U.S. citizens can petition for the permanent lawful residency of their siblings. Out of all the family immigration processes, this is by far the slowest. The process begins with a Form I-130 Petition. Due to the significant backlogs and lack of visa availability, the sibling may not have a visa available for some 12-15 years or more depending on the country of birth.
Green Card holders cannot petition their siblings for U.S. residency.
Family Based Immigration
The Green Card Process for Siblings of U.S. Citizens
Upon the approval of the petition, and the availability of the immigrant visa, the sibling may apply for a green card in the United States (Form I-485) if he or she meets the eligibility requirements for adjustment of status. In this scenario, the local USCIS office may or may not invite the sibling for an interview.
The most common scenario is when a sibling lives outside the United States. The sibling often waits for the approval of the visa petition and the immigrant visa to become available. Once the visa is available, the sibling will “Consular Process” through the National Visa Center and attend an immigrant visa interview at the U.S. Embassy / Consular Post.
Can my sibling come to the United States while the petition is pending?
An approved immigrant visa petition is not an immigrant visa. It does not give the sibling any immigration benefits. The sibling may come to the United States if he/she has a valid visa. If the sibling comes to the United States with a non-immigrant visa, the sibling must ensure that he/she does not violate the terms of the non-immigrant visa. Violations of Immigration or other laws may bar the sibling from eventually entering the United States with the immigrant visa issued through the sibling petition.
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