Can I Petition My Sibling For U.s. Residency?

Some people are citizens of the United States but have siblings who are not. If you are in this situation and your sibling lives overseas, you may want to bring your brother or sister to this country to enjoy its freedoms as you do. You may wonder if the U.S. government will permit you to do so.

The good news is that the United States allows its citizens to petition for siblings to receive permanent residency through a Green Card. In addition, U.S. immigration law takes different familial relationships into account involving siblings.

Your relationship with your sibling

While you and your sibling may share the same birth mother and father, not all siblings have this kind of relationship. For instance, your parents may have adopted your brother or sister, or you may have a half-sibling, meaning one of your parents had a child with someone who was not your parent. Alternatively, you may have a stepbrother or stepsister.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website explains that youmay petitionfor residency in any of these situations. As part of your petition, you must produce evidence that you are a citizen of the United States, which may include a U.S. birth certificate, a certificate of citizenship, or a naturalization certificate. You will also have to submit copies of your birth certificate and your sibling’s to show you share at least one parent.

Use the right evidence for your situation

Be aware that you will have to submit different evidence depending on the kind of relationship you have with your sibling. For instance, if you have an adopted sibling, you will need to submit a copy of the adoption decree that proves the adoption happened before you or your sibling turned 16 years old.

If your sibling is a paternal half-sibling, you must produce any documents proving the termination of your father’s or mother’s marriages along with copies of your father’s marriage certificates to your mother and your sibling’s mother. If you have a sibling through a stepparent, you will need evidence showing the termination of the stepparent’s prior marriage and a marriage certificate of the stepparent to your parent.

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