What is the F4 visa?
The F4 visa belongs to the family preference category of US family green cards. It is meant for siblings of U.S. citizens, but if their request is approved, their dependents can also come to the United States. The F4 visa allows them to permanently settle in the United States, work without restrictions, and study at U.S. academic institutions.
Since the F4 visa is one of the family preference visas, it is subject to an annual limit on the number of visas that can be issued to immigrant applicants. Each year, only 65,000 visas are issued.
Who is eligible for the F4 visa?
Siblings of US citizens are eligible for the F4 visa. However, there are some requirements that the US citizen must meet. These are:
- They have American citizenship
- They are 21 years old or older
- They can provide birth certificates or other documentation to show your link because they have siblings who reside abroad.
- They live in the United States and have a valid address there.
If the US citizen does not meet these requirements, he will not be able to become a sponsor and his siblings will not be able to apply for the F4 visa.
What supporting documents are required for the F4 visa?
In addition to the required application forms, when you apply for the F4 visa, you must submit a number of other supporting documents to prove your eligibility. These include:
- Passport valid for at least six months after intended admission to the United States. If you bring any dependents with you, be sure to include their passports as well.
- DS-260 form confirmation page
- Form I-864, Affidavit of Support signed by U.S. petitioner
- Proof of having undergone a medical examination and having received all required vaccinations
- Two passport-sized photographs per individual
- Marriage and birth certificates (if applicable)
- Divorce certificate for those who have been previously married
- Criminal records and any police certificates
- Military documents for those who have served in the military.
Depending on your personal circumstances, you may also need to include other evidence. If you do not include some of the required documents, NVC may determine that you do not meet the eligibility criteria for the F4 visa. To increase your chances of success and ensure you have a complete portfolio of evidence, hire one of our immigration lawyers.
How much does the F4 visa cost?
All F4 applicants must pay the following visa fees:
- $535 for Form I-130 processing – to be paid by the US sponsor when submitting the petition to USCIS
- $325 for processing the DS-260 form
- $120 for processing Affidavit of Support
- $220 USCIS Immigrant Fee – payable after receiving your F4 visa and before you arrive in the United States
What is the F4 visa processing time?
If you want to apply for an F4 visa, you must be prepared for a long waiting time. How long you will have to wait depends on your nationality and the workload of the U.S. embassy or consulate where you are applying. However, only a limited number of F4 visa applications are processed each year. Once this limit is reached, USCIS does not process any applications until the next tax year. Unfortunately, there may be many visa applicants in line before you.
Some people are lucky and receive the decision on their F4 visa application within just one year. Others, however, wait much longer. It is not uncommon for F4 visa applicants to wait several years for their application to be processed.
What to expect during the F4 visa interview?
The visa interview is the last stage of the F4 visa application process. You will need to go to a US embassy or consulate in your home country to participate. The goal of the interview is to determine whether you meet the eligibility requirements for the visa and whether the information you have included in the application is true.
There is no single set of questions that visa applicants are asked during the interview. However, you can expect to hear questions that aim to check whether:
- Your relationship with the US signatory is authentic
- Your brother who lives in the United States has US citizenship
- You have a criminal record
- You are connected to some terrorist organization
- Your marriage is real (if you bring your spouse with you to the United States).
The immigration officer may also ask you why you want to immigrate to the United States. Make sure you answer all questions truthfully as lying during the interview can lead to visa rejection. If you are unsure about a particular question, try to provide as many details as you remember.
What happens after the visa interview?
In most cases, if all goes well during the interview, you can expect to receive a decision right away. This implies that you will be informed of the outcome of your green card application on the day of the interview. If so, you can start preparing for your trip to the United States.
Please note, however, that even if you receive a positive decision, you will not receive your Green Card immediately. USCIS will send it to you via mail, which you can expect to receive within several weeks of your interview.
Sometimes, an immigration officer may need more time to make a decision. In this case you will have to wait several weeks. They may ask you to submit additional evidence, which can lengthen the wait time. To avoid this, seek advice from our immigration lawyers. They will make sure that you bring all the necessary documents with you to the interview.
What is the Affidavit of Support?
The Affidavit of Support is a legal document that a U.S. sponsor uses to prove that they would be able to support their relative once they move to the country. In the application, they promise to utilize the money to assist the visa applicant in avoiding being a burden on society once they reach the US. The Affidavit of Support is required for most family visas, including the F4 visa.
Why is the F4 visa application so slow?
The F4 visa belongs to the family preference category of family green cards. These visas are subject to annual limits on the number of visas that can be granted to applicants. Only 65,000 F4 visas can be issued each year. Once this number is achieved, USCIS halts processing visa requests until the start of the following fiscal year. This is why F4 visa applicants often have to wait several years before their application is approved.
Is the F4 visa citizenship?
You can enter the country and live there permanently if your application for an F4 visa is accepted and you are given a Green Card. You won’t automatically get US citizenship, though. You must remain in the country as a lawful permanent resident for five years before you may submit an application to become a citizen.
Can my F4 visa be denied?
Unfortunately, your F4 visa may be rejected, just like it may with any other US visa. This can happen if, for example, one of the following inadmissibility grounds applies:
- You have already violated US immigration law
- You were expelled from the United States in the past.
- You have previously been convicted of fraud
- You’ve previously engaged in terrorism or drug trafficking.
These are just a few examples of circumstances that could lead to F4 visa rejection. Every case is different, so immigration officers carefully analyze all applications and may decide that something else in your situation makes you ineligible for the visa.