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How Long Do Immigrant Families “Wait in Line”? Sometimes Decades

WAITING TO COME TO AMERICA Applying for permanent residence in the United States can be a complicated process and even longer wait. Each year, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) limits the number of family-sponsored visas to no more than 226,000, while 140,000 are available for employment-based visas. WAITING PERIODS BY VISA PREFERENCE Every month, the government announces wait times for visa applications. The wait varies based on each type of visa sought, the number of visas available, and the applicant's current citizenship. Certain types of visa applications, such as those for family unification, are given priority over others. But these "preferences," as they're dubbed in immigration policy, only get an applicant so far. The government also ranks countries by demand and, currently, China, India, Mexico, and the Philippines are all "oversubscribed." FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCES WAITING PERIODS COMPARISON (BASED ON CURRENT BACKLOG FIGURES) MEXICO 18 YEAR WAIT First Preference: Unmarried adult sons PHILIPPINES and daughters of U.S. 15 YEAR WAIT ALL OTHER COUNTRIES 7 YEAR WAIT citizens. Second Preference: Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents ALL COUNTRIES 3 YEAR WAIT MEXICO 19 YEAR WAIT Second Preference: PHILIPPINES Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents 11 YEAR WAIT ALL OTHER COUNTRIES 8 YEAR WAIT MEXICO 19 YEAR WAIT Third Preference: PHILIPPINES Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens 19 YEAR WAIT ALL OTHER COUNTRIES 10 YEAR WAIT MEXICO Fourth Preference: ~15 YEAR WAIT Brothers and Sisters of PHILIPPINES Adult U.S. Citizens 23 YEAR WAIT ALL OTHER COUNTRIES 11 YEAR WAIT EMPLOYMENT-BASED WAITING PERIOD COMPARISON (BASED ON CURRENT BACKLOG FIGURES) PREFERENCES First Preference: Priority Workers including persons with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and multinational managers or executives NO WAIT FOR ALL COUNTRIES Second Preference: Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability CHINA (MAINLAND BORN) AND INDIA 24 YEAR WAIT NO WAIT FOR ALL OTHER COUNTRIES CHINA (MAINLAND BORN) 7 YEAR WAIT INDIA Third Preference: Skilled workers whose job requires a minimum of 2 years training or work experience and professionals whose job requires at least the equivalent of a U.S. baccalaureate degree 9 YEAR WAIT ALL OTHER COUNTRIES 26 YEAR WAIT ....... .... CHINA (MAINLAND BORN) 8 YEAR WAIT Third Preference "Other workers:" Persons capable of filling positions that require less than two years training or experience that are not temporary or seasonal INDIA -9 YEAR WAIT ALL OTHER COUNTRIES 26 YEAR WAIT Fourth Preference: Certain Special Immigrants, including employees of the U.S. Government Abroad, Iraqi and Afghan interpreters, certain retired NATO-6 civilians, religious workers, etc NO WAIT FOR ALL COUNTRIES Fifth Preference: NO WAIT FOR ALL COUNTRIES Immigrant Investors Note: Waiting periods are calculated by approximate years based on priority dates made available by the Visa Bulletin for August 2011. Number 35. Volume IX. Washington, D.C. U.S. State Department. TOP 13 COUNTRIES WITH THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF WAITING LIST REGISTRANTS IN FY2010 Bangladesh 154,622 Pakistan 113,816 Dominican Republic 162,323 Haiti 105,193 Worldwide Total 4,683,393 Vietnam 283.299 Cuba 86,969 China- mainland born 274,563 Mexico 1,381,896 India 336,719 Korea, South 68,852 Philippines 535,750 All Others 1,025,919 Together these represent Jamaica 67,766 78% El Salvador 85,706 of the worldwide total. Note: This list includes all countries with at least 65,000 persons on the waiting list. The per-country limit in INA 202 sets an annual maximum on the amount of preference visas which may be issued to applicants from any one country; the 2011 per-country limit will be 25,620. Source: Annual Report of Immigrant Visa. Applicants in the Family-sponsored and Employment-based preferences Registered at the National Visa Center. November 1, 2010.

How Long Do Immigrant Families “Wait in Line”? Sometimes Decades

shared by stokelyb on Aug 23
1 comment
It’s a popular turn of phrase: undocumented immigrants should just follow the rules and “get in line.” What they don’t point out is that it’s a really, really long line, thanks to the broken...




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