In order to be eligible to bring your sister to the United States, you must be a U.S. citizen who is over the age of 21. Legal permanent residents are not eligible to bring siblings to live permanently in the U.S.
To begin the process of bringing your sister to the U.S. as a legal permanent resident, you must file Form I-130 with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You’ll also need to submit your birth certificate, as well as your sister’s birth certificate to show that you have at least one parent in common, and proof of your citizenship. USCIS will require additional information if you and your sister are related through adoption, step-parents, or if you share only a father in common. If your name or your sister’s name has changed since birth, you also will need to provide documentation of the name change(s).
In most cases, your sister will not be able to travel to the U.S. and live while the petition is pending. It can take anywhere from six months to five years to process the petition. Unfortunately, even after USCIS approves the petition, your sister is not authorized to live or work in the U.S. She must await until an immigrant visa becomes available. The date that USCIS receives the petition is your sister’s “priority date.” USCIS allocates visas in the order of individual’s priority dates and their country of origin, and only issues a set number of immigrant visas each year.
Therefore, if your sister is from a country with a high rate of immigration to the U.S., such as the Philippines or Mexico, her wait may be much longer than someone who was born in a country with a much lower immigration rate. As a result, it is impossible to predict how long it will take for your sister to be able to enter the country on an immigrant visa.
Whatever your situation may be, you will need skilled legal assistance to work toward a resolution of your immigration law matter. The Texas immigration attorneys of Peek & Toland know how to help you navigate through the maze of USCIS forms, regulations, and policies, and get the relief that you need. Take the first step today and secure the future of your family in the U.S. Contact our office today at and set up an evaluation with one of our highly skilled Texas immigration lawyers.