Petition for siblings of US citizens

US citizens can petition for their siblings to immigrate to the US as lawful permanent residents.

 

Who is considered a “sibling”?

The following persons are considered as a “sibling”:

  1. A person who is related by blood to the US citizen because they have the same parents, or they have at least one parent in common.
  2. A person who is related to the US citizen by adoption because the parents of the US citizen legally adopted the sibling, or the parents of the sibling legally adopted the US citizen before he was 16 years of age.
  3. A person who is related to the US citizen because his or her parent married the parent of the US citizen.

 

What are the eligibility requirements for a US citizen to petition a sibling?

The term “US citizen” contemplates former foreign nationals who acquired lawful permanent resident status and subsequently obtained US citizenship. The US citizen must be at least 21 years of age to petition for their siblings.

 

What kind of siblings can a US citizen file a petition for?

The US citizen can file a petition for adoptive siblings, step-brothers or -sisters and half-brothers or -sisters. Adoptive siblings are siblings who were adopted by the parents of the US citizen before the sibling reached the age of 16.

 

What does a US citizen need to prove in his Form I-130 petition?

The US citizens need to prove the fact of their citizenship and their relationship to their sibling.

 

What documents does a US citizen need to submit to support his Form I-130 petition?

The US citizen needs to prove his or her US citizenship by providing for any of the following documents:

  • A valid US passport
  • A valid US birth certificate
  • A copy of the Consular Report of Birth Abroad
  • A copy of the naturalization certificate
  • A copy of the certificate of citizenship

The US citizen needs to prove his or her relationship to the sibling by providing any of the following documents:

  • If the sibling was adopted, then the certificate of adoption must be submitted
  • If the sibling is a step-brother or a step-sister:
    • the certificate of marriage of the common parents must be presented
    • the certificate of marriage of the former marriages of the parents must also be presented
    • the certificates of birth of the alien sibling showing the names of their natural or biological parents
    • the certificate of marriage of the alien sibling if the alien sibling is married
    • the certificate of divorce of the alien sibling if the alien sibling is divorced
  • If the sibling is a half-brother or half-sister:
    • The certificate of marriage of the father to each of the mothers of the US citizen and the alien sibling, or
    • The certificate of marriage of the mother to each of the fathers of the US citizen and the alien sibling
    • The certificate of marriage of the alien sibling if the alien sibling is married
    • The certificate of divorce of the alien sibling if the alien sibling is divorced

 

How can US citizens petition for their siblings?

US citizens can petition for their siblings to come to the US and obtain the status of lawful permanent residents by filing a Petition for an Alien Relative (Form I-130).

 

What is the significance of siblings being classified as relatives in the Fourth Preference?

Siblings can immigrate as lawful permanent residents, but they will wait for a long time before they can be issued a visa. For siblings of US citizens in Mexico, they may wait for 12 years before they can be issued a visa as there are far too many applicants and too few visas available. For siblings of US citizens in the Philippines, they may wait for 24 years before they can be issued a visa.

 

Can the sibling come for a visit to the US while the petition is pending?

They cannot come to the US for a visit simply because a petition has been filed for them to immigrate to the US. If they come to the US, they may come if they qualify for any non-immigrant visa category that does not require them to prove that they have no intent to immigrate to the US.

 

Can a sibling of the US citizen who is a minor also immigrate to the US when their parent immigrates?

US citizens who are at least 21 years old may file a petition for their parents to immigrate to the US. If the parents of the US citizen migrate and they have minor children who are siblings of the US citizen, the minor children cannot immigrate with their parents.

Parents of a US citizen are considered “immediate relatives” and they can immigrate to the US immediately after approval of the petition as there is no yearly cap on the number of visas for immediate relatives. However, the minor children of the parents of US citizens fall under the legal definition of “siblings” and they can only immigrate under the Fourth Preference.  US citizens will have to file separate petitions for their parents and for their siblings.

When the parent of the US citizen has achieved the status of lawful permanent resident, the parent of the US citizen can then file a petition of the minor child, the sibling of the US citizen. As the minor child of a lawful permanent resident, the minor child will enjoy Second Preference and will not wait as long.

 

Do you need help in determining whether your sibling can migrate under a Fourth Preference? Do you need help proving your sibling relationship?  Do you need guidance in providing documents to support a petition for your sibling?  Speak with any of our lawyers at Lluis Law, we are ready and willing to help.

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