Family Preference Visas

October 29, 2019

Philadelphia immigration lawyers assist clients with family preference visas.Siblings of adult U.S. citizens are eligible to enter the United States on F4 visas. The F4 visas belong to a category of visas for family members of U.S. citizens. Generally, a spouse, minor child, or parent of a U.S. citizen is allowed to enter as an immediate relative. However, other family members are categorized as preference immigrants. F1 visas, otherwise known as first preference visas, allow unmarried adult children of U.S. citizens to enter the United States, while F4 visas allow siblings to enter.

Petition for Immigration

A U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old and residing in the U.S. must petition the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for immigration of their siblings. Form I-130 Petition for an Alien Relative is used and should identify the siblings as the beneficiaries and the sibling’s family members. After the USCIS processes the petition, the U.S. citizen petitioner will be informed whether the petition is granted or denied.

Processing Times

There are yearly limits on the number of visas issued each year on the F4 visas. Processing times for these visas can be very long. Once the I-130 Petition has been approved, the beneficiaries must wait for their priority date to become current to apply for their visas. Processing times can vary anywhere from six months to a few years. Therefore, the beneficiaries may end up waiting a long time before they are eligible to apply for their F4 visas.

Applying for the F4 Visa

Once the beneficiary’s petition becomes current, the National Visa Center (NVC) will inform them regarding their eligibility to apply for the visa. Along with the notification, the applicants will need to get medical examinations and necessary vaccinations from licensed physicians. If applying with family members, applicants will have to provide documentation proving marriage and the birth of their children. Also, applicants must provide certificates, photographs, and passports.


Once the application is processed and meets all the requirements by the NVC, they will be required to attend an interview. Interviews are held in the U.S. embassy of the applicant’s country. If the interview goes well, the applicant’s passport will be stamped with the F4 visa allowing the applicant to travel to the U.S.


There are also several fees associated with the application for F4 visas. There are form filing fees, processing fees for the F4 visa application, costs for medical examinations, and fees associated with photographs, certificates, translations of documents, and vaccinations, among others.

Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at the Law Offices of MC Law Group, LLC Assist Clients with Visa Concerns

For family-based immigration matters, contact the Philadelphia immigration lawyers at the Law Offices of MC Law Group, LLC Our attorneys will review your case and obtain the justice you deserve. Contact our office at 215-496-0690 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout the tri-state area, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide.