How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Who had the longest wait for an immigrant visa this month?

Nations with current longest waits for family-sponsored based immigrant visas: The priority dates shown are when applicants now up for processing filed petitions. (Source: Visa Bulletin for January 2012, U.S. Department of State)

It's the start of a new month and a new year, but the line to enter the United States legally is as long as ever. According the U.S. State Department’s monthly Visa Bulletin, which lists the categories of hopeful immigrants whose turn is up to receive visas, there are some relatives of U.S. citizens in the Philippines and Mexico who have been waiting roughly two decades.

As in recent months, those who have had the longest waits as relatives sponsor them to come as immigrants are the siblings of U.S. citizens in the Philippines. Those whose turn is up this month to receive visas filed their petitions back in October of 1988.

Here are the top four categories of immigrants who have endured the longest waits this month:

1) Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens from the Philippines, a wait of more than 23 years (petitions filed October 8, 1988).

2) Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens from the Philippines, a wait of more than 19 years (petitions filed July 15, 1992)

It's a close tie for third and fourth place:

3) Unmarried adult (21 and over) sons and daughters of U.S. legal permanent residents from Mexico, a wait of just over 19 years (petitions filed December 1, 1992)

4) Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens from Mexico, also a wait of just over 19 years (petitions filed December 22, 1992)

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