Your siblings are often with you all your life and are part of your immediate family as you grow up. As an adult, these relationships remain important, with your brothers and sisters giving you support and love through all the stages of your life. When your beloved sibling lives outside the United States, you may want to help bring them here. Siblings of U.S. citizens can apply for family-based visas using the F-4 visa process. The F-4 visa is specifically for use by a U.S. citizen to sponsor a visa for a sibling. The category is not for use by lawful permanent residents. If you are seeking an F-4 visa you can get the help you need from a knowledgeable family-based immigration attorney.
If you want to sponsor a sibling for an F-4 visa, you must be a United States citizen at least 21 years of age or older. The applicant must meet specific eligibility requirements, including:
The applicant must provide documentation to support their sibling relationship. The type of documentation varies based on the family relationship. An adopted sibling must provide a legal decree stating that the adoption took place prior to the applicant’s 16th birthday. A full-blooded sibling adopted into a different family does not qualify for the F-4 visa.
For a step-sibling, you must provide a copy of the parent’s marriage certificate along with documentation that proves divorce from previous spouses. In the case of a half-sibling, you must provide copies of marriage certificates proving the father was married to each mother as well as divorce documentation. A skilled family immigration attorney will help make sure that you meet the requirements for a particular visa.
To begin the visa process, the sponsor must complete form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. You must pay the current associated fees. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will process the application, and if they approve it, the application moves to the National Visa Center (NVC) for processing. The NVC will send a packet of information to the sibling that includes instructions. The sibling will need to complete Form DS-260 and must undergo a medical examination. You will also need to submit a biometrics fee and must pay for your medical exam. The NVC will schedule a date for an interview.
It is important to note that the processing time for an F-4 visa is extremely long. The United States allows only 65,000 F-4 visas per year. Therefore, it may take some years to complete the process. Applications are processed through designated service centers. You can check the current wait times online or check the status of your application. There is an issuance fee for a green card.
It is essential to follow the proper procedures and provide the necessary documentation to ensure a smooth process. An experienced family-based immigration attorney will help guide the process and help ensure that you gather everything you need to submit a successful application. To learn more about the F-4 visa, contact us at Sverdloff Law Group at (312) 238-9090 today.
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