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, the wait to enter the country legally can take several years, in some cases as much as two decades. Here's why: Every nation is allotted the same percentage from a pool of family and employer-based visas available each year, regardless of the demand 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 others, such as the adult children or siblings of U.S. citizens or legal residents, the wait can be very, very long.
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 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 almost 20 years (petitions filed April 1, 1991)
2) Unmarried adult (21 and over) sons and daughters of U.S. legal permanent residents from Mexico, a wait of more than 18 years (petitions filed June 22, 1992)
3) Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens from Mexico, a wait of 18 years (petitions filed October 22, 1992)
4) Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens from Mexico, a wait of almost 18 years (petitions filed December 15, 1992)
The entire Visa Bulletin for September 2010 can be viewed here.