Sibling Petition

This information is for U.S. citizens who wish to bring a sibling to live permanently in the United States. Only U.S. citizens can bring their siblings to live permanently in the U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents can not.

A sibling is a brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or adopted brother or sister. For the necessary sibling relationship to exist, each person must have been a child of at least one of the same parents. The siblings need not share the same biological parents as long as both became “children” at the appropriate time (before the age of 16 in cases of adoption, and before the age of 18 for stepchildren).

A legal immigrant (or “lawful permanent resident”) is a foreign national who has been granted the privilege of living and working permanently in the United States. There is a three-step process for your brother or sister to become a legal immigrant

The INS must approve an immigrant visa petition that you file for your brother or sister.

The State Department visa bulletin must show that a sibling immigrant visa is available to your sibling, based on the date that you filed the immigrant visa application.

If your brother or sister is outside the United States when an immigrant visa number becomes available, your brother or sister will be notified to go to the local U.S. consulate to complete the processing for an immigrant visa. If your sibling is legally inside the U.S. when an immigrant visa number becomes available, he or she may apply to adjust status to that of a lawful permanent resident using the Form I-485.

Depending on the relationship and the country involved, the wait for an available sibling visa number may be several years. You may refer to the Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for current priority dates.

If you are a U.S. citizen and at least 21 years old, you are eligible to petition to bring your brother or sister to live and work permanently in the United States.

If you are a lawful permanent resident, you are not eligible to apply to bring your brother or sister to live and work permanently in the United States.

You must be a US Citizen and you must be over 21 years old. However, your sibling is not required to be any particular age to submit the petition

Once the visa number is current, then the beneficiary can either adjust status if legally inside the U.S., or can consulate process if outside the U.S.

Many times it takes so many years for the visa to become current that the children or beneficiaries of the petition have aged out. If that is the case, then it should be analyzed if they fall under the CSPA and can still be considered a ‘child’ for immigration purposes.

The Philippines, India and China have the longest waits for this fourth preference family petition. It is entirely possible for you to have an employment based petition going the same time as this 4th preference petition and the petition that gets to the finish line first wins.

Once the visa number becomes current and it is time for the beneficiary to apply for the Green Card, the petitioner must still be alive. If not, then you need to do a Petition for a Humanitarian Reinstatement to try to get that 4th preference sibling petition to move forward without having all the years wasted of waiting for the visa number to become current.