F4 Visa Processing Times: Navigating the Sibling Green Card Pathway


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Unlock the secrets of the F4 visa, your pathway to sibling reunification. Explore our detailed guide now.

A Guide to the F4 Visa for Siblings of U.S. Citizens

The F4 visa, a component of the Family-based Immigrant Visas, paves the way for brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens to build a life in the United States with their families. Through this visa category, eligible siblings of U.S. citizens, their spouses, and minor unmarried children can look forward to obtaining lawful permanent resident status in the U.S.

Our role at The Law Office of Tatiane M. Silva, P.A. is to help our clients who are adult U.S. citizens and who wish to sponsor the immigration process for their siblings navigate the intricate application process and immigration law requirements to ensure their dreams of family reunification become reality.

Advocating for families is at the core of our work, and our dedication to uniting families is mirrored in the personalized attention we offer our clients. That is why we provide guidance every step of the visa process, from filing the initial petition to understanding visa availability and priority dates. 

Read on as we explain the basics of F4 visas and why you may need professional help during the application process.

Understanding the F4 Visa

The F4 visa is a type of family preference visa that allows foreign siblings of U.S. citizens to immigrate to the United States and become lawful permanent residents or green card holders. 

On a personal level, reuniting with siblings can offer immigrant citizens unparalleled emotional support and stability and help them adjust to better contribute to society. 

The Government acknowledges and respects this, hence the existence of the F4 visa and other immigrant visas under the family-based immigration categories. However, it is imperative to understand the process’ practical limitations and time-sensitive nature.


Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility requirements for the F4 visa primarily demand that the U.S. citizen sponsor is at least 21 years old and the beneficiary must be a sibling of the U.S. citizen sponsor. That means there must be valid proof of the familial relationship. 


Immigrant Visa Availability Limits

There are numerical limits to the visas granted under this category, which can lead to extended waiting periods.

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, only 65,000 immigrant visas (plus any family-based immigrant visas unused by other family preference categories) are available annually for F4 applicants. Once the available visas are used up, all those whose visas are not current according to their priory date need to wait for a visa number before they can move forward. 

Information about visa availability is published in a Visa Bulletin that is released every month. Changes in Visa Bulletin dates signify progress for some visa categories, which are worth tracking.

If you need help understanding or keeping track of the visa bulletin, do not hesitate to seek professional help from an immigration lawyer. 

The F4 Visa Application Process

At The Law Office of Tatiane M. Silva, we understand that navigating the F4 visa application process can be complex. We’ve made a structured breakdown of the steps we typically guide our clients through to give you an idea of what you can expect :

The Initial Petition: It all starts with the U.S. citizen sibling filing an immigrant petition with Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. This document establishes the familial relationship between the U.S. citizen and their sibling.

Approval Wait Time: After the petition is filed, there can be a significant waiting period due to annual visa caps. Our team prepares clients for this wait and advises them on potential interim measures.

Visa Application: Once the petition is approved and a visa number becomes available, the sibling abroad must file Form DS-260, Online Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application. We can assist with gathering or identifying the required documents to support this application, which typically include:

  • A valid passport
  • Two photographs meeting official specifications
  • Civil documents (e.g., birth certificate)
  • Affidavit of Support from the U.S. sponsor

Interview Preparation: The application process involves a one-on-one interview between immigration officials and the sibling applicant abroad. We thoroughly prepare our clients for the visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, addressing common questions and concerns.

Medical Examination: Before the interview, the applicants must complete a medical examination by an approved physician. They’ll need to provide the sealed results to the consular officer.

The common challenges involved in these steps include lengthy processing times and administrative hurdles. At The Law Office of Tatiane M. Silva, P.A., we leverage our experience to anticipate these obstacles and offer solutions, ensuring our clients’ applications proceed as smoothly as possible.

Case Studies and Success Stories

Real-Life Examples

F4 visa approvals take time. However, we’ve seen numerous cases where patience and diligence have led to approvals. 

One memorable example involved a client’s sibling from the Philippines. Despite a daunting wait time, we navigated the process with precision, ultimately reuniting the family. The key was maintaining accurate documentation throughout the years.

Testimonials from Satisfied Clients

Our clients often express their gratitude, emphasizing our guidance and support. “Without your assistance, we wouldn’t have understood how to keep our case active, nor anticipated the changes in the Visa Bulletin,” shares a client who recently reunited with her brother.

Experienced Insights for Prospective F4 Visa Applicants

Our collective experience has shown us that while the F4 visa process can be lengthy, appropriate strategies and a bit of perseverance lead to joyful family reunions. 

When handling F4 visa cases, we rely on insights from our seasoned Immigration Lawyer in Miami, Attorney Tatiane M. Silva, to make the process easier. 

According to Attorney Silva, “Each case offers a unique set of challenges. It’s vital to approach the F4 visa category with thorough knowledge of immigration laws and a clear strategy”. 

However, the following tips could help those going through or planning to initiate the process manage the situation;  

  • Stay Informed: Regularly check Visa Bulletin updates.
  • Keep Documentation: Keep all records up-to-date and accessible.
  • Patience Is Key: Understand the potential wait times and plan accordingly.

On our part, we recognize the significance of keeping our clients abreast of legal or procedural changes as immigration laws are in constant flux. Hence, we:

  • Regularly review immigration policy revisions and interpret their implications.
  • Provide timely updates to our clients to ensure they can respond proactively.
  • Organize comprehensive case evaluations to discuss how novel immigration policies may influence existing and prospective F4 visa petitions.

Contact The Law Office of Tatiane M. Silva for Help With Your F4 Visa Application

We have covered essential information regarding the F4 visa and family preference category that allows U.S. citizens to reunite with their foreign-born siblings.

The processing time for F4 family preference visas can be extensive, often exceeding a decade. It’s crucial to understand the impact of such timelines, especially on younger family members who may age out of the system during the process. Professional legal guidance can be invaluable for individuals seeking to navigate the complexities of the F4 visa application process or needing specific advice tailored to their unique situations.

That’s where we come in. At The Law Office of Tatiane M. Silva, P.A., we can provide the necessary support to manage lengthy processing periods and intricate legal requirements effectively, increasing the likelihood of a positive outcome.

With our integrity, diligence, and extensive knowledge of immigration law, you can rely on us to guide you through all stages of the F4 visa process and work to ensure the possibility of your family reunification in the United States can become a reality.

For more inquiries and detailed guidance about the F4 visa or our other immigration services, we invite you to reach out to us at The Law Office of Tatiane M. Silva, P.A., and book a free consultation. By scheduling an appointment, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss the specifics of your case and receive personalized guidance on the next steps.

Contact us today and let our dedicated team handle your case with the utmost professionalism and attention to detail that it deserves.


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