F4 Visa: The US Sibling Visa

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Atlanta Immigration Attorney Jameel Manji

Author: Jameel Manji, Founder, Manji Law, P.C.

Mr. Manji founded Manji Law in 2016 to follow his passion of helping people navigate the complicated immigration system. Mr. Manji graduated from Georgia State University College of Law and received Master of Taxation from the Georgia State’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business. Published on: June 09, 2023.

Manji Law is your complete immigration solution. If you are seeking assistance with the Atlanta Immigration Court, please give us a call. Manji Law can provide valuable insight, assistance, and a guiding hand to help you achieve your goals.

What Are F4 Family Preference Visas?

 

Reuniting with your siblings who live in a foreign country is possible through F4 visas. These are family-based immigrant visas for the siblings of United States citizens.

It allows the brother and sister of a US citizen to come to the US permanently. They can live, study and work in the US without needing an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

Their spouse and minor children can also come with them through the F4 visa.

The F4 family visa is only available to US citizens. So, lawful permanent residents (green card holders) cannot sponsor their siblings through the F4 visa.

 

Who Is Eligible for the F4 Visa?

 

The F4 visa is available for the siblings of the U.S. citizen. The U.S citizen must fulfill certain requirements to become a sponsor, including:

  1. They have genuine citizenship status
  2. They are 21 years old or older
  3. Their siblings live in a foreign country, and you can prove your relationship with birth certificates or other documents
  4. They currently live in the US and have a valid address

Checklist of Supporting Documents for the F4 Visa

 

Individuals should attach the following documents to their F4 visa application to prove their eligibility:

  • Valid passport (valid for six months past U.S admission)

  • Form Ds-260 (Immigrant visa application) confirmation page

  • Form I-864 (Affidavit of support) signed by a U.S citizen

  • Evidence of completion of medical examinations

  • Vaccination Documents

  • Two passport-size photos

  • Birth certificates or adoption documents

  • Marriage certificates (if applying as the spouse of an F4 visa holder)

  • Divorce decree (if previously married)

  • Police certificates and Criminal records

  • Military records (if applicable)

Depending on your application, the National Visa Center (NVC) may request additional documents.

 

What Are the Costs of an F4 Visa?

 

The cost of an F4 visa application is as follows:

  • Form I-130, Petition for alien relative, filing fee – $535

  • Form DS-260 processing fee – &325

  • Affidavit of support processing fee – $120

  • USCIS immigrant fee – $220 (to be paid after picking up immigrant visa)

  • Medical examination fees

  • Fees for translation of documents (if necessary)

How to Apply for the F4 Visa?

 

The F4 visa process begins with the U.S. citizen completing Form I-130 on behalf of their sibling. If the sibling has a spouse or children, they should be listed. The petitioner will pay the Form I-130 filing fee and apply.

The petition is sent to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for processing. If the petition is approved, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will inform the petitioner.

If the petition is denied, the petition will provide reasons for the denial. 

The approved petition is sent to the NVC, which will send documents to the foreign national to begin the F4 visa process.

However, foreign nationals must wait for their priory date before beginning the visa process. The NVC will notify the noncitizen once their priority date is current.

Spouses and children must individually complete F4 visa applications. Also, each individual must complete Form DS-260.

After completing the forms, supporting documentation should be attached and sent to the NVC. Individuals must also complete the necessary medical and vaccination requirements.

Once the NVC receives your documents, they will schedule an interview. The noncitizen must attend the interview with all the parties listed in the application.

If the immigration officers are convinced you and your family are eligible, they will issue the F4 visa.

An F4 visa does not guarantee you immediate entry upon arrival. You still need to go through searches by Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Attending the F4 Visa Interview

 

Attending the F4 visa interview is the final stage of the F4 visa application process. Foreign nationals must visit an embassy or consulate in their home country to attend the interview.

The interview is the USCIS’s way of verifying all the information you provided. In addition, the officer may ask you questions to confirm your relationship with the US citizen.

If your spouse is coming with you, they may ask questions to confirm the marriage is bonafide. You must provide evidence that convinces the officer that you are eligible.

If you fail to convince the immigration officer, they may deny your petition. You will have to start the F4 visa petition process again.

 

How Long Is the F-4 Visa Application Process?

 

The USCIS processes a limited number of (65,000) F4 visa petitions annually. The remaining petitions are carried over to the next year in chronological order.

Therefore, if there are many F4 visa applications, the application process will be longer. The estimated processing time for F4 visas is between one to ten years.

Individuals need to ensure that they submit all the documentation required by the NVC. Incomplete documentation will further delay the processing time.

What Is the F4 Visa Bulletin?

 

The visa bulletin informs individuals on the priory date to prepare and submit their visa documents to the NVC. The bulletin is issued by the Department of State monthly.

Individuals may receive a notice from the NVC with an earlier application date. In such a case, they should adhere to the date on the NVC’s notification.

 

Why You Need Help From an Immigration Lawyer

 

The F4 visa application process is lengthy and complicated. So, individuals need to ensure that their application is filed correctly.

At Manji Law P.C., we are familiar with U.S. immigration law and the visa preference categories. Therefore, we can help determine your eligibility for the F4 visa.

Our top-rated immigration attorney in Atlanta will review all the supporting documents to create an application checklist. We will ensure all the documents are correctly completed and filed on time.

We know the type of questions that immigration officials ask at the interviews. Therefore, we will prepare and guide you on how to respond to those questions.

F4 visa processing fees are not reimbursed after a denial of your application. So, hiring an experienced immigration lawyer to handle your visa process is essential.

Our team can help you obtain a family first preference visa to bring your immigrant family member to the U.S.

For more information or immigration help in Atlanta, contact us today!