Can I Sponsor My Brother for a Green Card?
US immigration law allows a US citizen to apply for a green card for her or his foreign national brother. If you are the brother of a US citizen, you may obtain a green card to permanently reside in the United States, and eventually become a US citizen yourself.
The F4 family-based fourth preference immigrant visa category allows the brother of a US citizen to obtain a green card. In addition to the green card application for brother, immediate family members such as your brother’s spouse and children under the age of 21 may also obtain a green card. The green card for brother process can be a long process because of the limited allocation of immigrant visas in the F4 category. Due to high volume of green card applications for brothers each year, there is currently an over 10-year backlog in the F4 category. This means that even if you file your green card for brother application today, your brother may not be able to obtain a green card for many years. So if you are wondering “Can I sponsor my brother for a green card”, the answer is yes, but it will be a long time before your brother obtains a green card through the petition you filed for him.
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If you are asking yourself “Can I file green card for my brother?”, this article will hopefully help you understand how you can obtain a green card for your brother under the family preference system. There are several requirements that you need to satisfy in order to file a green card application for your brother and his family. If you want to sponsor a green card for your brother but have an unusual case or are running into issues, please contact our experienced family-based immigration attorneys, who can help you navigate the many confusing requirements for obtaining a green card for your brother.
This article will help answer a variety of questions that you may be asking yourself if you are trying to obtain a green card for your brother including “how can I apply for my brother green card?”, or “can I apply for a green card for my brother?” It will also explain the green card for brother process.
You can apply for a green card for your biological brother, half-brother (whether you share a common father or a common mother), step-brother (as long as your parents married before your and your brother’s 18th birthday), or adoptive brother (if you or your brother were adopted before you were 16).
FAQs About: Can I Sponsor My Brother for a Green Card
Can I apply for a green card for my brother?
If you are a US citizen, you can sponsor a green card for your brother through the family-based fourth preference category (F4), which unfortunately is the most backlogged family-based immigration category. Because only a limited number of F4 category immigrant visas are issued each year, obtaining a green card for your brother will most likely take many years. So if you are wondering “can I apply for a green card for my brother?”, the answer is yes, but it will take many years.
I have green card, can I apply for my brother?
US permanent residents cannot petition for a green card for their brother. Unfortunately, only a US citizen can sponsor a green card for her brother in the F4 category. If you are a lawful permanent resident, i.e. a green card holder, you cannot apply for a green card for your brother. However, you do have an option. If you have been a permanent resident for 5 years, you may be eligible to apply for naturalization. Once you become a naturalized US citizen, you can sponsor a green card for your brother. So the answer to the question “I have green card, can I apply for my brother?” unfortunately is no because only US citizens may petition for their brother in the F4 category.
Can I file for a green card for my brother and his family?
If you are filing a green card application for your brother, the petition can also include your brother’s spouse and his unmarried children under the age of 21. This is one of the biggest benefits of the green card for brother process. Often our clients retain our family-based immigration lawyers to file a a green card for brother petition for the benefit of the brother’s young children. Although the wait times are long, the brother and his family may obtain a green card before his children enroll in high school or college at which point having a green card could be a huge benefit to them.
Can I sponsor my brother for a green card if he is my half-brother?
You can apply for a green card for your brother even if he is your half-brother. If you are related through your mother, both of your birth certificates will be sufficient proof of a familial relationship to get a green card for your brother. However, if you are only related through your father, it will be slightly more challenging to apply for a green card for your brother. You will need to submit your father’s marriage certificate from his marriage to your mother, as well as his marriage certificate from his marriage to your brother’s mother. You will also have to submit proof that one of the marriages was legally terminated. If the parents never married, you will need evidence of legitimation, or proof of a parental relationship such as that there was a financial or emotional relationship with the father, established before the age of 21. In sum, you can sponsor your half-brother for a green card. You just need to make sure that you submit all necessary supporting documents to prove the relationship.
Can I sponsor my brother for a green card if he is my step-brother?
If the familial relationship between you and your brother was established through a step-parent, you can still sponsor a green card for your brother. It is important that your parents, through whom the relationship is established, have married before your and your step-brother’s 18th birthday. In sum, if you are wondering “can I sponsor my brother for a green card if he is my step-brother?” the answer is yes as long as certain criteria are met.
Can I sponsor my brother for a green card if he was adopted?
You can apply for a green card for your brother if either you or your brother were adopted before the age of 16. You will have to submit a copy of the adoption decree proving the relationship.
Am I eligible to file a green card application for brother?
If you want to file a green card application for your brother, you need to demonstrate that you are a US citizen over the age of 21. You will also need to demonstrate the relationship to your brother with documents proving the sibling relationship, such as your birth certificates.
Common issues when filing green card application for brother?
If a genuine sibling relationship exists between you and your brother, and you satisfy the aforementioned requirements, a green card for your brother might still not be an option if your brother is inadmissible to the United States. Below you can find some of the reasons why a green card application for your brother may be denied:
- Health and medical reasons
- Criminal convictions
- National security issues
- Likelihood to become a public charge
- Fraud or misrepresentation
- Prior removals or unlawful presence
- Miscellaneous grounds
How can I apply for my brother green card?
If you want to become the US citizen sponsor of a green card for your brother, you will have to file a petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Form I-130 [https://www.uscis.gov/i-130]. Once a visa becomes available, your brother will be notified by the National Visa Service (NVC), and will then be able to apply for an immigrant visa at a US Consulate. Once the immigrant visa is approved, your brother and his family will be able to travel to and enter the United States.
Green card application for brother explanation
Filing a green card for brother application is a three-step process. Below you can find a step-by-step guide explaining how to apply for brother green card. If you have questions related to your particular case, you can contact our family-based immigration attorneys, who can advise on the best strategy in your case.
A step-by-step guide for green card application for brother
While the process of obtaining a green card for your brother is not any more complicated than any other family-based immigration petition, it is one that unfortunately takes many years due to the annual caps on immigrant visa issuance in the F4 category. If you are wondering “How can I apply for my brother green card?” please see the below step-by step
Step 1: The US citizen sibling files Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
Once you have decided that you will be filing a green card application for your brother, your first step is to file an immigrant petition on his behalf. To do so, you must submit Form I-130 with all relevant support evidence to USCIS. As soon as USCIS approves the petition, the application for your brother will be forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC).
Step 2: You wait for a visa to become available
When you file the petition for a green card for your brother, the receipt date of your petition will become the “priority date” of your brother’s application. When the priority date becomes current on the Visa Bulletin, you can then move on to the next step towards obtaining a green card for your brother. Keep in mind that you will likely have to wait several years before the priority date becomes current.
Step 3: The foreign national brother applies for an immigrant visa at a US Consulate or Embassy abroad (Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa Electronic Application)
When the priority date for your brother’s immigrant petition becomes current, he can apply for an immigrant visa at a US Consulate or Embassy in his home country by filling out Form DS-260. The DS-260 application will be submitted to the National Visa Center from where it will be forwarded to the US Embassy or Consulate adjudicating the application.
Step 4: Brother green card immigration interview
The final step in the green card for brother process is for your brother to attend an immigration interview at the US Embassy or Consulate. Prior to the interview, your brother will also have to attend a medical exam with a US government approved physician. During the interview, the immigration officer will ask your brother questions to make sure he is not ineligible for a green card. Once the case is approved, your brother will be issued an immigrant visa with which he can travel to the United States. Once inside the United States, your brother will be sent a green card to the mailing address listed on the application.
What documents do I need to file green card application for brother?
In order to apply for a green card for your brother through the F4 family-based immigrant category, you will have to submit the following documents:
- Proof of your US citizenship.
- Proof of your familial relationship to your brother, such as birth certificates, adoption decrees, marriage certificates of parents, etc.
- Affidavit of Support. You will have to demonstrate that you have the means to financially support your brother and that you will not let him become a public charge.
- If your brother has changed his name, you will have to submit proof of the name change.
- A copy of your brother’s valid passport.
- Two passport-size photos of your brother.
- Completed medical examination and vaccination forms.
- Civil documents, such as any court records, marriage or birth certificates for your brother’s spouse and minor children, military records (if applicable), police clearance certificates for every country your brother has lived in since the age of 16.
This is a standard list of documents that most people filing a green card application for brother submit as part of their application. However, every case is different, and you may have to submit additional documents. If you have questions about the necessary documents to submit in your case, we recommend consulting with a family-based immigration attorney who will make sure you have assembled all the required documents for applying for a green card for your brother.
Green Card for Brother Immigration Services
Are you a US citizen wondering “Can I sponsor my brother for a green card?” If you are wondering can I apply for a green card for my brother, our family-based immigration attorneys can devise a custom tailored immigration strategy for your and your brother’s needs. Our attorneys have extensive experience with the brother of US citizen green card process and can help your brother obtain a green card so that he and his family can live in the United States.
During your consultation, our family-based immigration lawyer will provide an honest assessment of your case, and a recommendation about your next steps.
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