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  • Petitioning Procedures: Bringing a Sibling to Live in the United States
    These are the basic steps required by a US Citizen. These steps should be followed as a guideline and not as specific requirements for any given case. Every case is unique and this does not address that uniqueness. This document contains condensed and general information obtained from www.uscis.gov, the primary source of reference for this document.



    This information is for a United States (U.S.) citizen, who is at least 21 years of age, who wishes to petition for or “sponsor� his or her brother or sister to live permanently in the U.S.. Lawful permanent residents are not eligible to petition for a brother or sister.




    For Whom Are You Petitioning?

    I am a U.S. citizen and I am petitioning for:


          My brother or sister, and we have the same mother
          My brother or sister, and we have the same father BUT different mothers
          My brother or sister, we are related through our father, and one of us was born out of wedlock and legitimated
          My brother or sister, we are related through our father, and one of us was born out of wedlock but not legitimated
          My stepbrother or stepsister, and we now share a common parent
          My stepbrother or stepsister, we now share a common parent, and one of us was born out of wedlock
          My stepbrother or stepsister, we are related through our father, and one of us was born out of wedlock but not legitimated

    Note: If either you or your sibling were born out of wedlock (your birth parents were not married when you were born), you must provide evidence that you took the actions necessary to satisfy the legitimation law of the birth country of the person born out of wedlock while the individual was under 18 years of age and unmarried. Legitimation laws require fathers to legally acknowledge their children. Refer to the sections on legitimated children out of wedlock

    If you are a U.S. citizen seeking permanent resident status for your brother or sister, and you have the same mother, you must file the following items with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services:


          Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
          A copy of your birth certificate showing your name and your mother's name
          If you were not born in the United States, a copy of either
               your Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship or
               your U.S. passport
          A copy of your brother's or sister's birth certificate showing his or her name and your mother's name
          If anyone's name has been legally changed (differs from the name on his or her birth certificate), evidence of the name change must be submitted

    If you are a U.S. citizen seeking permanent resident status for your brother or sister, and you have the same father but different mothers, you must file the following items with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services:


          Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
          A copy of your birth certificate showing your name and your father's name
          If you were not born in the United States, a copy of either
               your Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship or
               your U.S. passport
          A copy of your brother's or sister's birth certificate showing his or her name and your father's name
          If anyone's name has been legally changed (if it differs from the name on his or her birth certificate), evidence of the name change must be submitted
          A copy of your father's marriage certificate to each mother
          A copy of any divorce decrees, death certificates, or annulment decrees showing that any previous marriages entered into by your parents or your sibling's parents ended legally

    If you are a U.S. citizen seeking permanent resident status for your brother or sister, and you were and/or your brother or sister was born out of wedlock, and you are related through your father and were legitimated, you must file the following with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services:


          Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
          A copy of your birth certificate showing your name
          If you were not born in the United States, a copy of
               your Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship or
               your U.S. passport
          A copy of your brother's or sister's birth certificate showing his or her name
          If anyone's name has been legally changed (if it differs from the name on his or her birth certificate), evidence of the name change must be submitted
          Evidence that the person who was born out of wedlock was legitimated before reaching the age of 18 and while unmarried through
              A. the marriage of that person's natural parents
              B. the laws of your or your brother's or sister's country of residence or domicile, or
              C. the laws of the father's country of residence or domicile

    If you are a U.S. citizen seeking permanent resident status for your brother or sister, and you were and/or your brother or sister was born out of wedlock and not legitimated, and you are related through your father, you must file the following with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services:


          Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
          A copy of your birth certificate showing your name
          If you were not born in the United States, a copy of
               your Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship or
               your U.S. passport
          A copy of your brother's or sister's birth certificate showing his or her name
          If anyone's name has been legally changed (if it differs from the name on his or her birth certificate), evidence of the name change must be submitted
          Evidence that an emotional or financial bond existed between your father and the child who was born out of wedlock (either you or your brother or sister or both of you) before that child was married or reached the age of 21

    If you are a U.S. citizen seeking permanent resident status for your stepbrother or stepsister, you must file the following items with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services:


          Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
          Your birth certificate showing your name and your common parent's name (if your father married your stepsibling's mother, your father's name must be visible on the birth certificate; if your mother married your stepsibling's father, your mother's name must be visible on the birth certificate)
          If you were not born in the United States, a copy of
               your Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship or
               your U.S. passport
          A copy of your stepbrother's or stepsister's birth certificate showing his or her name and your common parent's name (see above)
          If your stepsibling is or has been married, you must provide evidence of the marriage(s) in order to prove that your stepsibling was once a “childâ€� of the stepparent
          If anyone's name has been legally changed (if it differs from the name on his or her birth certificate), evidence of the name change must be submitted
          A copy of the civil marriage certificate of your natural mother to your natural father and your stepsibling's natural mother to his or her natural father
          Proof that any previous marriages entered into by your and your stepsibling's father and mother ended legally (this could include copies of divorce decrees, death certificates, or annulment decrees)
          A copy of the civil marriage certificate between a) your father and your stepmother or b) your mother and your stepfather, whichever is applicable

    If you are a U.S. citizen seeking permanent resident status for your stepbrother or stepsister and you were and/or your stepsibling was born out of wedlock, and you are related through your father, and the child born out of wedlock was legitimated, you must file the following items with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services:


          Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
          Your birth certificate showing your name and your father's name
          If you were not born in the United States, a copy of
               your Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship or
               your U.S. passport
          A copy of your stepbrother's or stepsister's birth certificate showing his or her name and your father's name
          If anyone's name has been legally changed (if it differs from the name on his or her birth certificate), evidence of the name change must be submitted
          Evidence that you were and/or your stepsibling was legitimated before reaching the age of 18 and while still unmarried through:
              A. the marriage of that person's natural parents
              B. the laws of your or your stepbrother's or stepsister's country of residence or domicile, or
              C. the laws of your father's residence or domicile

    If you are a U.S. citizen seeking permanent resident status for your stepbrother or stepsister and you were and/or your stepsibling was born out of wedlock and not legitimated, you must file the following items with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services:


          Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
          Your birth certificate showing your name and your common parent's name (if your father married your stepsibling's mother, your father's name must be visible on the birth certificate; if your mother married your stepsibling's father, your mother's name must be visible on the birth certificate)
          If you were not born in the United States, a copy of
               your Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship, or
               your U.S. passport
          A copy of your stepbrother's or stepsister's birth certificate showing his or her name and your common parent's name (see above)
          If anyone's name has been legally changed (if it differs from the name on his or her birth certificate), evidence of the name change must be submitted
          A copy of the marriage certificate between a) your father and your stepmother, or b) your mother and your stepfather, whichever is applicable (the date of the marriage must be prior to the date on which the child who was born out of wedlock reached the age of 18 or was married)
          Proof that any previous marriages entered into by your or your stepsibling's father or mother ended legally (this could include copies of divorce decrees, death certificates, or annulment decrees)
          Proof that a bona fide parent-child relationship existed between your common parent and the child who was born out of wedlock before that child reached the age of 21 or was married

    **** Please note that you do not need to file separate visa petitions for your brother's or sister's spouse or his/her unmarried children under 21 years of age. They may accompany or follow to join your brother and sister. This includes adopted children who fit the definition of adopted child in the immigration law (101(b)(1)(E) but not (F)). If you have further questions please contact the Consulate/Embassy for your sibling or the USCIS.

     

    Where to File
    You should file your petition and supporting documentation at the USCIS District Office with jurisdiction over your place of residence. One exception: if you live in the jurisdiction of the Baltimore, Maryland District Office, you should file at the Vermont Service Center.

     

    Where to Get the Forms and Fee Information
    Forms and fee information can be found on the USCIS Forms and Fees page. You may also go directly to a form by clicking on the form number where it is underlined in the chart on the Forms and Fees page. When you click on a form number, you will be taken to a page with more specific information about that form, and you will also find a link to the printable form. You may also obtain forms from the USCIS Forms Center by calling 1-800-870-3676.

     

    After Filing Your Petition
    You will be notified by the USCIS if your I-130 petition is approved or denied. If it is approved, your brother or sister will be notified by the Department of State when a visa number is available. If your sibling is outside the country, he or she must then go to the local U.S. consulate to complete visa processing. If your sibling is legally inside the United States when a visa number becomes available and has not worked without authorization, he or she may apply to adjust to Permanent Resident status.

    Note: For complete and always up to date information we always recommend you visit www.uscis.gov.


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