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Other close family member of U.S. citizen: Brothers and Sisters

This category includes the brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens. To apply for a green card for his or her brother or sister, a U.S. citizen must be 21 years of age or older. Furthermore, to qualify as a brother or sister of a U.S. citizen, both the brother or sister and the U.S. citizen must have been children of the same parent.

Immediate family members of the brother or sister may also apply for a green card with the brother or sister of a U.S. citizen at the same time. The annual visa allotment available for this preference is 65,000, plus any visas not used by the first three preferences. Please see "Visa Bulletin" for the latest information on usage of the visa quota.

There are two scenarios for brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens to apply for immigration:

  • The first scenario is that the alien brother or sister is already in the United States in a nonimmigrant status. In this case, the U.S. citizen may only file an immigration petition (I-130) for the brother or sister. The brother or sister has to wait for the immigrant visa number to become current before he or she may apply to adjust to permanent resident (I-485). During this waiting period, the brother or sister needs to independently maintain a valid nonimmigrant status.
  • The second scenario is that the brother or sister is outside the United States. In this case, the U.S. citizen needs to file an immigration petition and request that the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (formerly Immigration & Naturalization Service) notify a U.S. Consulate in the country where the brother or sister lives. Once the immigration petition is approved and an immigrant visa is available, the National Visa Center of the U.S. State Department sends a forms and information package, "Packet 3", to the U.S. citizen. After the necessary forms are completed, the brother or sister goes to the U.S. Consulate overseas to apply for an immigrant visa. On the day that the brother or sister enters the United States on an immigrant visa, he or she becomes a U.S. permanent resident.

For more information on brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, please click on the following links:

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