How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

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

Source: Visa Bulletin for October 2012, 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 petitions.

October is underway, meaning it's time to see who has had the longest wait for a family-sponsored immigrant visa this month. Twenty years, twenty three years? The line doesn't budge much, at least not for hopeful immigrants in certain categories, from certain countries.

We skipped a month, but the composition of the line is more or less the same: Those waiting longest are the siblings and adult children of U.S. citizens from the Philippines, followed by hopeful immigrants from Mexico. And many of those whose turn has come up this month filed paperwork more than two decades ago.

Here are the four top categories with the longest waits, according to the U.S. State Department's monthly Visa Bulletin for October:

1) Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens from the Philippines, a wait of more than 23 years (petitions filed February 8, 1989).


Children of immigrants who 'aged out' of visas can get their place back in line

The now-adult children of immigrant parents who "aged out" of obtaining derivative visas while their parents waited for green cards can get their place back in line, a federal appeals court has ruled.

The decision in the class-action lawsuit against U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and other federal officials is a victory for thousands of young people who lost their priority status for family-sponsored visas upon turning 21, as their parents faced long waits due to backlogs in the immigration system. 

When this happens, these former minor children of immigrants are no longer eligible to derive green cards through their parents, and must start over to seek one on their own. 

The lawsuit argued that several plaintiffs were eligible to retain their priority date for receiving a green card under the Child Status Protection Act of 2002. The plaintiffs had been denied this request by the agency and the Board of Immigration Appeals, however, which interpreted the law differently.