Filing Procedure of INS forms I-130 for Sibling Green Card


If you are a citizen of the United States and your age is 21years or above, then, you may be eligible to sponsor your siblings for a Green Card. Your brother or sister may enter the United States as a lawful permanent resident if you are an American citizen and if you sponsor them.

You will not be able to sponsor your siblings if you are a Green Card holder. Family based immigration is something through which you may become a lawful permanent resident in the United States, through certain family relations. Siblings of the US citizen may be sponsored under the family based preference category.

Documentation to file immigration Form I-130 for your Sibling

In order to sponsor your sibling, as a petitioner, you must submit INS forms I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.  In order to prove that you are a US citizen, you must file certain other documents. You must submit photocopies of your

  • Valid US passport.
  • Birth certificate.
  • Naturalization certificate if you became a US citizen through naturalization.
  • Certificate of citizenship.
  • Birth certificate and your sibling’s birth certificate which shows that you have at least one parent in common.

You will not be required to file separate visa petitions for your sibling’s spouse or unmarried, minor children.  The State Department will provide your sibling with an immigrant visa number after the USCIS approves the petition filed by you. If your sibling is already in the United States in a non-immigrant status, as a sponsoring US citizen, you may only file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for the brother or sister. Your sibling must wait for an available immigrant visa number before he can apply for adjustment of status using Form I-485. Your sibling must maintain a valid non-immigrant status, during this waiting period.

If your sibling is outside the United States and you file a petition for them, you must inform the USCIS about the country where your sibling is currently living in. On the approval of the visa petition and the availability of a visa number, the National Visa Center will send a notification to your sibling. After all the necessary forms are completed, your sibling can apply for an immigrant visa.

Green card petition processing

According to the preference system, your sibling must wait for an immigrant visa number to become available. Your sibling may not get a visa number immediately after the approval of   the visa petition. The number of available immigrant visa numbers, each year is limited. At times, it might take several years for them to get an available immigrant visa number.

You will receive a denial letter from the USCIS, if your visa petition is denied. It will also contain details about how to appeal and when to appeal. Your appeal may be referred to the Board of Immigration Appeals, after your appeal form and the necessary fee are processed.

Around 65,000 visas are issued by the USCIS to the siblings of US citizens per year. Because of this numerical limitation, there are prolonged waiting periods to acquire a visa through this family based immigration category.

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