Houston, TX asked in Immigration Law for Texas

Q: I want to apply for my brother's Green card. We have common parents.

My mother's "family name" is different in my Birth Certificate and my brother's Birth Certificate. My mother uses both names interchangeably. What documents do i need to submit with the I-130 to prove that we have common mother? Father's name on both Birth Certificates is same.

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2 Lawyer Answers

Kelli Y Allen

  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Charlotte, NC

A: This can make it difficult for USCIS to "put the pieces together" and confirm that she is the same person. She will need documents that connect the names to each other (could be her birth certificate, marriage certificate, passport); anything that will provide proof that it is the same person with two names. Be prepared for USCIS to ask for DNA testing to prove that you are actually brothers. We've been seeing that come up a lot more lately.

Allen C. Ladd

  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Greenville, SC
  • Licensed in Texas

A: Sorry to disappoint you, but it is probably not worth the effort. The visa "preference" category for siblings of US citizens is backlogged. It will likely take a dozen or more years -- much longer if your brother is from Mexico. Another issue is that Congress might eliminate the category.

See an immigration lawyer to explore other options. Ask him or her about "EB-3" employment-based permanent residence, to get the conversation started. Not easy, but in the right circumstances it could shorten the waiting time to two or so years.

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