How to Help a Sibling Enter the United States

How to Help a Sibling Enter the United States


The United States does offer a pathway by which a US citizen can file a petition to bring a sibling to the United States as a permanent resident. Siblings are “Fourth Preference” family class immigrants which does mean they could wait a long time before they are allowed to enter the United States or receive their green card.

Only citizens may petition on behalf of siblings. Green card holders may not do this. 

The process starts with an I-130 petition to sponsor your sibling. When the I-130 is approved your sibling will receive a “priority date.” When their priority date becomes current, they may start the green card application. Siblings must not be ineligible to immigrate. They must not, for example, have a criminal record which would disqualify them. 

You should be aware that it can take many years for a sibling’s priority date to become current. 

Be advised that your sibling may not live in the United States while awaiting their priority date. 

What documents do you need to submit with your I-130 petition for a sibling?

You’ll need to provide proof of your US citizenship and proof of your sibling relationship. You’ll then need to pay the fees for the petition. 

You can file online

What if my sibling is already legally here in the United States?

If your sibling is here on a work visa, study visa, or some other lawful visa that allows them to stay in the United States for some substantial period of time then you might be able to file a I-485 for an adjustment of status once the priority date becomes current.

Will my sibling have to go through a USCIS interview?

Yes. You can expect your sibling to have to attend an interview.

What are the income requirements for sponsors?

Sponsors must be able to show that their household income exceeds 125% of the poverty level in the United States. This shows that you have the ability to support your sibling while they are getting on their feet in the United States. If the sibling goes on public assistance you will have to pay that money back.

To do this you will file a Form I-864.

Is it hard to bring a sibling to the United States?

It is no easier or harder than any other method of immigration, it just takes a lot longer due to the limited number of sibling visas that are made available each year. In some cases it may be wiser for the sibling to seek an alternative method of immigration.

No immigration case is easy. Working with a qualified immigration attorney can make it easier. We can look at all of your options and help you choose your best one. We can spot potential problems and can help you mitigate those problems before you apply. Working with John Hykel Law can give your immigration application its best chance of success.

Contact us to get started today.

See also:

How to Sponsor An Immigrant Worker for a Green Card

4 Things to Know About Family Immigration

Why An Immigration Attorney Is Your Best Bet

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