If you are a United States citizen and are 21 years or older, you can file a petition with USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) for your brothers and sisters to live in the United States as permanent legal residents.
WHO IS CONSIDERED A BROTHER FOR U.S. IMMIGRATION LAWS?
Brothers are individuals who share at least one parent for immigration purposes. It is not necessary to be blood-related to your brother; they can be step-brothers, step-sisters, or adopted brothers or sisters. Only U.S. citizens can request the residency of a brother or sister to live permanently in the United States.
To initiate the petition, you must first correctly fill out Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative).
To avoid errors or misunderstandings that may unnecessarily delay the process, it is advisable to consult with a good immigration attorney who will also review the other required documents and explain how immigration laws apply to your specific case.
WHAT SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN AN I-130 PETITION?
The Form I-130 should include:
- A copy of your birth certificate (petitioner).
- A copy of your brother’s or sister’s birth certificate.
- Proof of your U.S. citizenship (petitioner).
These documents must be submitted to USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services).
WHAT OTHER DOCUMENTS MAY BE REQUIRED?
Birth certificates should show that you and your brother share at least one parent. If your brother is related to you through adoption, you should also provide a copy of the adoption decree indicating that the adoption took place before the adopted child turned 16. If your brother is related to you through a stepfather or stepmother, you must provide proof that the prior marriages of the biological parent and/or stepfather or stepmother were legally dissolved. If you and your brother share the same biological father and different mothers, you should also provide a copy of marriage certificates and evidence that all other marriages involving either parent were legally dissolved. If you or your brother have legally changed names, and the name differs from what is on the birth certificate, you will need a copy of the document indicating the name has been legally changed.
HOW LONG DOES THE PROCESS TAKE TO APPLY FOR RESIDENCY FOR MY BROTHER?
Unfortunately, your brother may not immigrate to the United States immediately.
The wait can literally be years in some cases, but the situation is different for everyone. This is one of the reasons why the knowledge of a family immigration attorney can be invaluable. Moreover, immigration law changes constantly, and some of these recent changes have not benefited immigrants or their families. Family-based immigration has been a particular target of criticism, and Congress may impose even more restrictions in the coming months. If you are thinking about reuniting your family in the United States, now is the best time to start.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER SUBMITTING THE APPLICATION?
A few weeks after submitting the I-130 petition, you should receive a notice from USCIS asking you to check the USCIS website for a status update. Look for a receipt number in the upper left corner of the message. You will need this number when you log in.
You can also sign up to receive email updates about the progress of your I-130 petition. It may take some months, but USCIS will eventually approve or, in rare cases, reject your I-130 petition for your sister or brother.
HOW IS THE FINAL DECISION MADE REGARDING THE GREEN CARD?
Ultimately, if the I-130 is approved, your brother will be asked to attend an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. This is where the decision to approve or deny permanent residency is made. Approved I-130 petitions are sent by USCIS to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing.
WHAT IF YOUR I-130 IS DENIED?
If your I-130 petition for your sister or brother is denied, USCIS will have to explain why in writing. If you receive a rejection, speak with your attorney to resubmit the I-130 or challenge the rejection. A good immigration attorney can review your legal, family, and professional situation, explain your options, help you avoid unnecessary delays, and represent and defend your family if necessary. Legal assistance is your right.
At the Law Offices of Duque, Kelley and Associates, as qualified immigration attorneys in family-based permanent residency, we will guide you through your process and appeal your case if necessary. Consult your case by calling +1 305 436 0155.