About our services: Sibling
Bringing Your Brother / Sister to the U.S.
Am I Eligible?If you are a U.S. citizen and at least 21 years old, you are eligible to petition to bring your brother or sister to live and work permanently in the United States. As the sponsor of your brother or sister, you must show that your household income is sufficient to support your family and your brother or sister at 125% or more above the U.S. poverty level for your household size. For more details about meeting this income requirement, see Filing an Affidavit of Support for a Relative. You do not need to file separate visa petitions for your brother's or sister's spouse or unmarried, minor children. Any child under 21 is considered a minor.
If you are a lawful permanent resident, you are not eligible to apply to bring your brother or sister to live and work permanently in the United States.
The ProcessAn immigrant (also called a "lawful permanent resident") is a foreign national who has been granted the privilege of living and working permanently in the United States. Your sibling must go through a multi-step process to become an immigrant. First, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must approve an immigrant visa petition that you file for your brother or sister. Second, the State Department must give your brother or sister an immigrant visa number, even if your brother or sister is already in the United States. Third, if your brother or sister is already in the United States, your brother or sister may apply to adjust to permanent resident status after a visa number becomes available. If your brother or sister is outside the United States when an immigrant visa number becomes available, your brother or sister will be notified to go to the local U.S. Consulate to complete the processing for an immigrant visa.
Obtaining an Immigrant Visa NumberIf the immigrant visa petition is approved, your brother or sister must wait for an immigrant visa number to become available according to the preference system. Because the number of immigrant visa numbers that are available each year is limited, they may not get an immigrant visa number immediately after the immigrant visa petition is approved. In some cases, several years could pass between the time USCIS approves the immigrant visa petition and the State Department provides an immigrant visa number. Because U.S. law also limits the number of immigrant visas available by country, they may have to wait longer if they come from a country with a high demand for U.S. immigrant visas. For more information, see The Preference System.
Work PermitsYour brother or sister does not need to apply for a work permit once they are admitted as an immigrant with their immigrant visa or have already been approved for adjustment to permanent resident status. As a legal permanent resident, your brother or sister should receive a Permanent Resident Card (commonly referred to as a 'Green Card') that will prove that your brother or sister has a right to live and work in the United States permanently. If your brother or sister is now outside the United States, they will receive a passport stamp upon arrival in the United States. This stamp will prove that they are allowed to work until a Permanent Resident Card is created.
If your brother or sister is in the U.S. and has applied to adjust to permanent resident status (by filing USCIS Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status), they are eligible to apply for a work permit while their case is pending. Your brother or sister should use Form I-765 to apply for a work permit (see Obtaining a Work Permit for more information).