How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

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


Among those hopeful immigrants who are up for visas in December, who endured the longest wait? Little has changed in that those who have waited longest to come legally are from the Philippines, some of whom have been in line since 1988, followed by immigrants from Mexico.

Among the latter, those waiting in line the longest have been doing so since 1992, which is to say they've been waiting since Bill Clinton was elected and Nirvana was hot.

The line for immigrants from Mexico and the Philippines being sponsored by U.S. citizen and legal resident relatives moves at a glacial pace, so it can take decades from the time the paperwork is filed to sponsor a relative and the time that person arrives with an immigrant visa. According to this month’s Visa Bulletin from the U.S. State Department, here are the top four categories of immigrants who have waited longest for their number to come up:

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


It's the beginning of November, which means it's time to take a look once more at who has been waiting in line the longest to come legally to the United States.

The line has budged little since last month, according the U.S. State Department’s monthly Visa Bulletin, which lists the categories of hopeful immigrants who are up to receive visas. As in recent months, those waiting the longest as relatives sponsor them to come to the U.S. are hopeful immigrants from the Philippines who filed their petitions way back in August 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 August 22, 1988).

2) Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens from the Philippines, a wait of more than 19 years (petitions filed June 22, 1992)

3) Unmarried adult (21 and over) sons and daughters of U.S. legal permanent residents from Mexico, a wait of close to 19 years (petitions filed November 22, 1992)

4) Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens from Mexico, a wait of close to 19 years (petitions filed December 8, 1992)

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


It's already October, which means it's time to find out who endured the longest wait this month to come legally to the U.S. as an immigrant. And as has been the case in recent months, it's no surprise: Hopeful immigrants from the Philippines who are being sponsored by U.S. citizen siblings win the contest hands-down, having been waiting in line since 1988.

The line for immigrants from Mexico and the Philippines being sponsored by U.S. citizen and legal resident relatives moves very slowly, meaning it can take decades from the time the paperwork is filed to sponsor an immigrant relative and the time that person actually gets here. According to this month’s Visa Bulletin from the U.S. State Department, here are the top four categories of immigrants who have waited longest for their number to come up:

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Who's had to wait longest for an immigrant visa this month?

Source: Visa Bulletin for August 2011, 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. 

It's the beginning of the month, time for the latest update from the U.S. State Department's Visa Bulletin. The bulletin lists the categories of hopeful immigrants whose turn has come to enter the United States legally with an immigrant visa. But for many, the good news - provided the posted dates don't change, which can happen - comes after an excruciatingly long wait.

As it has been lately, the people waiting in line the longest are hopeful immigrants from the Philippines who are being sponsored by their siblings. The ones whose priority dates are on the bulletin this month filed petitions back in May of 1988.

Immigrants from Mexico who have been waiting are slightly ahead, but not by much. Here are the top four categories of immigrants who have waited longest as their number for a visa comes up:

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'I feel so sad:' More from the lottery visa 22,000

Screen shot from "22,000 Tears" Facebook page

A post earlier this week on how the Diversity Visa Lottery Program is under fire following a computer-glitch fiasco last May has yielded, perhaps not surprisingly, some emotional comments on this website from people describing themselves as would-be winners.

Roughly 22,000 people in various countries, including some here on other visas, were informed in May that they had won the federal green card lottery, which makes up to 55,000 immigrant visas available to winners each year. Soon afterward, they learned from the U.S. State Department that there had been an error and the results would be voided. Angry would-be immigrants mounted a social media campaign that included a Facebook page called "22,000 Tears." Some filed a class action lawsuit, but it was recently dismissed and a new drawing was held.

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