F4, Visa Petition for Brother and Sister of US Citizen

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Green card for brothers and sisters of U.S. citizen

The f4 visa category is one of the family based green cards, also known as permanent resident. A U.S. citizen aged 21 years and above can sponsor their siblings to live and work in the United States as a permanent resident. The f4 visa category also allows spouse and children of Principal applicant/beneficiary to get green card.

Who qualifies as your brother or sister?

  • Legitimate Brother and Sister: If your mother and father were married and had other children, all of them are your legitimate brothers and sisters.

  • Half-Brother and Half-Sister: If you and another person have the same mother or father but not both parents in common, that another person is your half-brother or half-sister. It didn't matter when the relationship of a half-brother or half-sister occurred. As far as immigration law is concerned, you can petition for them as if they were your full-blooded brothers or sisters.

  • Stepbrother and stepsister: If your mother or father has married somebody who has children from a previous marriage or relationship, the children of your stepfather or stepmother would be your stepbrothers and stepsisters. However, for purposes of immigration into the U.S., you can file a petition for them only on one condition: Your mother or father must have married your stepparent before your 18th birthday.

  • Adopted Brother and Adopted sister: If your mother and father have adopted a child according to the laws of the state or country they are in, that child is your adopted brother or adopted sister. Or, you may have been adopted by parents who may have other legitimate children of their own. Their children became your brothers and sisters when you were adopted into their family. However, you can petition for your adopted sibling only if the adoption decree occurs before the 16th birthday of your adopted brother or sister if they are the petitioners or before your 16th birthday if you were the adopted child.

Why F4 visa so popular in India, Pakistan, China and other countries?

F4 Visa category is for siblings Brothers and sisters of U.S. Citizens. It reunites Married or unmarried brothers and sisters, in this Category spouse and children (under 21) may immigrate with the principal applicant/ beneficiary. A U.S. Citizen can sponsor for all siblings. The success rate of the F4 Visa is very high. So if we compare with other countries, the United States is the country which provides an opportunity for the brother and sister of a U.S. Citizen to immigrate as permanent residents without any conditions. For example, Australian citizen can sponsor their siblings only if they live in some particular area, and Canada does not offer sibling sponsorship. Thus this is one of the biggest reasons that the F4 Visa is very popular in India, Pakistan, China and other countries.

How long is the F4 visa processing time?

Since the F4 visa has a cap on the number of visas issued each yet, the processing time can be very long. An F4 visa estimated time can range from 12 years to extremes of 22 years, which means that it will take long for you to be able to join your sibling in the U.S.

To know the time taken by USCIS, NVC and U.S. Consulate to process your Visa, check the image below.

How to apply for the f4 visa?

The F4 (brother and sister) immigration and visa application process must start with the U.S citizen petitioning for his or her siblings to join in the U.S. The petition must be approved so that the siblings and their families can start to apply for the F4 visa. The U.S citizen must petition to USCIS by filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. The petition must include the sibling as the main person and if the sibling is married and has minor children, it must also list the spouse and the children. This makes it easier for the whole family to get F-4 visas if the petition is approved. The petition is sent through the Department of Homeland Security and is processed within a few months. USCIS will then inform the petitioner whether it was approved or denied. If denied, they will specify the reason and the petitioner can correct the mistakes and send another petition. If the petition is approved, then the documents are sent to the National Visa Center (NVC).

The NVC then sends a package of instructions and documents to the applicants in a foreign country. The documents contain the case number and the invoice ID number. These will be used when the application procedure starts and for the applicants to pay the fees.

However, due to the cap on the number of F4 visas available each year, the applicants cannot start their application process until their priority date is current. What this means is that you can only apply for the F-4 visa when it is your turn in the chronological order of all applications for F4 visas. For example, If there are so many applications that they exceed two years of limits, then your application will be processed in the third year.

Know the steps for green card application under consular processing.

Step 1: Petition at USCIS

  • The applicant must submit I-130, Petition for Alien Relative

  • Once the application is accepted by the USCIS you will be issued a receipt notice containing your Priority date. Click here to check a sample of I-797 Receipt Notice.

  • Usually USCIS takes 4 to 5 years to make decision on an I-130 Petition.

  • Once a petition has been approved by USCIS,You will be issued Approval Notice, Click here to check a sample of I-797 Approval Notice.

  • USCIS will forward the approved Petition to National visa Center for Further Visa Processing.

Step 2: Petition at National Visa Center, or NVC.

  • Your Petition remains with the NVC for many years. The petition sits inactive with NVC until the Priority date becomes current for Visa processing in the chart B of Family preference Category in the Visa Bulletin. To check the latest Visa bulletin visit our web page https://greencardpetitions.com/check-visa-bulletin To check the predictions of Visa bulletin visit our web page https://greencardpetitions.com/check_visa_bulletin_prediction

  • This whole Process may take up to 12 years.

  • To know when can you expect to receive your Welcome Letter visit our web page https://greencardpetitions.com/check_welcome_letter_priorty_date

  • Once the Priority date becomes current in visa Bulletin, Chart B for Visa Processing the NVC create your case and email you NVC case number and Invoice Id. The procedure of sending the details to the Sponsor, Applicant or your attorney is known as Welcome Letter or Invoice bill.

  • Steps you need to follow after receiving the Welcome Letter:

    • Pay your required visa fees

      • USD 120 for Affidavit of Support and USD325 for each Intending Immigrant. (as per January 2023)

    • Submit required forms to the National Visa Center (NVC).

    • Turn in your visa application form- DS 260 Filling and Submission

    • Submit financial documents

    • Submit supporting documents

  • Once Immigrant Visa Form-DS 260 and all other financial and supporting documents are submitted, NVC will review the documents. If the documents provided are accepted by NVC your petition will be marked as Documentarily Qualified. Having an attorney on case for NVC processing speed up your case filling and make your case Documentarily Qualified early. This saves your time and you get into the queue of getting Visa interview appointment email.

Step 3: Visa Interview

  • Book an appointment for Biometrics.

  • Book an appointment for Medical. Click to know how to book Medical

  • Get prepared for your visa applicant interview

  • Go to your visa applicant interview

  • After the interview steps

FAQs related to NVC processing:

1. Why i am not getting documentarily qualified?

You become documentarily qualified when NVC approves the applicant’s document submissions on the Consular Electronic Applications Center (CEAC) portal. If the submission is made correctly, you will get a documentarily qualified notification from NVC in the first go. Still, if the documents or information provided to NVC are incorrect, then NVC does not approve your documents and repeatedly asks for the correct records. This delays your case. Every case is different; thus, document submission for each is not the same. An experienced attorney can help you with this.

2. Why NVC removed my child’s name from the case?

If NVC determines that the Child (Derivative Beneficiary) is aged out and not eligible for Visa with the Beneficiary, they may remove the child's name. In some cases, NVC does make the mistake of removing a child's name from the CEAC portal. But if the child is eligible for Visa as per CSPA, then the child be added at the time of the Visa Interview. However, getting this confirmation before appearing for a Visa interview would be best. Click here to check your child's CSPA age.

3. Can I expedite my Case processing at NVC?

Yes, you may expedite case processing at NVC. However, whether the request for expediting should be permitted depends on the reasons for expediting and supporting evidence. Some of the most common reasons for the expedited request are medical conditions or a child getting aged out.

4. Can i pay my NVC fees from my bank account outside of the United States?

No, all payments must be drawn from a U.S. bank in U.S. dollars. NVC cannot accept personal checks or credit card payments.

5. Does my petitioner have to pay affidavit of support fees for every petition he filled?

You must pay the Affidavit of Support fee for each case unless you are petitioning for your spouse and/or child(ren).

6. My petitioner died, and NVC is processing my case. Should I inform NVC? What will happen if I don’t notify NVC and let the case proceed?

It is unfortunate when the Petitioner dies. However, the death of a petitioner or applicant can have severe consequences on the outcome of a visa petition. For example, if the Petitioner dies before the principal applicant has immigrated to the United States, the petition is automatically revoked. Additionally, if you will not notify NVC about the death of the Petitioner, then you will have difficulties at the time of your visa interview at U.S. consulate. Please note that if the Petitioner dies, providing documents from an alternate sponsor on the day of the interview will not reinstate the petition. Therefore, U.S. Consulate must receive notice from DHS stating the petition has been reinstated to proceed with the case.

7. What should I do if I do not have the document NVC ask for?

You must submit a detailed explanation if you cannot obtain the required document. Then, during your visa interview, the consular officer will determine whether you must get the missing paper before a visa can be issued.

Immigrant story:
Reuniting Brother and Sister

  • Navneet Kaur from Punjab India, became a U.S. permanent resident after marrying Balwinder Singh a U.S. Citizen. Although her old parents were uninterested in joing her in the United States, her twin brother Navdeep Singh, is extremely close to Navneet and swears he will never live more than 20 miles away from her. Unfortunately, Navneet must wait until she is U.S. Citizen to file a visa petition for her twin brother Navdeep Singh. As soon as her required three years of permanent residence have passed, she files a petition for naturalization. Within a year, Navneet Kaur is a U.S. citizen. Now she petitions for /Navdeep Singh in the fourth preference category; But unfortunately, the wait time in this category is over ten

  • years long. During that time, Navdeep marries and has two children. At last Navdeep’s Priority date becomes current. After talking to his wife, they agreed to give life in the U.S. a try. Based on Navdeep’s original application, Navdeep and his wife and children all apply for and receive U.S. green Cards.

How much does the f4 visa cost?

There are various fees that the petitioner and the applicant must pay throughout the application process for the F4 visa. The amounts vary and are set by USCIS, the Department of Homeland Security, and the individual U.S Embassy or Consulate where you are applying. The main categories of fees that must be paid are as follows:

  • Form I-130 filing fee (USD535, as of January 2023)

  • Processing fee for the Form DS-260 (USD 120 for Affidavit of support and USD325 for each intending Immigrant, as of January 2023)

  • Medical examination and vaccination fees (Check with the certified Panel Physician)

  • Fees to get and translate all the supporting documents (check with the notary near you)

  • USCIS Immigrant Fee which you must pay after you receive your visa and before you travel to the U.S. USCIS will not issue you a Green Card without you paying this fee (USD220 per applicant, as of January 2023)

The Family Green Cards are denoted with the prefix F. There are four types of these visas

  • The F1 visa is given to unmarried sons and daughters of U.S citizens and their minor children

  • The F2 visa is given to the spouse and minor children(F-2A visa), or adult children (F-2B visa) of U.S Lawful Permanent Residents.

  • The F3 visa is given to married children of U.S citizens who will go to the U.S with their spouses and minor children

  • The F4 visa is given to siblings of U.S citizens who will go to the U.S with their spouses and minor children. For this visa to apply, the U.S citizen must be at least 21 years old.

Since so many families want to reunite in the U.S, the demand for these visas is very high. Because of this, the U.S has made the family visas with limited numbers. This means that these Green Cards have a cap on the number that can be issued each year. If your application exceeds that limit, then you will be processed in the next year depending on when you applied. These visas are then processed in chronological order.

How it will be beneficial for me if I hire an attorney for my case processing.

There could be plethora of issues you may encounter while processing your F4 immigration petition. Let’s discuss the problems which you may face while processing your F4 Visa Petition and how the presence of an attorney in your case can avoid such issues. These issues which we are going to present here have been encountered by many applicants very often and our expert team of attorneys has resolved them efficiently. Based on our experience, you need to know about our finding below:

I-130 Petition for Alien relative not approved: There are many reasons for rejection, but the most common reasons are that you have not filled your form I-130 properly in such situations you will receive a Notice of Action to reject the petition from USCIS or they may send you a Request for Evidence that requests additional paperwork. In both the conditions you will face delay. Thus, it is very important that you prepare your I-130 petition correctly and submit all required documents properly or you may hire an attorney to do this for you in order to avoid rejection or delay.

Is your petition stuck with USCIS: Sometimes you must be wondering that why is USCIS taking so long to process your petition? You don’t know the answer and not even getting a proper response from the USCIS. One of the reasons for this could be that your I-130 petition is stuck the USCIS field office. What to do in such situation? When you hire an immigration attorney then it is his or her responsibility to keep a proper follow up in regard to your case with all the immigration government bodies. Hiring an attorney for your case avoids such issues, as it is their day to day work to keep periodic updates about the petitions of their clients.

DS 260 wrongly filled: Filling DS 260- Immigrant Visa form is one of the most important tasks of the process. There could be some serious consequences if your DS 260 is wrongly filled. It has been seen at the time of Interview. it can also lead to visa denial as well. We highly recommend every applicant to fill DS 260 only under the assistance of an experienced attorney or accredited representative. You can hire our team of F4 India to fill your Immigrant Visa form and process other formalities (like submitting supporting documents) on your behalf, as we have filed end number of DS 260 immigrant visa forms worldwide which have been accepted by National Visa Centre without any hassle.

Unnecessary delays: There could be many reasons for unnecessary delays in your case, here we are presenting the most common but important aspects which can be responsible for the delay of your case.

Invalid document notification: Sometimes you receive notification that your documents are not valid. Such situations unnecessarily delay your case. You can avoid such situations by hiring our team. Our attorney provides complete assistance in gathering valid supporting documents, proof of evidence and also prepare Affidavit of Support.

Doubt on sponsor's financial eligibility: Some times after submitting all the documents you come to know that your only sponsor is not enough to support you financially, and thus you need to add a joint sponsor or a household member. This also delays your case. If you have an attorney for your case then he or she will guide you to arrange and add joint sponsor or household member as per required in the beginning itself. We at F4 India conduct a complete analysis of your petition, check the finical eligibility of your sponsor and guide you with the best possible options to adopt in order to process your case smoothly.

Case under administrative processing: Administrative processing may take several months before completing the procedure and issuing a visa. There are possibilities that your visa could be rejected after administrative processing. After doing the administrative processing or review of additional submitted documents, your visa may be refused for a variety of reasons. Having an attorney for your case saves you from this big hassle which could be very frustrating for you.

Why F4 India is the best US Immigration Service Provider

We at F4 India, are committed to provide each client with prosperous results by considering all appropriate and resourceful choices. We tend to take personal pride in the quality of our work and our attention to details. Our Immigration Law firm has been ranked one of the best US Immigration Law Firm in India. Contact us today to book your consultation. You can also complete our inquiry form and we will contact you with the next available date. Our client’s satisfaction is paramount.