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I am a citizen and want To help my brother. How long would it take for him to get visa/residency if he is already living here?

Seattle, WA |

He lives here and I want to do his paper through I -130 . But I wonder about the time if it takes many years as I have heard

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Attorney answers 6

Best Answer

If your brother came into the US with inspection by US officials, you can introduce him to women who are US citizens and hope that he and one of them will fall in love with each other and marry each other. As a spouse of a US citizen, your brother would be an immediate relative of the citizen and can adjust status within the US.

If your brother has medical skills or language skills that are sought by the US Armed Forces, there is a program for qualifying persons to become US citizens.

Your brother should review the specific facts with his attorney to see whether he has any legal options.


As the brother of a U.S. citizen (only citizens can petition for brothers and sisters), there is a long waiting line. It is long for everyone, but even longer depending what country you are from. The fact that he is in the U.S. does not change the procedure unless he qualifies under 245(i). He would not have any status or be entitled to work in the U.S. while he was in the waiting line, unless something comes out of immigration reform in Congress. As the law is now, if he didn't qualify under 245(i),he would ultimately need to leave the U.S., get a waiver of the unlawful presence bar, and any other issues including any arrests or any other history that may make him inadmissible to the U.S. also needs to be evaluated.

This reply is intended only as general information and does not constitute legal advice in any particular case. This reply does not create an attorney/client relationship.


I agree with my colleague's analysis. There is a long waiting line when it comes to petitions for siblings.

The above information does not constitute legal advice, and is intended only as general information. You should speak with an attorney to discuss your individual case, as not all facts are known at this time.


Agreed. It will take a long time to get through the process.

This answer addresses only general circumstances and is not intended to be actual legal advise. Before acting on this or any other information, please consult an attorney directly.


About 12 years. If he is not in status he must leave the US for 10 years.

The above is intended only as general information, and does not constitute legal advice. You must speak with an attorney to discuss your individual case.


Although the Visa Bulletin (a Dept. of State document published every month to help people track visa waiting times) might suggest a waiting time of 12 years, analysis of visa waiting times often suggests far longer waiting times. Consider: the government is currently dealing with I-130 petitions filed for Mexican siblings before August 15, 1996. A year ago, the government was dealing with petitions filed before May 22, 1996. So the list has moved forward less than 3 months in a year.

As an attorney, I've actually reached the point where I refuse to file I-130 petitions for siblings, especially if they are from high-demand countries (Mexico and Philippines), because the waiting lists are so long and move so slowly.

If your brother is eligible for DACA, help him file that application.

If your brother marries a U.S. citizen, then she can provide a far faster route to legal status.