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Immigration Fact of the Week (December 26 – January 1)

As a U.S. citizen, how do I apply for a green card for my brother or sister?

Only a U.S. citizen can sponsor a brother or a sister. Your brothers and sisters will fall into the family based fourth preference (F4) category. You will have to file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for your brother or sister for whom you wish to get a green card. Once U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services approves this form, you must wait for the U.S. Department of State to inform your sister or brother that they are eligible to apply for an immigrant visa. If they are outside the country, they can get an immigrant visa through consular processing. They may be able to go through adjustment of status if they are in the U.S. as nonimmigrants.

Unlike immediate relatives for whom immigrant visas will immediately become available, those in F4 category will need to wait for years for a visa in their category to become available. Remember that your sister or brother will not be issued a visa as soon as the I-130 application is approved. This form is only to show qualifying family relationship. Approval of this form means your brother or sister is in line for immigrant visa processing.

Check out our immigration blog for more immigration facts!

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