U.S. immigration law allows U.S. citizens ("USC"), who are 21 years old or older, to help their sibling(s) apply for lawful permanent resident ("LPR" or "green card holder") status. Unfortunately, sisters and brothers who are LPRs cannot; they must become U.S. citizens first. (Take a look at ourCitizenship page for more information.)
To sponsor a sibling, the USC and their sibling must share at least one "parent". To start, they must be:
full siblings (with the same two parents);
half siblings (with one shared parent); or,
step-siblings (with parents who married each other).
But that's not all. Another important question, for the USC as well as their sibling, is whether the parent they have in common is their biological (genetic), adoptive, or step-parent.
The term "parent", has a specific meaning under immigration law. Although many "parent-child" relationships qualify, some don't. To find out what does qualify, more specific questions may have to be answered. For example:
if the parent is the child's biological father - was that father legally married to the child's other biological parent at the time the child was born?
if the parent is the child's step-parent- was the child born to or adopted by the parent who married the step-parent?
In all instances, if the parental rights of any parent are legally terminated, then this parent is no longer considered a parent for purposes of immigration.For example, if two siblings are biologically related but one of them was adopted into another family, then they are not considered siblings for the purposes of immigration.
As wonderful as it is to figure out that sibling immigration is possible, it is one of the more difficult processes because it takes so long. Unlike spouses, young children, and parents of USCs, siblings are in a different category; one that's subject to annual visa caps (or a limit on how many of these visas are available) and has a lower immigration priority. Due to the length of this category's current waitlist, sibling immigration can take many years. On the other hand, this category allows certain family members to be included on a single petition, which makes it somewhat easier for the sibling's close family to eventually immigrate together. For more information, Contact Us for an initial consultation.