Q: I am a US Citizen and want to sponsor my parents and 16 year-old brother for a green card. Since my brother is a minor and a dependent, can we just list him on my parents application – can he join them?
US Citizens over 21 years old and can apply for a green card for their parents. Parents are considered immediate relatives for immigration purposes, and they do not need to wait in line for a visa number. However, your brother could not just follow along as part of your parents’ application and would need his own separate petition. Unfortunately, because a brother is not considered an immediate relative, he would also have a long wait. Brothers and Sisters of US Citizens over age 21 are 4th preference, or the F4 category in the visa bulletin, and the wait is over a decade.
Usually in these situations, there would be another (faster) pathway for the brother after your parents become permanent residents. Keep in mind that turning 21 or getting married can make a difference in priority dates for your brother. If your parents are able to become permanent residents, then their unmarried children under 21 would be F2A category, which has a much shorter waiting period than unmarried children over 21 (F2B). Your family would benefit from a consultation with an experienced immigration lawyer to talk through the dates and timing of these different paths.