Sibling of U.S. Citizen


Siblings of U.S. Citizens are often eligible to obtain permanent residency in the United States.  Unfortunately, the time frame for obtaining permanent residency is rather lengthy as qualifying siblings must wait for a visa to become available before being able to complete the process.  Nevertheless, once a visa becomes available, the sibling will be able to receive a green card and obtain permanent residency (and all the benefits that permanent residency entails).

The Process:

Like other family-based immigration petitions, the first step for a sibling of a U.S. Citizen is to prove to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) that the familial relationship exists.  Once that relationship is established, the sibling must wait for a visa to become available.  Currently there is a backlog for visas of this category as siblings of U.S. citizens are the fourth preference category.  To see where the fourth preference category currently is, please visit the Department of State’s Current Visa Bulletin.

Once a visa becomes available, the sibling of a U.S. citizen will receive notification and can submit an additional petition to receive a green card and become a permanent resident of the United States.

After Obtaining Permanent Residency:

Citizenship: After five years of permanent residency, a green card holder may be eligible to become a naturalized U.S. Citizen.

Work Authorization: After obtaining permanent residency, the sibling of a U.S. Citizen may become authorized to work in the United States.

Travel Abroad: After obtaining permanent residency, a sibling of a U.S. Citizen may be able to freely travel abroad.  However, care must be taken to ensure that the permanent resident does not “abandon” his or her permanent residency by staying abroad for a significant amount of time.

More Information:

For more information, please visit the USCIS website.  If you are a sibling of a U.S. citizen, please contact Gafner Law Firm to learn whether you are eligible for permanent residency.

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