Sponsoring a Brother or a Sister to Come to the United States


If you are a naturalized U.S. citizen you may be able to sponsor your brothers or sisters to come to the United States as permanent residents.

However, U.S. immigration laws don’t permit green card holders to sponsor their brothers or sisters.

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to petition your siblings to live in the United States as a green card holder, you must be a U.S. citizen and be at least 21 years old.

To sponsor a sibling, the U.S. citizen must file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.

three people smiling

Sponsoring a brother or a sister

Required Documentation to Sponsor a Sibling

  • You must complete Form I-130. You are not required to file a separate Form I-130 for your sibling’s spouse or for unmarried children under 21 years of age.
  • A copy of your own birth certificate as well as a copy of your sibling’s birth certificate proving that you have at least one common parent.
  • Evidence of your U.S. citizenship such as
    • A copy of a valid U.S. passport,
    • A copy of a U.S. birth certificate, or
    • A copy of Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or
    • A copy of your naturalization certificate, or
    • A copy of your certificate of citizenship.

USCIS points out additional documentation is required for siblings who were adopted, have step parents or are half brothers and sisters.

If you and your sibling are related through adoption, you are also required to submit a copy of an adoption decree or decrees that prove the adoption took place before you or your sibling became 16 years old.

If you and your sibling are related via a step-parent, you must also submit:

  • Copies of documentation proving any prior marriages of the natural parent and/or a step-parent were legally terminated. You will also need.
  • A copy of the marriage certificate of the step-parent to the sibling’s natural parent. The age restrictions related to the definition of a stepchild apply.
  • If you and your sibling share a biological father but have different mothers you should submit:
  • Copies of the marriage certificates of the father to each mother.
  • Copies of documentation proving any previous marriages of either your father or mothers were legally terminated.

Brother and sisters of U.S. citizens do not have the right to immigrate immediately like the U.S. citizen’s husband or wife.

Siblings belong the fourth preference category. This means wait times can be extremely long depending on their country of birth. Some siblings have to wait 10 years or more to move to the United States.

The approval of Form I-130 does not confer a right of beneficiary.

The sibling will have to wait until his or her priority date becomes current to apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in his or her home country.

If the sibling is in the United States, they will have to wait until their priority date becomes current to apply for adjustment of status.

Only immediate relatives of U.S. citizens can file to adjust their status at the same time as Form I-130 is filed.

Find out more about the green card laws here on our website or call us for a consultation at (512) 399-2311.

Share To: