Can a U.S. Citizen Sponsor a Half-Sibling or Step-Sibling for a Visa?

Citizens of the United States have the ability to petition for, or sponsor, their brothers or sisters born overseas. These siblings fit into the fourth preference category of family immigration, but what about half-siblings or step-siblings? The answer to whether they can apply for a green card depends on a variety of factors concerning family relationships.


U.S. citizens who are 21 years old or older can petition to have their siblings immigrate to the United States. The definition of sibling in regards to U.S. immigration law includes individuals who are the children of at least one common parent.

If you are paternal half-siblings (the common parent being your father) you will need to provide documentation to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services proving:

  • Your father was once married to your mother
  • Their marriage is legally ended
  • The father is married to your half-siblings' mother

If your half-sibling’s mother was married at any point, you must prove her previous marriage(s) is also legally ended.


Again, U.S. citizens over the age of 21 can petition for siblings, the definition of which includes both biological siblings and step-siblings under certain circumstances. The key factor in these circumstances is that both you and your step-sibling must have, at one time, met the legal definition of a "child" of a common parent. Whether you have the same mother or father or lived in the same household does not matter.

Either you or your step-sibling will also need to meet the definition of a "stepchild" under U.S. immigration law, which requires the child was not 18 years old yet when the parents got married.

Contact Our Houston Immigration Team Today

Due to their high demand, sibling green cards can be fairly difficult to obtain. If you are looking to pursue one of these green cards, the experienced team at Baker Donelson is ready to guide you through the process.

If you would like to learn more about how we can help you obtain a green card, don’t hesitate to contact us today through our website or give us a call at (713) 286-7182 to schedule your consultation!