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:
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.Â
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:
Screen shot from "22,000 Tears" Facebook page
It has not been a good week for the non-winners of the 2012 federal green card lottery known as the Diversity Visa Lottery Program.
In May, roughly 22,000 people around the world who had applied for the visa lottery operated by the U.S. State Department were notified they had won - then were quickly notified again that no, they had not, as there had been a computer error and the results would be voided. Several filed a class-action lawsuit to halt a new lottery; others mounted a social media campaign to have their results recognized.
Last week, a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit. A new lottery has since been held. And this Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee will be marking up a bill that aims to get rid of the 20-year-old lottery program, which has long faced opposition. Yale Law School professor Peter H. Schuck condemned it last week in a Los Angeles Times opinion piece:
Who has had to wait the longest to come legally to the U.S. as an immigrant this month? As it's been in recent months, it's hopeful immigrants from the Philippines, people being sponsored by their siblings who filed their paperwork back in 1988.
The line for immigrants from Mexico and the Philippines who are being sponsored by U.S. citizen and legal resident relatives moves at a glacial pace, and little has changed since last month. 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 as their number for a visa comes up:
1) Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens from the Philippines, a wait of more than 23 years (petitions filed May 15, 1988).
2) Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens from the Philippines, a wait of more than 19 years (petitions filed March 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 September 22, 1992)
4) Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens from Mexico, a wait of close to 19 years (petitions filed November 15, 1992)
A post yesterday told the story of "22,000 Tears," a Facebook page set up by disappointed would-be immigrants to the United States who learned in early May that they had won immigrant visas in an annual federal lottery, then were soon informed there had been a computer error and that the lottery results would be voided.
Some 22,000 people were left in the lurch, hence the name of the Facebook group, through which some have been circulating a petition, posting protest videos and connecting from the countries they call home. Not surprisingly, the visa lottery story has made the global rounds. (I discussed it yesterday in an interview with the BBC.) And now, some readers who identify themselves as being among those whose hopes were crushed have been posting messages on this site.