Living in the US – Sibling of a Citizen
Receiving permanent residency status is not only reserved for those who have entered the country with work visas. In fact, among those who are eligible to become potential applicants includes the siblings of US citizens.
Family immigration to the US is done through a preference system, with those higher on the list more likely to receive the permanent residency (green card). The last preference, but still a viable one, is reserved for the siblings of US citizens.
Unfortunately, siblings have the longest wait times for petition processing. Given that they are the lowest preference, there are fewer visas available for them each fiscal year.
Even though it will take a while, the process is not a tremendously intricate one. The US citizen will have to file Form I-130 for their sibling. The definitions of a sibling, in this case, is not limited to blood-related family members.
A sibling can include those who share one (or more) parent(s). If filling out the form poses a challenge, applicants are encouraged to seek the help of an experienced immigration attorney.
Once the form has been submitted, a long period of time may pass. However, soon after filing you will receive a confirmation of application as well as a number, which allows you to track the processing time.
Other eligibility criteria may apply, or the US citizenship office may require more documents. One important note is that the sibling that is a US citizen and filing the petition must be at least 21 years old.
While siblings fall in the fourth, and last, preference category, the first three include other family members like spouses and unmarried children.
US citizens who are thinking about sponsoring their family members can consult an attorney if they have questions regarding applying and processing times.