Fourth Preference (F4)
If you are a U.S. citizen, born in the U.S. or naturalized, your foreign brothers and sisters are eligible to come and live permanently in the U.S.
U.S. immigration law currently allows family migration—or chain migration. To reunify families, U.S. citizens and green-card holders (legal permanent residents) can file family petitions on behalf of close relatives to enable them to immigrate to the U.S.
The Alcorn Immigration Law team can help with both the green card process whether your relative is in the U.S. or another country.
A U.S. citizen must be at least 21 years old to sponsor a sibling for a green card. You should be cautious about timing. Speak with an immigration attorney about the process.
If you are the sibling of a U.S. citizen, you are eligible for a green card if:
- You are a full sibling, a paternal half-sibling, or sibling through adoption or step-parents.
- You have a financial sponsor. Each relative who comes to the U.S. based on a U.S. citizen’s petition must have a financial sponsor. If your sibling will be your sponsor, she or he must file Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support). If your sibling doesn’t meet the financial qualifications, another individual will need to make the commitment and file Form I-864 on your behalf.
The sibling of a U.S. citizen may apply for a green card from either inside or outside the United States.
If the sibling the U.S. citizen is already in the U.S. legally, the applicant must be cautious about the timing of the filing. As stated before, we recommend consulting an immigration attorney. Once that is done, one way to apply is as follows:
- The U.S. citizen files Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative)
- After it is approved and the priority date becomes current, the foreign sibling is eligible to finalize the green card process.
- The sibling fills out Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status), while
- The financial sponsor must fill out Form I-864.
- Submit all forms along with all supporting evidence to USCIS.
If the sibling of the U.S. citizen is outside the U.S., that individual may apply to become a permanent resident at a U.S. embassy or consulate. To apply:
- The U.S. citizen must fill out and submit Form I-130 and supporting evidence to USCIS.
- Await the approval and the priority date.
- The financial sponsor must submit Form I-864 and supporting evidence to USCIS.
- If USCIS approves the petitions, the U.S. Department of State will invite the sibling to apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.
- The applicant should pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee after receiving an immigrant visa packet from the U.S. embassy or consulate before traveling to the U.S.
- Once the applicant is in the U.S., the applicant should submit Form I-485 along with supporting evidence to USCIS for a green card.
We Can Help
Figuring out immigration law can be difficult, confusing, and time-consuming. The Alcorn Immigration Law team can help you reunite with your family. Questions? Contact us.