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Can my sibling come to Colorado?

After fulfilling all of the requirements for naturalization, you finally reached your goal of becoming a citizen of the United States. Now, you want to bring your sibling to Colorado to live. For whatever reason, your sibling remained in your country of origin when you emigrated but has now decided to join you in the United States.

Your brother or sister dreams of becoming a U.S. citizen, and now that you are one, you may be able to make that dream come true. You had to wait until you took your oath of allegiance before beginning the process because, as a permanent resident, you could not file the necessary petition. Now, you feel that the time is right.

The application process

In addition to filling out the Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130), you must include proof of your U.S. citizenship. You must also establish your familial relationship to your sibling through one of the following:

  • Provide birth certificates indicating that you and your sibling share at least one parent.
  • If you only share the same father, provide proof that your father married each your mothers.
  • Provide decrees for an adoption prior to age 16.
  • If your relationship is through a stepparent, provide proof of marriage.
  • If your last names differ, provide proof of name change.

If proof of a parental marriage is required, you should also include proof that any prior marriages ended legally. It is important to include all of the requested documentation with your application in order to avoid unnecessary delays. In most cases, if your sibling lives outside the country, he or she cannot reside in the United States while U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services processes the application.

Approval is not automatic

The fact that you filed the petition does not ensure approval. Your sibling must still meet all the requirements for immigration and must obtain permanent residency in order to remain in the country. Factors such as a criminal history, residing in the country undocumented or prior violations of immigration laws on the part of your sibling could prevent approval of your petition.

The application process may take a significant amount of time. Other restrictions may apply depending on other factors, such as your and your sibling's country of origin. USCIS may require additional documentation or have additional questions regarding your application as well. Before embarking on what can be a frustrating and complex process, you may benefit from discussing the matter with an immigration attorney.

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