What is the F-4 Visa? What are the eligibility criteria and process for obtaining an F-4 Visa?
If you are studying, working, or living in the U.S. legally as a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident (Green Card Holder) and looking to bring your family to the U.S., USCIS has got different types of visas for you.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues various Immediate Relative & Family Visas, which allow your loved ones to live with you legally in the U.S. You can bring your parents, children, spouse, siblings, and more immediate relation members.
In this blog, we will walk you through the F4 Visa, the fourth category of the Family Immigration Visa, allowing U.S. citizens to bring their siblings & their families to the U.S. We will discuss what F4 Visa is, its eligibility criteria, and the process to obtain it.
What is F4 Visa?
F4 Visa is a Family-Based Green Card permitting U.S. citizens to bring their siblings, their spouses, and children under 21 to the U.S. and granting them lawful permanent residence status. There is a cap on the number of applicants who can receive F4 Visa status each year. Only 65,000 successful applicants are issued F4 visas.
Eligibility Criteria for the F4 Visa
For the Applicants
- Must have a sibling in the U.S. holding U.S. citizenship status & has a valid address in the U.S.
- Must be living outside the U.S. at the time of F4 Visa Application
- Must prove their relationship with the U.S. sibling through a birth certificate or adoption papers (documents)
For the Sponsor
- Must be a legal U.S. citizen
- Must be at least 21 years of age
- Must have a valid address in the U.S.
- Must prove their relationship with the sibling living in the foreign country through a birth certificate or adoption papers (documents)
F4 Visa will not affect the citizenship status of the sponsor & they can be married & have dependent minor children (below 21 years of age). And if they are living outside the U.S., the sponsor can bring them to the U.S. with F4 Visa Holders. You can refer to our other blog on IR-2 Visa for comprehensive information.
Note: After obtaining F4 Visas, Siblings can become lawful permanent residents in the U.S. and can legally work in the U.S. without an EAD, obtain an SSN, and study as well.
Process for applying for an F4 Visa
The F4 Visa process begins with a U.S. sponsor filing a petition (Form I-130), also known as the Petition for Alien Relative, to bring their foreign sibling to the U.S. It needs to be approved by the USCIS before submission of your F4 Visa Application form.
The I-130 Petition is generally processed within a few months. After that, you will receive an instructions package from National Visa Center (NVC) for the next steps of your F4 Visa Application process. And you need to submit Form DS-260.
If you want to bring your spouse along with your siblings, you need to fill out Form DS-260, and there is a different process. Contact Salinas Law Firm, and our Immigration Lawyers will assist you with the procedure for bringing your family along with your siblings.
All the F4 Visa applicants must undergo Medical Examination to comply with medical & vaccination requirements. The applicants can get their complete medical checkup from a local Embassy licensed doctor or accredited professional doctor.
All applicants must intake all required vaccinations to pass the medical examination. The doctor will provide you signed medical examination form, which needs to be included in the documents list for the Interview process.
Documents required for F4 Visa
After receiving the approved petition notice and your priority date becomes current, you must compile the following documents & evidence required to prove your siblings meets the F4 Visa Requirements:
- Passports of all F4 Visa applicants should be valid for more than 6 months after they arrive in the U.S.
- Confirmed pages of DS-260 Forms
- Signed Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support from the U.S. Petitioner)
- Medical Examination Form signed by the licensed doctor and vaccination documents
- Two photographs of each F4 Visa Applicant
- Valid Marriage Certificates for the F4 Visa Applicant who wishes to bring their spouse along
- Birth Certificate or Adoption Documents of Children whom they wish to bring along
- Military records if they have served in the Military
- If the F4 Visa applicant has been married previously, they need to provide a legitimate document to prove their marriage was legally terminated through divorce papers, annulment documents, or death certificate.
All the above documents must be submitted to the NVC to determine whether you fulfill all the F4 Visa requirements. Also, the F4 Visa applicant might be asked to submit additional documents or evidence post-interview.
F4 Visa Interview Process
After NVC has approved your petition and the priority date has become current, the F4 Visa Applicant must attend the Visa Interview at the U.S. Local Embassy or Consulate Office.
The officer conducting the interview will review the F4 visa application & ask a series of questions related to the F4 Visa Application regarding your background, relationship with the U.S. Sponsor, and reasons for immigrating to the U.S.
The officer usually decides on the same day of the interview regarding the approval of the F4 Visa Application. In case additional documents or evidence are required after the interview, you must submit them.
Once the officer has approved your F4 Visa and stamped your passport, you will receive a sealed packet, which you should not open. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent who will inspect you at the U.S. border will ask you for it. If the folder is opened, you may not be allowed to enter the U.S.
Fees involved in obtaining F4 Visa
The following are the general fees involved in obtaining an F4 Visa:
- $220 USCIS Immigrant Fee
- $325 for Form DS-260 Application Processing Fee
- $535 for I-130 Petition Application Fee
- $120 for Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support)
Note: The Medical examination & vaccination fees vary based on your country and the doctor's fee for conducting your medical exam.
After reading the blog, you will have clarity about what F4 Visa is, the eligibility criteria for sponsors & applicants, the application process, the documents required, the interview process, the fees involved, and comprehensive crucial information to obtain F4 Siblings Visa. However, if you have any questions or need assistance in obtaining F4 Visa, feel free to contact us.
At Salinas Law Firm, we have one of the most experienced F4 Visa Immigration Lawyers who have assisted countless of individuals in obtaining F4 Visa and bringing their families along with them. Our F4 Visa Immigration Attorney will guide you through all the paperwork and documents required to speed up your process.
As one of the top Immigration Law Firms in Houston, Texas, we are familiar with the local procedures, which we fully utilize in helping our clients obtain visas a bit faster.
Contact us at 713.518.1711 to book a consultation with our highly skilled & professional F4 Visa Lawyer and obtain F4 Visa seamlessly.