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Why would Americans need to sponsor immigrant siblings?

It may seem counterintuitive, but not all siblings share the same citizenship and one may need to sponsor the other for a green card. Although many people in Lancaster likely do share the same citizenship, whether American or otherwise, there are some who don't and want to bring their siblings to the country. As with any other family member being sponsored for permanent residency, there are specific requirements that must be met.

Just a point of clarification, while this works for any combination of American citizen and non-American sibling, for ease of discussion, we will refer to an American sister and her non-American brother.

So, how would two siblings be of different citizenships? The easiest answer would be that the American citizen was born to non-American parents when they were in the United States while her brother was born outside of the United States. Since children born on American soil automatically acquire citizenship, she would have been born an American even if no one else in her family is an American.

There are other possibilities as to how a woman could be an American and her brother wouldn't be. Let's say that the siblings only share a non-American father. If the woman's mother is an American, she will inherit her mother's citizenship, even if she was born abroad. If her brother's mother was not an American, however, he wouldn't be an American citizen.

Finally, one of the other ways that two siblings could have different citizenships is if one moved to the United States as an adult and then naturalized as an American citizen. While the siblings may have once shared the same citizenship, the woman would now have American citizenship in addition to or instead of her former citizenship.

Regardless of how two siblings may have different citizenships from each other, if they can prove certain relationships, the American sibling can sponsor the non-American for a green card.

Source: New York Daily News, "U.S. citizen can petition for green cards for his immigrant brothers, if their mother won't," Allen Wernick, Jan. 5, 2014

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