*Practice limited to federal immigration law. Licensed in NY, MA, but not in CA.

F4 Visas: What to Know About Bringing a Sibling to the United States in 2020

Most people who immigrate to the United States already have some personal connections within the country. In fact, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) reports that more than 65 percent of immigrants to the United States already have at least one family member who is an American citizen or a lawful permanent resident.

The basis of our family immigration system include spouses and young children. Indeed, an unlimited number of spouses can immigrate to the U.S. every year. Other relatives may also have a path to the United States. Through an F4 visa, your sibling may immigrate. Here, our Los Angeles immigration lawyers provide an overview of F4 visas in 2020.

F4 Visas for Siblings: Understanding the Basics

F4 visas are part of a broad category of immigration visas called ‘family preference’ visas. As described by the United States Department of State, a family preference visa is reserved for non-immediate family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. The F4 visa in particular is for siblings and, in certain cases, the spouse and/or unmarried children of that sibling. An immigrant may be eligible for an F4 family preference visa if:

  • They have a sibling who is a U.S. citizen;
  • The American sibling is at least 21 years of age; and
  • The applicant can prove their relationship with their American sibling.

Unlike spousal visas, F4 family preference visas are subject to a strict annual cap—meaning only a certain number will be issued each year. The applications are handled on a ‘first-come, first-serve’ basis. Sadly, this means that it can take awhile for F4 visas to be approved.

What to Know About President Trump’s Restrictions on Immigration

Unfortunately, the Trump Administration has made it more challenging for people to get their F4 visas approved. In April of 2020, President Trump put additional restrictions on who can enter the United States. The stated reason was the COVID-19 outbreak. Though, the administration’s overall conduct is certainly not consistent with that justification.

In effect, President Trump has slowed down the immigration process even further. Recently, our law firm has heard from many people who are dealing with an F4 visa stuck in administrative processing. If you have any specific questions about F4 visas or how to get a family preference visa out of administrative processing, we encourage you to reach out to our Los Angeles law office. Our immigration attorneys will explain your options and help you take action to protect your rights.

Contact Our Los Angeles F4 Visa Immigration Attorneys for Help

At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, our Los Angeles immigration attorneys have the skills and knowledge to handle the full range of F4 visa cases. If you are trying to help your brother or sister immigrate to the United States, we are here to help. Call our law firm for a confidential immigration strategy session. We represent immigrants and their family members in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California.

Josh Goldstein
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