Can a US Citizen Sponsor a Sibling to Bring to the US?
Published February 10, 2023
Immigration to the United States, or any country for that matter, is notorious for long delays and wait times. Even without a backlog, someone who wants to immigrate to the US would usually have to wait for at least a year. That’s why it’s not unusual for people to find ways to speed up the process.
One of the best ways to expedite the process is by sponsoring a sibling or any relative if you already have a green card. So, yes, a US citizen can sponsor a sibling to bring to the US.
However, it’s not as simple as it may sound, as much as you’d like it to be. There are many moving parts in a family-based immigration process, and that’s exactly what we’ll discuss in this blog post.
But first, you must understand why green card processing takes such a long time.
Green Card Issuance Caps
Not everyone who wants to immigrate to the US gets a green card because of the issuance cap.
The green card issuance or distribution cap is a numerical limit that dictates how many immigration visas (green cards) the US will issue that year. The Congress determines the cap.
Though it can be a bit unpredictable, an example of a standard cap is 366,000.
That means even if the government approves the green card application of 500,000 individuals, over 100,000 immigrants would not get a green card due to the issuance limit or cap.
In addition, this numerical limit is divided into several categories.
Distribution of Green Cards
The green card issuance cap is categorized in two ways: by qualification and by country.
There are different qualifications for green cards, and a percentage of the total cap is reserved for each qualification. Generally, there are three types of green card qualifications, namely:
- family-based green cards,
- employment-based green cards, and
- special immigrant green cards.
The US Congress allocates different numerical limits or caps for each type of qualification.
The allocation for each type of qualification goes something like this:
- family-based green cards always take the biggest portion of the cap,
- employment-based green cards take the second biggest share, and
- special immigrant green cards have a cap outside the standard 366,000.
The exact distribution may vary depending on the Congress. Regardless, the fact that family-based green cards take the highest percentage explains why it’s the most common way of application.
The higher the cap, the higher your chances of getting the green card as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, though, the other classification of the issuance cap would often get in the way.
US immigrants come from all kinds of countries, and each country has a set number of green cards the government can issue to its immigrants. That number is 7% of the total cap. So, if the issuance cap is 366,000, only 25,620 immigrants from each country can receive a green card.
Can a US Citizen Sponsor a Sibling to Bring to the US?
From the term “family-based green card” itself, you’d assume the siblings of US citizens would be eligible for this program, and you’d be right. You can sponsor a sibling to bring to the United States.
However, you cannot guarantee that your sibling will receive a green card.
That’s because the cap is even lower for specific types of family relatives, or as they call it, family preferences. Here’s a look at each type of family preference and their corresponding caps:
- First preference (F1): Unmarried children (21 years of age or older) of US citizens
F1 green cards have an annual cap of 23,400.
- Second preference (F2A): Unmarried children (20 years of age or younger) and spouses of LPRs or lawful permanent residents
F2A green cards have an annual cap of 87,934.
- Second preference (F2B): Unmarried children (21 years of age or older) of LPRs
F2B green cards have an annual cap of 26,266.
- Third preference (F3): Married children of US citizens
F3 green cards have an annual cap of 23,400.
- Fourth preference (F4): Siblings of adult US citizens
F4 green cards have an annual cap of 65,000.
As you can see, your case belongs to the fourth preference. However, the keyword here is “adult,” meaning you must be 21 years of age or older to sponsor your sibling to bring to the United States.
To confirm your sibling’s eligibility, you must also ensure they meet the following requirements:
- Your sibling was inspected and admitted or paroled into the US.
- Your sibling is physically present in the US when filing their application (Form I-485).
- The 226,000 family-based green card cap has yet to be reached for the year.
Once you’ve determined that your sibling is eligible, you should now proceed with the process.
How Can I Sponsor a Sibling to Bring to the US?
The process to sponsor a sibling to bring to the US is rather simple.
You, as a US citizen, just need to file a Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130). At the same time, your sibling must file an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485).
Since you’ll be filling out the Form I-130, you’ll need a couple of documents, including the following:
- A document proving your US citizenship. Examples of applicable documents are:
- A copy of your birth certificate
- A copy of your citizenship or naturalization certificate issued by the USCIS
- A copy of your Form FS-240 or Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)
- A copy of an unexpired US passport;
- An original statement from your US consular officer verifying that you’re US citizen
- A copy of your Permanent Resident Card or green card (front and back)
- A copy of your sibling’s birth certificate
The document proving your US citizenship is relatively easy to get. What’s difficult to obtain is the birth certificate of your sibling, considering how they are not yet a citizen of the United States.
Thankfully, there are agencies that would allow you to order birth certificate online.
After you fill in and file the forms, you only need to wait for the processing time.
If you’re lucky, your sibling can get a green card immediately. However, if the limit or cap has already been reached, unfortunately, you will have to wait at least a year for the cap to reset.
The Bottom Line
Any US citizen with a sibling who has yet to get a green card is bound to feel guilty for their family. As such, it’s no wonder why questions like “Can a US citizen sponsor a sibling to bring to the US? ” is such a common query. By now, you must already know the answer to that question.
Considering how it’s the fastest way to bring a sibling to the US, it’s an opportunity you shouldn’t miss. But as always, it’s not going to be easy. With this guide, however, it should at least be easier.
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About The Author
Lenard Arceo is an experienced blogger and writer who enjoys learning to code in his spare time. His commitment to delivering factual content is what has helped him create hundred of helpful articles that have reached millions of people.