Skip to main content

Family base immigration

Miami, FL |

I'm living here in the united states with my sister I've been here for five years , if my sister had file request to sponsor me a green card in 2008 when she was a permanent resident . . . now in 2013 she gonna become a us citizen how long will it take for me to get a work permit and my green card ? ?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 5


I agree. My colleague said it all. I can only add that hiring an experienced immigration attorney like us at, would go a long way in terms of avoiding confusing and pursuing only those benefits that are available while doing so with the utmost care and promptness.


Your sister could not petition for you to receive an immigrant visa as a lawful permanent resident. Only a U.S. citizen can petition for his or her siblings to receive an immigrant visa. Your sister can petition for you to receive an immigrant visa once she becomes a U.S. citizen. This process can take ten or more years to complete depending upon what is your native country.

You are not eligible to receive employment authorization until an immigrant visa becomes available and you can file for adjustment of status. However, depending upon your current immigration status, you may not be eligible to seek adjustment of status in the U.S. I encourage you to speak with an experienced immigration attorney prior to filing for any immigration benefits.


General Information


One method to obtaining lawful permanent residency is through a relative who is either a citizen of the U.S. or a lawful permanent resident.

There are two categories for unlimited family-based immigration:
1.Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens: A spouse, widow or unmarried child under the age or 21 of a U.S. citizen. This category also includes parents of adult U.S. citizens
2.Returning Residents: Immigrants who previously lived in the U.S. under lawful permanent resident status. These individuals should be returning to live in the U.S. after being abroad for more than one year.

There are four preference categories for limited family-based immigration:
1.First Preference: Unmarried children over the age of 21 of U.S. citizens.
2.Second Preference: Spouses of lawful permanent residents, their unmarried children under the age of 21, and unmarried children under the age of 21 of lawful permanent residents.
3.Third Preference: Married children of U.S. citizens.
4.Fourth Preference: Siblings of adult U.S. citizens.

Your relative should first submit an immigrant visa petition, I-130 Petition for Alien Relative. This form should be accompanied by proof of your relationship to your relative.

Upon approval of this petition, the Department of State will determine if an immigrant visa number is available for you. When a number becomes available, you may apply for assignment of that number.

In order to sponsor a relative for lawful permanent residency, you must prove the following:
1.You are a citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the U.S.
2.You can support your relative at 125% above the mandated poverty line.


it was not possible for your sister to petition for you while she is a permanent resident. One must be a US citizen in order to petition for a sibling. I recommend you consult an experienced immigration attorney to review the facts of your case and advise you as to your eligibility for employment authorization and what can otherwise be done to assist you in becoming a permanent resident.

While this answer is provided by a Florida Bar Certified Expert in Immigration and Nationality Law, it is for general information purposes only and an attorney/client relationship is neither intended nor created. You should seek out qualified counsel to review your case and provide you with advice specific to your situation. Call +1-561-478-5353 to schedule a consultation with Mr. Devore.


Your sister could not have filed for you as a resident. You should review whatever paperwork you have and meet with an attorney.

Samuel Ouya Maina, Esq. 415.391.6612 Law Offices of S. Ouya Maina, PC 332 Pine Street, Suite 707 San Francisco, CA 94104

Immigration topics

Recommended articles about Immigration

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer