Family sibling petition: what you need to know as a U.S. citizen

Many immigrants are reunited with their loved ones through the family reunification process. However, both this and its requirements may vary depending on the immigration status of the petitioner and the relationship with the beneficiary. Therefore, today we will talk about how a U.S. citizen can petition for a sibling.

Requirements for the family petition of a sibling

A U.S. citizen can petition for a sibling through the family reunification process. However, both the citizen (petitioner) and his brother (beneficiary) must meet certain requirements. In the following table you will find the requirements of both:

For the Petitioner (Citizen making the petition)For the Beneficiary (Sibling to be brought to the U.S.)
Be a U.S. citizenMaintain a sibling relationship to the petitioner, whether by blood or adoption
Be at least 18 years of age at the time of applicationNot have a criminal record or medical conditions that may affect eligibility
Have a valid family relationship (in this case by blood or adoption)Pay special attention to the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) to determine eligibility (if under 21 years of age)
Make a financial commitment to support the sibling during the immigration process.Comply with documentation requirements and evidence of the family relationship that demonstrates the relationship between the petitioner and the sibling (e.g., birth certificates)
Meet specific criminal and health background requirementsFollow the appropriate process for adjustment of status (if lawfully present in the U.S.)

If you want to help a family member enter the United States, you are not alone. At Urbina Immigration Law our attorneys are dedicated and committed to helping you through the tough immigration process. Talk to an attorney today and take the first step to reunite with your loved ones.

Step-by-step process for a petition of a sibling

The process of asking a sibling can be summarized in the following five steps:

Step 1: Filing Form I-130

Complete and file Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative Petition) by checking the “Sibling” box in the “Relationship” section. Be sure to provide accurate details about the relationship and the required biographical information.

Step 2: Obtain Form I-130 Approval and Proceed to the National Visa Center

After submitting the Form I-130 to the USCIS, wait for approval. This process can take 2 to 5 years or more, depending on several factors. Once approved, proceed to the National Visa Center.

Step 3: Submit an Affidavit of Support

At the National Visa Center, submit the affidavit of support along with other required forms and supporting documents. For siblings under the age of 21, pay special attention to the requirements of the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA).

Step 4: Bring Sibling to the U.S. on an Immigrant Visa

If the petition is approved, an immigrant visa will be issued to your brother. Make sure your brother enters the U.S. before the visa expires, otherwise, the process may need to be repeated.

Step 5: Waiting for the Permanent Resident Card

Once your brother is in the country, wait for the issuance of the Green Card or Permanent Resident Card, which will be mailed to the address provided on the form by USCIS.

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Once in the country, your brother will have to wait for the issuance of his Green Card.

This process can take time and has its difficulties. Therefore, it is crucial to seek legal advice for more detailed and accurate guidance. At Urbina Immigration Law we can help you, accompanying you every step of the way. Contact us today and begin the process of reuniting with your loved ones.

Necessary documentation to request a Brother

While a U.S. citizen can petition for a sibling, both petitioner and beneficiary must provide the following documentation:

  • Family Relationship Tests:
    • Birth Certificates: Both the U.S. citizen’s birth certificate and the foreign sibling’s birth certificate, showing at least one parent in common.
    • Adoption Documents: In case of adoption, submit legal documents certifying the adoption and the relationship between the siblings.
    • Name Change Documents: If there have been name changes, submit legal documents showing the relationship between the siblings.
  • Form I-130: Completed and properly filed.
  • Biographical Information: Accurate details about the siblings, including contact information, dates of birth, and other personal data.
  • Form I-134A: Online application to become a sponsor along with statement of financial support.
  • Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support): You must submit this form along with financial and supporting documents to demonstrate the ability to financially support the immigrant sibling.
  • Form I-485 (Adjustment of Status): If eligible for Adjustment of Status, you may also need the following additional documentation:
  • Supplemental Information to Form I-485: In an exceptional case where the beneficiary  has entered the country illegally and cannot provide sufficient evidence. In these cases they may need to apply for a waiver or immigration pardon, so it is advisable to seek the help of an immigration attorney.
  • Certified translations: If the original documents are not in English, they must be translated by a certified translator.

Submitting the documentation in due time and form is a key step in any immigration process. Therefore, it is advisable to seek the help of a professional lawyer to get your documentation in order and make sure that everything is in order. Contact our professionals today and get your paperwork in order.

How long does it take to process a sibling’s family petition for residency?

Approval of Form I-130 can take between six months and a year, sometimes extending to several years due to the workload at USCIS and possible errors in the application. In addition, there is an additional period based on the priority date and visa quota, all of which vary according to the sibling’s country of origin in the Family Preference Category (F4).

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A U.S. citizen can petition for a sibling, although this process could take months or even years.

For this reason, having the assistance of an immigration attorney is essential to avoid unwanted delays and to understand the waiting times for your case. At Urbina Immigration Law our professionals can help you. Contact us and take the first step to  to be reunited with your loved ones.

How long does it take to obtain residency for a sibling?

Siblings of U.S. citizens may wait between 14 and 16 years to obtain permanent residency. However, the duration varies depending on the applicant’s country of origin.

How much does it cost to apply for family reunification for a sibling?

The filing fee for the I-130 application is $535. Additional expenses may be incurred during the process, such as fees for obtaining necessary documents or undergoing a medical examination.

How can I request an expedited review of my I-130 petition to petition for a sibling?

To request an expedited review of an I-130 petition of a sibling, you need to submit a formal written appeal to USCIS. You must support the request with concrete evidence validating your reasons, such as medical documents, financial statements, or letters related to emergencies, financial hardship, humanitarian situations, or essential U.S. government interests.

What happens if USCIS denies my brother’s application?

If your I-130 petition is denied, USCIS will provide you with the reasons why it was denied. Depending on these reasons, you may be able to appeal or file a motion to reopen or reconsider the case.

Family Immigration: The Role of an Attorney in the Reunification Process

Although a U.S. citizen can petition for a sibling, the process can be lengthy and overwhelming. The U.S. immigration system is extremely complex, so an immigration attorney is essential to avoid potential legal pitfalls. 

Don’t risk your family’s future by navigating the immigration system on your own. At Urbina Immigration Law Services we can provide you with the expert guidance you need to achieve a successful reunification. Talk to our attorneys today and take the first step towards reuniting you with your loved ones.

Sources – Applying for a permanent residency or “Green Card” for a family member

USCIS – Humanitarian Family Reunification Permit Processes

USCIS – I-130, Petition for Alien Relative Petition

Other resources

How to apply for American residency by family petition, step by step

What are the requirements for family reunification in the United States?

Form I-130: Everything you need to know

Family Reunification Parole in the United States: A Complete Guide

Family sponsorship limits: How many family members can I bring to the United States?

Family reunification in the U.S.: At what age can a child petition for his or her parents?

What proofs of marriage should I submit to USCIS?

Getting married in the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant: what you need to know