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Sibling Immigration: What to Know about Form I-130

Sibling Immigration: What to Know about Form I-130

PUBLISHED ON: September 05

Are you a United States citizen who has a sibling living abroad who would like to join you in the U.S.? If so, you might be eligible to petition for them to obtain a visa by filing immigration Form I-130. This is a complex form, and you should always have the assistance of an Illinois immigration lawyer during the process.

Filing the Form and Wait Time

Form I-130 is the Petition for Alien Relative, and it applies to a lawful permanent resident or citizen who wants to establish their relationship with certain family members who want to immigrate to the U.S. You must complete a separate form for each relative who is eligible. 

However, completing this form does not mean it is time for your sibling to move to the United States. This is because, in order for the Form I-130 to be processed, a visa number needs to become available first for your sibling. Depending on where your sibling lives, the wait times for an available visa could be anywhere from about 13 months to 20 years. This is because there are only 65,000 visas available for this family preference category each year, so siblings often wait longer than any other type of relative. The average time for a sibling to get a visa and green card is about ten years. This means that you should start the process as soon as possible. 

Eligibility and Application

For you to sponsor a sibling, you must be a U.S. citizen who is 21 years old or older. As a sponsor, you must provide your complete and accurate Form I-130 to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with the additional information:

  • Proof of your citizenship, such as your birth certificate or passport.
  • Copies of your and your sibling’s birth certificates to prove you have one or two common parents.
  • If either of you have changed your name, you need documentation of your prior name and your legal name change.

If you are petitioning for an adopted sibling, step-sibling, or half-sibling from your father’s side, you will need to provide more documentation. For siblings through adoption, you need the adoption decree that indicates the adopted party (you or your sibling) was adopted prior to age 16. 

For siblings through stepparents, you need documentation to show that prior marriages of the parents were terminated through the proper legal process, and that the marriage of the stepparent and your parent is current and valid. 

For half-siblings through your father, you need to submit marriage records showing your father was married to each of your mothers, as well as proof that prior marriages were properly terminated.

Learn How an Illinois Immigration Attorney Might Help

At Sverdloff Law Group, we assist with family-based immigration cases of all types, and we can advise you of your options regarding your siblings. Please contact us to discuss eligibility and our services today – we are ready to help.


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