Q&A’s published on the World Journal Weekly – 2/12/2017 1. F4 Category

1. F4 Category

I am a U.S. citizen and filed F4 immigrant cases for my two older brothers in 2011.  I got the receipts in 11/2011.  After that, I have not received anything from Immigration.  In 9/2015 and 11/2015 I mailed two certified letters to Immigration inquiring the cases.  F4 category will take about 12 years, but I want to know my waiting in-line’s number.  The receipts I got did not have the waiting number.  I am a law-abiding citizen, filed taxes and no criminal record.  Please tell me what I should do and when my cases will be approved?

Mr. Lee answers:
In cases like yours under the F4 category, U.S.C.I.S. has not given much priority to adjudicating the petitions because it knows that the entire case takes about (as you note) 12 years. The priority date is awarded at the time that the case is filed. Generally speaking, people in your situation just receive the receipt and have to wait years for an adjudication. If you filed a petition in the half of the country controlled by the Vermont service center, or if your case was transferred recently to any other service center than California, the adjudication should be coming shortly. Vermont is currently processing F4 petitions that were filed by 11/7/11. Cases that are transferred to service centers in Nebraska and Washington DC are taking approximately 5 months to adjudicate. The California service center is the laggard, adjudicating F4 petitions that were filed by May 17, 2011. 

Please note that it is sometimes a blessing to have a late adjudication in this category where children of the beneficiary are concerned since the time spent in the adjudication is time credited to the age of the children under the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA).