

The case is referred to the National Visa Center (NVC). This body sends it to the embassy or consulate of the country where the citizen’s brother resides. 

There the foreign beneficiary must initiate consular processing when indicated by the NVC. If the brother is in the United States, USCIS may approve adjustment of status and he will not have to leave the country.

Processing of Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence / Adjustment of Status is 43.5 to 63 months at present.

Can the siblings of a citizen enter the US while their visa petition is pending?

No. Recipients of an approved or pending immigrant visa are not eligible to receive non-immigrant visas. However, there are exceptions, check with your trusted immigration attorney.

Can you appeal if a sibling’s petition for residence is denied?

If possible. In fact, the same notice that USCIS sends the petitioner indicates how and when to appeal. The EOIR-29 appeal form must be submitted and the fee paid to the government. 

immigration appeal process

After USCIS processes the immigration appeal request , it refers it to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). 

How is the procedure before the CNV to ask for a brother?

When the National Visa Center receives the package with the petition, it processes it and assigns it a Case Number. It then notifies the beneficiary through a Welcome Letter where the case number is indicated.

The NVC requests that the beneficiary select an agent (relative, lawyer, friend). That person will be in charge of representing the case and answering any request for documentation that is made.

The selection of the agent is made through Form DS-261, available on the website of the Consular Electronic Application Center. The fee for this form, which is $ 325, must first be paid. 

To enter the Center, you must enter the case number indicated in the Welcome Letter.

Subsequently, the NVC will then ask you to fill out the Immigrant Visa Application Form DS-260. It is advisable that this process be done with your lawyer to avoid any mistakes.

What is the Affidavit of Economic Assets?

It is a contract that the sponsor (US citizen) signs to commit to financially support the immigrant. It is an essential requirement to obtain the Green Card.

As in all cases of American residency by family petition, the sponsor must prove to the CNV that they have sufficient financial resources to sponsor a relative.

To test the sufficiency of financial resources, one must:

  1. Fill out and submit Form I-864, Affidavit of Financial Sponsorship. This declaration of financial support or solvency has the name of affidavit of support in English.
  2. Present evidence to the CNV to support the affidavit of financial assets. For example: copies of property documents, bank accounts, tax return, proof of income. 

If the sponsor does not have sufficient financial resources, they can recruit another family member or friend to serve as an immigration co-sponsor.

The sponsor’s financial responsibility to the immigrant generally lasts for 10 years. Or until the recipient of the green card obtains US citizenship by naturalization.

What documents should be sent to the NVC to ask for a sibling?

Apart from the Affidavit of Economic Assets that is filled out and sent online, there are other documents such as:

  • Copy of the birth certificate of the sibling of both the petitioner and the immigrant.
  • Copy of the sibling’s criminal record if he is over 16 years old. Include criminal records from the country of origin, current residence and any other where you have lived more than six months.
  • If you were convicted of a crime, include a release ticket and compliance with the sentence issued by the Court.  
  • Original or certified copy of the sibling’s marriage certificate, if married
  • Copy of the divorce, annulment or death certificate of the spouse, if the sponsored sibling was married before.  
  • Copy of the military service card, if the brother / sister served in the Army of their country.
  • Copy of the page of your valid passport where the photograph and other biographical information of the immigrant appear. 
  • 2 passport-type photographs of the foreign brother and each member of his family that accompanies him.
  • Copy of sponsor’s Certificate of Naturalization / Citizenship or U.S. Passport, if not born in the U.S.

Need help on bringing siblings to live in the united states as permanent residents? Call us now.

How to send the documents to the National Visa Center?

Everything (Form I-864 and supporting documents) must be sent to the National Visa Center in one package. If it is done through the postal service. Although there is also the option to send by e-mail and scanned all the documentation. 

Via email

Only if the case number assigned by the CNV begins with any of the following encoded letters: AKD, AMM, DMS, GZO, MEP or SAA.

  • All documents must be scanned and sent to the mail: [email protected] .
  • Put the case number in the subject line. The weight of the files must be less than 5 megabytes for the mail to load them.

By ordinary mail

If the case number begins with the initials GUZ / MTL, you can send the documentation by email or regular mail.

The package must be accompanied by the cover sheet attached to the NVC Welcome Letter and sent to:

National Visa Center

Attn: DR

31 Rochester Ave. Suite 100

Portsmouth, NH 03801-2914

Whether you send the form and documents by email or regular mail, please do so in one package. Doing it separately will only increase processing time.  

Generally, it takes the NVC about 60 days to review and process the request if it does not contain errors. 

How much do I need to earn to sponsor my brother?

The minimum annual income to sponsor a sibling in 202I is $ 21,550. If the couple has children or has other people under their protection, the income must be higher. About $ 5,675 for each additional person.

How is the interview for a brother to obtain the Green Card?

When the CNV approves the permanent residence application package, it notifies the interested parties. That is, the sponsor and the agent, who are informed in a timely manner about the date and time of the interview.

immigrant visa process

This is the last step in the process. At Lluis Law we prepare our clients beforehand to have a successful interview. Not only in petitions for siblings, children or parents, but also for marriage residency interviews.

The interview for the siblings of an American citizen takes place at the headquarters of the consulate or Embassy. The main applicant and their spouse and children, if applicable, must attend the appointment.

What documents should be brought to the interview?

  • Notification of Appointment (Appointment Letter) sent by the National Visa Center (CNV)
  • Valid passport valid for at least six months after the date of entry to the United States.
  • Two passport-type photographs of the applicant (if accompanied, two photographs of each applicant).
  • Copy of the confirmation page of form DS-260.
  • Original and certified copies of each of the documents uploaded on the CEAC website.

At the end of the interview, the immigration officer returns the original documents. All documents entered in the National Visa Center system must be translated into English. 

At this point in the process all fees to apply for the immigrant visa must have been paid in full.  

If for any valid reason you cannot attend the visa interview, the consulate or embassy should be informed. Failure to do so to schedule a new appointment, the case will be closed.


Now that you know that bringing siblings to live in the united states as permanent residents is possible, we invite you to make an appointment with us. The first professional consultation is without obligation for you. We will evaluate your case and tell you what options are available to your siblings. Call right now!