How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Longest waits for immigrant visas: September

Source: Visa Bulletin for September 2010, U.S. Department of State

Nations with current longest waits for family-sponsored based immigrant visas: The priority dates shown are when applicants now up for processing filed their petitions.

Every month, Multi-American is posting the longest current waits as listed in the U.S. State Department’s monthly Visa Bulletin.

For countries with the highest demand for family reunification, especially Mexico and the Philippines, there is a very long line to enter the country legally as an adult child or sibling of a U.S. citizen or legal resident, or as the spouse of a legal resident.

This is because every nation is allotted the same percentage from a pool of family and employer-based visas available each year, regardless of the demand or volume of petitions filed from from any individual nation. Immigrants defined as immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, i.e. spouses, parents, and children under 21, are exempt from the limits.

But for the rest, the wait to come to the United States legally can take decades.

For those whose priority dates are listed in the monthly bulletin, it’s good news, sort of: Visas have technically become available for them, though priority dates are subject to change due to a number of factors, and frequently do.

From this month’s Visa Bulletin, the longest waits have been endured by:

1) Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens from the Philippines, a wait of more than 19 years (priority date: January 1, 1991)

2) Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens from Mexico, a wait of more than 18 years (priority date: March 1, 1992)

3) Unmarried adult (21 and over) sons and daughters of U.S. legal permanent residents from Mexico, a wait of more than 18 years (priority date June 15, 1992)

4) Unmarried adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens from Mexico, a wait of almost 18 years (priority date: December 1, 1992)

The entire Visa Bulletin for September 2010 can be viewed here.

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