If I’m a green card holder beginning process to be a US citizen, can I file for my sister who is undocumented?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If I’m a green card holder beginning process to be a US citizen, can I file for my sister who is undocumented?

I would like to file for my sister who is undocumented from Trinidad.

Asked on February 3, 2017 under Immigration Law, Georgia


SB Member California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You have to be a US citizen in order to petition a sibling.  That's first.  Secondly, if your sister is undocumented because she either entered unlawfully or entered lawfully and overstayed, you will not be able to legalize her status within the US under the current immigration laws.  Also, the process of petitioning for a sibling of a US citizen takes about 10-12 years.  If she entered the US lawfully and overstayed, under the current immigration laws, the only way she can legalize her status without departing from the US is through a bona fide marriage to a US citizen.

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