The range of family immigration services for the United States is restricted to spouses, fiances and dependent children where applicants are being sponsored by a US Permanent resident. However, for US citizens the reach of family visas for the US is slightly broader, encompassing parents and siblings.
Those in possession of US Citizenship may petition for their parents and /or siblings to be granted a Permanent Resident Card for lawful permanent residence, or as it is more commonly known, a US Green Card, allowing them to live and work in the USA. This page will examine the requirements for sponsoring a sibling to migrate to the USA, sponsoring parents to immigrate to the US is discussed in detail on the parent’s page.
The USA immigration service is one of the most complex in the world with a broad range of non-immigrant American visas and routes to permanent residence in the US. For those wishing to visit the USA on a temporary basis or to commence living and working in the USA for a defined period, a wide variety of non-immigration visas for the USA must be navigated in order to determine the most appropriate route. For those immigrating to America with the intention of securing a USA Green Card, a number of different approaches exist depending on whether they enter through an employment-based route, through family connections or through the annual “Green Card Lottery” which aims to promote diversity in America.
An American Green Card offers many of the benefits enjoyed by USA citizens, although some privileges including the right to vote are reserved for those holding full US citizenship. Nonetheless, permanent residents are free to live in, leave, re-enter, and work in the US. Unlike the various non-immigrant visas for American immigration, including employment-based routes such as the H1-B visa and L1 visa, which form the equivalent of a UK work permit, no time limits are imposed upon permanent residents. Another key benefit of sponsorship through a US citizen is that unlike employment-based routes, no assessment of skills or experience is required and no pre-arranged job offer needs to be in place.
In America, visas tend to place emphasis upon offers of employment being arranged before applications are submitted. With the exception of the EB-1 visa for priority workers, the EB-5 visa and in some circumstance the EB-2 visa, which, like the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme or HSMP in the UK allow candidates to immigrate and seek work upon arrival, most employment-based USA visa services require an offer of employment. This requirement is not required for family-based immigration visas.
In America, immigration services for siblings wishing to obtain permanent residency status require the sponsor to be a USA citizen and stipulate that they must be at least 21 years of age. Permanent residents are not afforded this ability and may only sponsor siblings if they first successfully undergo the naturalization process and become an American citizen.
In addition, the following processes and criteria must be fulfilled:
A petition must be filed with the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by the sponsor.
Birth certificates must be presented for both the sponsor and the sibling to confirm that parties are related through at least one parent.
The sponsored sibling will need to complete the process at the US consulate in their country.
As legal permanent residents in the USA, parents who successfully enter the country through sponsorship from United States citizens will be entitled to live in the USA indefinitely. As with other routes to an American Green Card, a grant of permanent residency permits the holder to commence living and working in the USA. Successful candidates may, therefore, seek and undertake employment upon receipt of their Permanent Residence Cards.