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FB-4 for brothers and sisters of adult U.S. Citizens

You may qualify for permanent resident status in the fourth preference category of family-based immigration if you are the brother or sister of a U.S. citizen, regardless of your age and whether you are married or unmarried

YOU MUST HAVE AN APPROVED I-130 PETITION

Before you can apply for permanent resident status as the unmarried son or daughter of a U.S. citizen in the first preference category, USCIS must approve an immigrant visa petition, I-130 Petition for Alien Relative, for you. This petition is filed by your relative (sponsor) and must be accompanied by proof of your relationship to the requesting relative. In order for your relative to sponsor you, he or she

  • Must be a U.S. citizen and be able to provide documentation proving citizenship
  • Must prove that he or she can support you at 125% above the mandated poverty line

The I-130 Petition is filed with USCIS. If you are immigrant visa processing abroad (see below, "You May Apply for an Immigrant Visa or Adjust Status"), some U.S. consulates allow U.S. citizens to file the petition directly with the consulate.

An approved I-130 Petition does not grant you immigration benefits such as work authorization or lawful status in the United States.

AN IMMIGRANT VISA MUST BE IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE

Once your I-130 Petition is approved, the Department of State must determine if an immigrant visa number is immediately available to you even if you are already in the United States. When an immigrant visa number is available, it means you can apply to have one of the immigrant visa numbers assigned to you. You can check the status of a visa number in the Department of State's Visa Bulletin.

YOU MAY APPLY FOR AN IMMIGRANT VISA OR ADJUST STATUS
IMMIGRANT VISA ISSUANCE

If you are outside the United States at the time your immigrant visa petition is approved, you must apply for an immigrant visa before you may enter the U.S. as a lawful immigrant

Upon approval of the immigrant petition filed by your U.S. relative, your case will be forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing. Your priority date must be current for an immigrant visa to issue. Your priority date is the date on which your U.S. relative filed the immigrant petition. Each month the U.S. Department of State issues the Visa Bulletin which gives information about immigrant visa availability and the current priority dates.

Upon receipt of your case from USCIS, NVC will contact you or your agent/attorney with processing instructions. Upon submission of an immigrant visa application and the required supporting documents to NVC, processing on your case will continue.

When NVC has completed processing, it will forward your case to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the jurisdiction where you reside abroad, and you will be notified of your immigrant visa interview appointment and what documents to bring to the interview. If approved, an immigrant visa will be issued in your name. You will have 120 days from the date of issue to enter the United States. Within a short period of time following your admission to the United States, a Permanent Resident Card (green card) will be mailed to you.
 

ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS

If you are inside the United States in lawful non-immigrant status, you may be eligible to adjust your status to that of a lawful permanent resident through a process known as adjustment of status.

If your priority date for the FB-4 classification is current at the time your immigrant petition is approved by USCIS, you may file your adjustment of status application with USCIS. If your priority date is not current at that time, you must wait until it becomes current.

You cannot file an adjustment application if you are outside the U.S, or if you are inside the U.S. but have violated your non-immigrant status, or if you are barred from filing based upon your non-immigrant status at the time or your particular circumstances.

If your application is approved, you will be mailed a Permanent Resident Card within a short period of time.

POST-ADMISSION ISSUES & PROCEDURES
CHANGE OF ADDRESS

All U.S. lawful permanent residents are required to report a change of address within 10 days of the change. The change of address may be reported on USCIS Form AR-11, by filing the AR-11 online at www.uscis.gov, or by calling USCIS' National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283. Failure to file is punishable by fine and imprisonment, and may constitute a ground for removal from the United States.

REPLACING A LOST OR STOLEN GREEN CARD

If you lose your Permanent Resident Card or it is stolen, you must apply for a new card by filing USCIS Form I-90. The application may be filed by mail or electronically over the Internet. In either case, you will be notified by USCIS to appear for a biometrics appointment, at which time your fingerprints will be collected and your photograph taken.

ABSENCES OUTSIDE THE U.S. OF LESS THAN 1 YEAR

As a lawful permanent resident, you may travel outside the United States and reenter using your green card. However, at all times you must maintain the intent to remain a permanent resident of the United States. If you are outside the U.S. for less than 6 months, you should not have a problem reentering the United States. Stays outside the U.S. for more than 6 months may raise the issue of whether you intend to remain a permanent resident. In such cases, you may be asked to provide evidence demonstrate your intent. Such evidence may consist of U.S. income tax returns filed in your absence, whether you maintained a residence in the U.S. and paid utility bills, or other relevant evidence.

REENTRY PERMIT

If you are planning to stay outside the United States for more than 1 year, you must apply for a reentry permit. Your green card alone will be insufficient to enable you to be readmitted to the United States. Application for a reentry permit is made on USCIS Form I-131. You must be physically present in the U.S. at the time application is made. After submission of your application to USCIS, you will be notified to appear for a biometrics appointment. Failure to appear for your biometrics appointment may result in a denial of your application. If your application is approved, it will be sent to your address in the U.S. or to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate you designate on the application form. The period of validity for the reentry permit is two years, but may less under certain circumstances.

REPLACING AN EXPIRED GREEN CARD

Although your permanent status is indefinite, the green card itself has a period of validity of 10 years. Within the six month period preceding the expiration of the card, you must file USCIS Form I-90 to replace your expired card. The application may be filed by mail or electronically over the Internet. In either event, you will be required to surrender your expired card.

The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only. If you need help with an Immigration question please call us at 214 432 2499 or email your query at info@seemamehtalawfirm.com