Application Process

There are two primary components of the application process. First, the sponsoring U.S. citizen sibling must file a petition. When U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves this, they will provide a "priority date." When this date is current, you can submit your green card application and complete the rest of the family-based green card application process. 

Step 1: File the Petition

The first step of the process is to file the petition. Your sponsoring sibling will submit this form along with fee payment and proof you are siblings.

If you and your sibling are related through one parent, you will need further documentation that you are family members. For example, suppose you and your sibling share a father. 

If your parents were never married, you would have to provide evidence of a financial or emotional relationship with the shared parent at some point before 21 years of age. 

Step 2: Green Card Application

The process of submitting a green card application will depend on whether you are located inside the United States or in your home country.

If you are within the United States, you will apply via adjustment of status. After your sibling files the petition, you will need to wait for an immigrant visa number to become available for you. This wait depends on your "priority date." This is when a visa becomes available. 

Then, you can apply to adjust your status. During your wait time, you need to maintain legal nonimmigrant status in the US. Otherwise, you may face deportation. 

If you are outside the United States, you will apply via consular processing. When your sibling files the petition, they request USCIS to notify the U.S. consulate in your country. After USCIS approves your immigrant visa petition and a visa becomes available, the State Department’s National Visa Center (NVC) will send details to your sibling. When your sibling completes the forms, you will go to the U.S. embassy or consulate to apply for an immigrant visa. After you enter the United States on this immigrant visa, you will become a permanent resident and green cardholder.   


There are separate filing fees for each stage of the process.

The government filing fees for getting a family-based green card is $1760 for an applicant living in the United States or $1200 for an applicant living outside the United States. This does not include the typical cost of the required medical examination, which varies by provider.


Getting a sibling green card takes quite a long time. U.S. immigration laws create limits on the number of total green cards in specific categories. Sibling visas within the Fourth Preference category are the lowest priority for family preference categories. Only spouses, unmarried children, or parents count as immediate relatives. 

It can take between 1.5 to 10 years from some countries. 


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Eligibility Requirements

Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens can apply for green cards based on their familial relationship. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), these categories of individuals count as siblings:

Brothers and sisters with the same birth parents
Half siblings related through a stepparent
Stepbrothers or stepsisters
Adopted siblings 

The sponsor of this type of family-based green card must be a U.S. citizen who’s at least 21 years of age. You’ll also have to show supporting documents to prove the familial relationship and your American sibling will also need to provide proof of citizenship or naturalization.

Sibling Green Card

If your brother or sister is a U.S. citizen who is 21 years or older, they can sponsor a Green Card application for you if you are a citizen of a foreign country. The process for getting a sibling card is usually long. However, it is still possible for your siblings to join you in the United States. This article explains the sibling green card application process, the eligibility requirements, how much it costs, and why it takes so long for siblings to get green cards.