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Helping Brothers, Sisters, and Step-Siblings Immigrate to the U.S.

Posted on in Immigration

New Canaan family immigration attorney sibling visaMany people who have successfully immigrated to the U.S. wish to help their siblings immigrate as well. One option is the family preference visa program, specifically, the F4 visa category. However, be aware that only 65,000 F4 visas are available per year. Once the sponsor’s petition is approved, the immigrant (known as the applicant) may have to wait 10 years or more for an F4 visa to become available.

Requirements to Sponsor Siblings for U.S. Immigration

You must be an American citizen and at least 21 years old in order to sponsor the immigration of your brother or sister. Your sibling may be of any age. You must also have sufficient income and/or assets to support the immigrant.

To begin the process, you must file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). On a single form, you can name your sibling along with his/her legal spouse and your sibling’s unmarried children under age 21. Along with this form, you must provide sufficient documentation to prove your citizenship and your sibling relationship.

How to Prove a Sibling Relationship for an F4 Immigration Visa

To sponsor your brother or sister for an F4 sibling visa, you must be able to prove that you have at least one parent in common or that your sibling was legally adopted by your parents. 

If you and your sibling share a common birth mother, you will need a copy of your birth certificate and your sibling’s birth certificate. These documents should both show your mother’s name, thereby proving your relationship. In addition, if you or your sibling has changed your name since birth, you must provide documentation of the name change, such as a marriage certificate.

If you and your sibling share a common natural father, but have different mothers, birth certificates alone are not sufficient. You will also need proof that your father was, at some time, married to each mother. That means you will need copies of each of your father’s marriage certificates, along with documentation proving that your father was legally divorced prior to remarrying. If either your birth or your sibling’s birth was never legitimized through marriage or a legal “recognition of paternity” process, then some other proof of your shared father will be necessary.

If you cannot produce sufficient documentation to prove either a full-sibling or half-sibling blood relationship, the USCIS will now accept DNA test results as proof of a sibling relationship. While this was not true prior to 2014, advances in DNA testing science have led USCIS to issue revised guidance on this subject in April 2018. Testing against the common parent(s) and/or another sibling is recommended to increase the reliability and conclusiveness of the DNA test results.

If you are step-siblings, that is, related only through a step-parent and not a natural parent, you will need proof of the marriage between your natural parent and your step-parent, as well as proof that they were both legally divorced or single prior to their marriage. Further, a child of your step-parent only qualifies as your step-sibling if that child was under age 18 when your parent and step-parent married. For example, if your mother married your step-father when your step-father’s child was 19 years old, your step-father’s child does not qualify as your sibling for immigration purposes. 

If you are siblings through adoption, you will need a copy of the adoption decree proving that you and/or your sibling were adopted prior to age 16 by a common parent.

Consult an Experienced Stamford, CT Immigration Attorney 

Thes process to sponsor a sibling or other family member for immigration to the U.S. can be long and frustrating. To make the process as easy as possible, choose a knowledgeable Fairfield County immigration lawyer to help you. At Gonzalez Law Office, LLC, our goal is your goal: to unify your family in the U.S. as quickly as possible. Contact us at 203-323-1440. 

Sources:

https://www.uscis.gov/family/family-us-citizens/bringing-siblings-live-united-states-permanent-residents

https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Laws/Memoranda/2018/2018-04-17-PM-DNA-Evidence-of-Sibling-Relationships.pdf

https://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/AFM/HTML/AFM/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-3481/0-0-0-5928.html

Fairfield County Bar Association Connecticut Bar Association American Immigration Lawyers Association Connecticut American Immigration Lawyers Association
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