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What’s involved in bringing a sibling to the U.S.?

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2024 | Immigration And Naturalization

The family members most often brought to the U.S. are spouses, children and parents. What about siblings?

Sibling relationships can be closer than any other familial bond. That can be especially true when parents are no longer alive or when an older sibling has helped raise a younger one. If one sibling has immigrated to the U.S., it’s only natural that they may want to bring a sibling over at some point. What should you know?

First, it’s crucial to know that only U.S. citizens (both natural-born and naturalized) who are at least 21 can apply for a family-based visa for a sibling. A sibling can also become a permanent resident or green card holder.

What documentation is needed?

The U.S. citizen needs to submit Form I-130 along with proof of citizenship and their birth certificate. They also need to provide evidence that they can support their sibling.

The overseas sibling also needs to provide their birth certificate and medical records. They’ll need to undergo a background check if they’re seeking a green card. If you’re siblings through your parents’ marriage (half-siblings) or through adoption, documentation showing that will be necessary. 

While this may sound fairly straightforward, there can be all kinds of complications. Sometimes, documentation isn’t available (for example, if one or both siblings were born in a country that no longer exists or has been upended by war or other catastrophic events). Further, there could potentially be something that shows up in a medical record or background check that is seen as a red flag by immigration officials.  Having experienced guidance from the beginning of the process can help things go more smoothly for you and your sibling.