Family-Sponsored Fourth Preference (FS-4)
Brothers/Sister of US Citizen
Brothers and sisters US citizen are classified under the Family-Sponsored Fourth Preference (FS-4). In order to be eligible to petition for brothers or sisters, the U.S. citizen must be at least 21 years old.
Half Brothers/Sisters. A US citizen sibling can also petition for half brothers and sisters, if they have the same father of mother when they were children.
US Congress has limited the number of relatives who may immigrate under this category each year so there is usually a waiting period before an immigrant visa number becomes available.
Get a Green Card While Inside the United States
If you are currently in the United States and are a brother or sister of a U.S. citizen in this preference category, you may be able to become a permanent resident in two steps.
- Step One – Your U.S. citizen family member (sponsor) must file the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for you and it must be approved. You must wait for your priority date in your immigrant visa category to become current. Your priority date is the date when the Form I-130 is properly filed (with correct fee and signature) on your behalf by your U.S. citizen relative.
- Step Two – Once the priority date in your visa category is current, you may file for Adjustment of Status with Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Adjustment of Status is the process you go through to become a Permanent Resident.
Get a Green Card While Outside the United States
If you are currently outside the United States and are one of the specified categories of relatives of a U.S. citizen in a preference category, you can become a permanent resident through consular processing. Consular processing is when USCIS works with the US Department of State to issue a visa on an approved Form I-130 petition when a visa is available. In this process the Department of State will issue you a visa. If approved, you may then travel on the visa and will officially become a permanent resident when admitted at a US port of entry.
Family Members (spouse/children). Spouse and children of the family-sponsored principal beneficiary derive the same preference classification as that beneficiary, i.e., they do not have to be separately qualified or sponsored, and share the same priority date. They can accompany or follow to join that beneficiary.