One of the many benefits to U.S. citizenship is the ability to petition your sibling along with their spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21, to live in the United States as a green card holder. This possibility allows families to reunify and live their lives together in the United States. To bring your brother or sister to the U.S., you must be a U.S. citizen and at least 21 years of age.
There are only a limited number of visas given out in this category each year and there is an extremely long waiting list. Even if you obtain an approved immigrant visa petition for your brother or sister, s/he cannot apply to start the actual green card process and interview at the consulate when their priority date is current. Green cards are only available if the “priority date” is current. The priority date is the date in which an application is accepted by USCIS. The countries with the longest waiting lists include Mexico, India, and the Philippines. However, this should not be a deterrent. It is important to get your place in line. You don’t know what the future may hold, so if you are thinking of petitioning your brother or sister, the time is now. The first step is to file an immigrant visa petition for your sibling establishing your familial relationship. Once that is approved, the wait begins. When the priority date becomes current and even after the wait is over, receiving the actual immigrant visa and green card can still take many months. If your sibling is outside the U.S. when an immigrant visa number becomes available, your brother or sister will be notified to appear for their interview at the local U.S. Consulate to complete the processing for a green card (immigrant visa).
The entire process can be complex, especially if your brother or sister is in the U.S. and needs to maintain valid immigration status while they wait for their priority date to become current. Your brother or sister’s immigration history in the U.S. can also affect whether they will be able to benefit from your sponsorship. Don’t delay in contacting us.