Bringing a sibling into the United States can be a complex and lengthy process, but it is possible through the use of an I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. If you qualify to file an I-130 petition, you and your sibling will be expected to follow the instructions below:
- File an I-130 petition.
- Wait for approval.
- Wait for a visa to become available. This is often referred to as your “priority date becoming current.”
- File a visa application with the National Visa Center (NVC). You might even be eligible to file an application for adjustment of status if you are already in the U.S.
- Attend an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate if applying from abroad. The interview will be in the U.S. if applying for adjustment of status.
- Enter the U.S. if applying from your home country. If your sibling is approved for the visa, they will become a lawful permanent resident upon entering the U.S.
It’s important to note that the process of bringing a sibling into the U.S. may not be straightforward. You should consult a family-based immigration attorney to help you navigate the process.
What Is The Fastest Way To Bring A Sibling To USA?
The fastest way to bring a relative to the United States would be through the Immediate Relative Category, which includes:
- spouses of U.S. citizens
- parents of U.S. citizens
- unmarried children of U.S. citizens that are under the age of 21
However, siblings do not fall under this category. For siblings, the only way to immigrate to the United States is through the Family Preference Category. Siblings of U.S. citizens fall under the F4 category. This category has a limited number of visas available each year.
Therefore, there is no fast way to bring a sibling to the United States. The best approach is to begin the process as early as possible.
How Long Does It Take For I-130 Petitions To Get Approved For Siblings?
The processing time for a sibling I-130 petition varies depending on the capacity of the USCIS and the number of pending petitions. Additionally, timing can be affected by factors such as incomplete or inaccurate information on the petition.
On average, approval for a sibling petition may take six to 12 months. This varies by case and can even take years, depending on the circumstances.
It’s important to note that once the I-130 petition is approved, the sibling will still need to wait for an immigrant visa to become available based on the priority date. The wait time for a visa can vary depending on the sibling’s country of origin and the number of visas available in the Family-Based Preference Category (F4).
It’s a good idea to check the USCIS website for current processing times, as these can change over time. Remember to be patient throughout the process, as it can take several years for a sibling to be able to immigrate.
Can I Expedite An I-130 Petition For Siblings?
It is possible to request expedited processing for an I-130 petition for siblings, but it is rarely granted. According to USCIS guidelines, an expedite request may be granted if there is:
- a severe financial loss to the petitioner
- an emergency situation
- a humanitarian situation
- a compelling U.S. government interest
To request a petition to be expedited, you will need to submit a written request to USCIS, along with evidence to support your claim. The evidence must clearly demonstrate that the expedite criteria have been met. Examples of evidence that may be accepted include medical records, financial records, or evidence of a pending job offer.
It’s important to note that requesting a petition to be expedited does not guarantee that it will be granted. Requests for expedited adjudication are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and USCIS has the sole discretion to determine whether to grant the request.
If you believe that your situation warrants being expedited, contact a family immigration lawyer to help you prepare your request.
How Much Does It Cost to Petition for a Sibling?
As of February 2023, the general filing fee for an I-130 petition is $535.
Depending on the situation, there may be additional fees, such as those for obtaining required documentation or a medical examination. There may also be other costs associated with the immigration process, such as the cost of travel, relocation, or legal fees, which can vary based on your individual circumstances.
Fees associated with an I-130 petition for a sibling can change over time. Be sure to check the USCIS website or consult with an immigration attorney to confirm the current fees.
What Are The Requirements To Petition A Sibling?
To petition a sibling for an immigrant visa to the United States, there are several requirements that must be met. Below are the basic requirements for people who are petitioning a sibling:
- Must be a U.S. citizen and be able to provide proof of status
- Must be 18 or older
- Have a qualifying family relationship with your sibling
- For siblings, the petitioner must be a brother or sister of the beneficiary.
- Proof that you are willing to financially support your sibling once they enter the United States. This is typically proven through the submission of an Affidavit of Support. This requirement does not apply until the beneficiary is applying for their immigrant visa or adjustment of status.
- Your sibling does not have any disqualifying factors that would make them ineligible for a visa, such as a criminal record or certain medical conditions. This determination about your sibling’s admissibility will not be made until they are ready to apply for their immigrant visa or adjustment of status.
While it is possible to petition for an adopted, step, or half-sibling, there may be additional requirements. Again, an immigration attorney will be able to address individual concerns regarding eligibility. They can also suggest other immigration methods if they do not feel confident in your ability to meet the outlined criteria.
Can a U.S. Citizen Petition for a Sibling?
Can My Sibling Come To The United States To Visit While The Visa Petition Is Pending?
While the sibling visa petition is pending, your sibling may be able to visit the United States on a temporary basis, depending on their individual circumstances. In order to visit the United States, your sibling would need to apply for a visa, such as a B-2 tourist visa. The B-2 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows individuals to visit the United States for tourism, pleasure, or medical treatment.
To qualify for a B-2 visa, your sibling will need to demonstrate to the U.S. consulate that they have strong ties to their home country and that they have no intention of remaining in the United States beyond the duration of their visit. This can be done by showing proof of employment or other ties to their home country, as well as evidence of return tickets or other plans to return home.
There is no guarantee that a visitor visa will be approved, and the decision ultimately rests with the U.S. consulate. If your sibling has previously overstayed a visa or violated U.S. immigration laws, they may have difficulty obtaining a visitor visa.
Can I Petition My Married Sibling?
As a U.S. citizen, you can petition for your married and unmarried sibling to come to the United States. If you are a permanent resident, you cannot petition for a married or unmarried sibling.
Generally, a married sibling’s spouse and unmarried children may immigrate with them. Their married sons or daughters will not be eligible as a derivative though, and will need to undergo a different route. Due to the complexity of these cases, it is best to consult an immigration lawyer.
Contact A Family Immigration Lawyer Today
If you are seeking a green card for a sibling or another family member, it is in your best interest to contact a family-based immigration lawyer. Handling these matters on your own may be overwhelming and can lead to potential errors.
At Reeves Immigration Law Group, we will handle all relevant filings to ease your stress. Recognized as some of the best immigration lawyers in the country, our team works tirelessly to provide personalized attention for every case. Contact us for nuanced citizenship and immigration services.