As a U.S. citizen or as a lawful permanent resident (LPR), you have the right as well as the power to help your family members immigrate to the U.S. by obtaining a green card on their half. You can vouch for your immediate family members, which can help them become U.S. citizens, get better jobs, and live a better life.
To bring family members such as siblings to the U.S. and to help them obtain a green card, there are set of procedures that you must follow. From submitting forms, attending immigration interviews, verifying your relationship, and paying for immigration fees, there is a lot of work to do to bring your siblings to the United States legally.
Lucky for you, the immigration team at Jackson White Law is here to help you navigate this process. If you are interested in learning how to apply for a green card for your sibling, contact Jackson White Law to set up a meeting with an experienced immigration attorney who can assist you in bringing your sibling to the United States.
What Do I Need To Do When Applying for a Green Card for My Sibling?
To complete the process of applying for a green card on behalf of your sibling, you must do the following:
1. Collect Personal Documents
To complete the process of applying for a green card on behalf of your sibling, you will need to provide evidence that indicates your citizenship status and prove that you are siblings. The following documents serve as evidence:
- A copy of your valid U.S. passport OR
- A copy of Consular Report of Birth Abroad, OR
- A copy of your naturalization certificate, OR
- A copy of your certificate of citizenship
- A copy of your birth certificate as well as your sibling’s birth certificate showing that you have at least one common parent
2. Submit Form I-130
If you are either a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR), you need to prove your relationship to your sibling applying for a green card. To prove your relationship, you need to fill out and submit form I-130.
Submitting form I-130 is only the first step in helping your sibling obtain a green card. Once the form has been accepted and the relationship has been proven, your sibling can move on to the next step. The filing or approval of this form does not give your sibling any immigration status or benefit.
After you, the U.S. citizen or LPR, have filled out and ready to submit the form, be sure to make a copy of all of the documents you are sending. Once you have made a copy for your personal records, you can either file online or send the documents according to USCIS directions.
3. Pay Immigration Fees
Currently, the fee for filing an I-130 petition is $535. However, United States Customs and Immigration Service plans to increase this fee to $560 for paper filings and $550 for online filings. Federal court injuctions have put the price change on hold for the time being, but the price may change shortly, so plan accordingly.
The two easiest ways to pay these fees are by check or money order. If you would like to pay with a credit card, you will have to fill out and submit Form G-1450, which authorizes credit card transactions.
4. Wait for A Response
Soon after submitting form I-130, you will receive a receipt from USCIS letting you know that they have received your petition as well, as they will provide info on how to check and see the status of your petition. You must regularly check for mail from the USCIS as they will reach out to let you know if you are missing any documents. If you do not submit these missing documents promptly, you could have to start the process over again.
There is not a set waiting period when it comes to hearing about your petition. Thus, it can take months or even a year to hear back
What to Do if Your Form I-130 Petition is Denied
Eventually, USCIS will send an approval or denial for the I-130 petition. If your petition has been denied, the USCIS will include a notice explaining the reason for denying your petition. From this point, you have the right to appeal the decision, or you may also resubmit your petition and repay the fees after you have fixed any mistakes.
If your petition has been denied for any reason, it’s time for you to hire an experienced immigration attorney to help you out. Contact Jackson White Law to schedule an appointment with an experienced immigration lawyer.
What to Do After Your Form I-130 Petition has been Accepted
If your petition has been approved, then your petition will be sent to the National Visa Center. Once your petition has been sent here, your sibling can expect to receive information about attending a visa interview.
Visas and green cards are given out according to various rules and guidelines. Siblings of U.S. citizens or LPR are considered to be a Family Fourth Preference. There are 65,000 green cards set aside for individuals in this category, and they run out each year. This means that it can take some time to set up the interview or receive a decision on their green card petition.
The best way to apply for a green card on behalf of your sibling is by working with an experienced immigration attorney. An experienced immigration attorney will ensure that your petition is filled out correctly, all of the necessary documents are included, and that they are all turned in as soon as the application period is open.
Suppose your sibling is already living in the United States and a visa is available for them. In that case, they may be eligible to get their green card by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence, or adjust status. However, it is doubtful for this to happen, and most cases require the individual to apply from their native countries.
Get Help Applying for a Green Card
The immigration law team at JacksonWhite has helped hundreds of immigrants secure their green cards and enter the next chapter of their lives in the United States. Contact us below to get the help you need.
Call our Immigration team at (480) 626-2388 to discuss your case today.
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