How Long It Takes To Petition Brothers Or Sisters And How To Start

how long it takes to petition brothers or sisters

How Long It Takes To Petition Brothers Or Sisters

Starting the process of petitioning brothers or sisters for immigration can be a lengthy and complex undertaking. Many individuals are eager to reunite with their siblings, but understanding the timeline involved is crucial. So, how long does it actually take to petition brothers or sisters, and what steps should you take to get started?

The timeframe for petitioning brothers or sisters largely depends on the immigration category under which you fall. For U.S. citizens, the process generally falls under the Family Preference F4 visa category. Unfortunately, due to high demand and limited visas available each year, there tends to be a significant backlog for this category.

Currently, the wait time for siblings of U.S. citizens can span several years, sometimes even more than a decade. This means that patience is essential when embarking on this journey. It’s important to keep in mind that these waiting times are estimates and subject to change based on various factors.

To start the petition process for your brother or sister, you’ll need to file Form I-130 with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form establishes your relationship with your sibling and serves as the initial step towards their potential immigration.

While waiting for USCIS approval, it’s advisable to gather all necessary supporting documents such as birth certificates, passports, marriage certificates (if applicable), and any other evidence proving your familial relationship.

In conclusion, petitioning brothers or sisters for immigration can require considerable patience due to lengthy processing times in the Family Preference F4 visa category. Understanding the timeline involved and diligently completing all required forms and documentation will help ensure a smooth application process from start to finish.


Understanding the Petition Process

The process of petitioning brothers or sisters to come to the United States can be complex and time-consuming. To shed light on this topic, let’s explore the key steps involved and gain a better understanding of how long it generally takes.

  1. Citizenship Status: Before starting the petition process, it’s important to determine your own citizenship status. Only U.S. citizens are eligible to file petitions for their siblings. Lawful permanent residents (green card holders) cannot initiate sibling petitions. 
  2. Filing the Form I-130: The first step in petitioning your siblings is filing Form I-130, also known as the Petition for Alien Relative, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form establishes your relationship with your sibling and serves as a formal request for them to obtain an immigrant visa. 
  3. Priority Date: After submitting Form I-130, USCIS assigns a priority date based on when they received your petition. The priority date determines when your sibling will become eligible to apply for an immigrant visa or adjust their status if they are already in the United States. 
  4. Visa Availability: The availability of immigrant visas depends on various factors, including country-specific quotas and overall demand within each preference category (Family-based F4 category for siblings). Visa numbers may be limited, leading to waiting periods before visas become available. 
  5. Waiting Periods: Due to high demand, there is usually a significant backlog in sibling immigration cases, resulting in extended waiting periods before visas become available. The length of these waiting periods can vary greatly depending on factors such as visa availability and country of origin. 
  6. Case Processing: Once a visa becomes available based on the priority date, the case will be forwarded by USCIS to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing and coordination with the U.S. embassy or consulate in the sibling’s home country. 
  7. Consular Processing: The sibling will then undergo consular processing, which involves submitting additional forms and supporting documents, attending an interview, and undergoing medical examinations. This step is crucial for obtaining an immigrant visa to enter the United States.

It’s important to note that the time it takes to petition brothers or sisters can vary significantly from case to case. Factors such as USCIS processing times, visa availability, and country-specific quotas all play a role in determining the overall timeline. It’s advisable to consult with an immigration attorney or seek professional guidance to navigate this process effectively.

To get a better idea of current wait times and visa availability, you can visit the official U.S. Department of State Visa Bulletin website ( or consult with an immigration professional who can provide personalised assistance based on your specific circumstances.

Remember that patience is key throughout this process as it may take several years before your siblings are able to join you in the United States.


On Key

Related Posts