Many believe that a minor sibling of a US citizen can get a Green Card through his/her parents’ petition, which is not true. Parents of US citizens belong to the immediate relative category just like the spouses and children of US citizens. Unlike parents, spouses and children of US citizens, siblings of US citizens belong to the family preference category which is subject to numerical limitations. Parents who are considered immediate relatives are not subject to numerical limitations.
Minor siblings of US citizens who are living abroad with their parents, cannot be a part of their parents’ applications for legal residency in America. They are ineligible for follow-to-join benefits. To bring a sibling to the United States, a US citizen must file a separate Form I-130 for the sibling who he/she seeks to sponsor. US citizens must file separate immigrant petitions for their parents and their siblings. At the same time, it must be remembered that the siblings do not belong to the immediate relative category, but to the family preference category.
The ones who belong to the family preference category will be put on a waiting list and they need to wait for a minimum of ten years to get immigrant visas. But this does not apply to the immediate relatives of US citizens as they will not be put on a waiting list and immigrant visa numbers will immediately be made available to them. Moreover, a US citizen can file Form I-130 for his/her parents and siblings only if he/she is above age 21.
Siblings of US citizens can get Green Cards in less than 10 years if their parents who immigrate to the United States, sponsor them. Green Card holders can sponsor their children and their spouses and get them Green Cards. Though the minor siblings of US citizens cannot be included in their parents’ immigrant petitions, they can be sponsored by their parents who immigrate to the United States. But they need to wait until their parents immigrate to the United States and get Green Cards. As the parents of US citizens are considered immediate relatives, they will not be required to wait for a long time to immigrate to the United States.
Once the parents immigrate to the United States and get Green Cards based on the applications filed by their US citizen children, as permanent residents, they in turn can file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for their minor children who are living abroad. A minor sibling of a US citizen can either be sponsored for a US Green Card by his/her US citizen sibling who is above age 21, or by his/her US citizen or permanent resident parents.