It is well known that the U.S. citizens can sponsor their immediate relatives for lawful status and bring them to the U.S. Likewise, they can also get their brothers or sisters U.S. green cards.
U.S. citizens are allowed to sponsor their brothers or sisters and immediate relatives in order to promote family unity. This gives the family members of U.S. citizens an opportunity to live in America.
To sponsor a brother or sister for a green card, one must have obtained U.S. citizenship through naturalization or must be a U.S. citizen by birth. The sponsoring U.S. citizen must not be a minor and must be above age 21. It must be remembered that the permanent residents cannot sponsor their brothers or sisters and only the U.S. citizens can do so.
U.S. citizens can sponsor their brothers or sisters but they belong to the family preference category and not to the immediate relatives category. The ones who belong to the preference category need to wait for a long time to get green cards. They need to wait for a minimum of 10 years to get green cards. Beneficiaries who belong to countries like China, India, and the Philippines need to wait for more than ten years to immigrate to the U.S.
A U.S. citizen, to get his or her brother or sister a green card must first file an immigrant petition, Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for the beneficiary (U.S. citizen’s brother or sister). This is the first step in the process of sponsoring a brother or sister.
Once this immigrant petition is approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the petition will be forwarded to the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in the beneficiary’s home country. Then the beneficiary must then file an application for an immigrant visa in the consulate or embassy in his or her home country.
This will not happen immediately and the immigrant petition will not be approved immediately. USCIS will take years to approve immigrant petitions filed by U.S. citizens on behalf of their brothers or sisters.
After Form I-130 is approved, the beneficiary can apply for an immigrant visa after his or her priority date becomes current and after the overseas U.S. Consulate or Embassy requires him or her to do so. After applying for an immigrant visa, the beneficiary must appear for a medical examination and for a visa interview. If the interview is successful, an immigrant visa will be issued to the beneficiary with which he or she can travel to the U.S.
If the beneficiary is in the U.S., he or she can go for adjustment of status. In this case, the U.S. citizen needs to file Form I-130 for the beneficiary and the beneficiary can file Form I-485 while in the U.S. But the beneficiary cannot file Form I-485 for adjustment of status when the U.S. citizen sponsor files Form I-130. The beneficiary needs to wait until an immigrant visa number becomes available. While waiting for the immigrant visa number to become current, the beneficiary must maintain nonimmigrant status.
Only 65,000 immigrant visas are issued every year to the brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens every year. Due to this, the brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens need to wait for several years to immigrate to the U.S.