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Can an immigrant help a sibling enter the United States?

On Behalf of | May 12, 2024 | Immigration Law

Securing the lawful right to live and work in the United States is a major personal achievement. People who immigrate can enjoy more freedom and economic opportunities than they might have in their countries of origin. Those born in other countries can obtain visas through relationships, employment or educational pursuits. Once they establish themselves in the United States, they may start thinking about how to share their good fortune with their loved ones.

There are a variety of family-based immigration options available. Someone with a visa, for example, can potentially travel with their spouse and minor children when they enter the United States. If an immigrant currently living in the United States still has brothers or sisters living abroad, can they help their siblings lawfully enter the country?

Only citizens can help their siblings immigrate

The immediate family members of immigrants have the most immigration options. Those in less direct relationships with a citizen or lawful resident have fewer options.

Someone may have spent their formative years with their siblings, but that relationship isn’t as close as the relationship someone has with their spouse or their children. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) currently only offers one primary option for those hoping to help their siblings legally enter the country.

A person assisting a foreign national sibling must be a citizen of the United States. They can potentially help their sibling qualify for a green card if they can pass the background check and establish the relationship that they share with the citizen.

Someone who entered the country for work or other purposes might be a visa holder or a permanent resident. The desire to reconnect with a brother or sister could be a reason to consider naturalizing. Someone who becomes a naturalized citizen can offer their loved ones the same immigration opportunities as a natural-born citizen.

In some cases, it may be possible for immigrants in the United States to offer other forms of support to a sibling who may pursue their own immigration opportunities. If someone hopes to file a petition with the USCIS for a sibling, then citizenship is necessary. This is just one example of why learning about family immigration options can be useful for those with loved ones in other countries.