How to Get a US Green Card for your Brother or Sister

US citizens who are 21 years of age or older can obtain a family-based green card for their siblings. If you have a brother or sister who wants a green card, however, you will need to go through the green card brother/sister sponsorship process. This means you will need to:

  1. Obtain proof that your brother or sister share at least one parent with you. Usually, this will require birth certificates for both yourself and your sibling. If you do not have birth certificates, you will need to establish the family relationship some other way. Stepbrothers, stepsister, and adopted brothers and sisters are also eligible for a green card for a sister or brother. In these cases, marriage certificates or adoption certificates may be needed to prove the relationship. As well, the sibling must meet the health requirements and other requirements for immigration to the US.
  2. File USCIS Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative at the USCIS). You can download this form and the instructions for it through the USCIS website.
  3. Once your application is approved by the USCIS, you will be issued a visa number by the US State Department. You will also receive a priority number. This occurs because there is a cap or limit on the number of family-sponsored US green card applications permitted each year. The priority number may be months or years away. Nevertheless, your sister or brother cannot apply for a green card until after this date has passed. During this time, your brother or sister will continue to live in their native country.
  4. Once the priority date is current, your siblings can apply for a green card. If your sister or brother live in their home country, they can apply for a green card at a US consulate in their home country. Once they get their green card approval, they will receive a special stamp in their passport when they enter the US. Until they get their official green card, this stamp will prove their status and will allow them to get employment in the US. If your brother or sister already live in the US, they can apply for their green card by filing USCIS form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status).

Once your sibling has a green card, your sister or brother will be able to live and work permanently in the US, travel in and out of the US freely, and even have access to some of the benefits of the US (such as access to public education).