How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

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

Source: Visa Bulletin for April 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.

Illegal immigration to the U.S. may have slowed, but the long line for legal entry that many blame in part for driving some to take the illegal route doesn't seem to be moving any more quickly.

Now that it's May, it's time to take a look once more at the U.S. State Department’s monthly Visa Bulletin, which lists the wait times for hopeful immigrants waiting to come to the U.S. legally on family-sponsored visas. And as is the norm, the longest waits continue to be endured by those being sponsored by U.S relatives in the Philippines, followed by people waiting in Mexico.

Until recently, hopeful immigrants from the Philippines in this visa category had been waiting in line since 1988. Now, those who filed petitions in January 1989 are finally up to receive immigrant visas - which means that people who remained in line all this time have had to wait 23 years.

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

Source: Visa Bulletin for April 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.

It's April and time for another look at the wait times for family-sponsored visas, for whom some people wait a very, very long time. We skipped a month in March, but the line hasn't budged much. According to the U.S. State Department's monthly Visa Bulletin, the longest waits continue to be endured by the siblings of U.S. citizens from the Philippines, as is the norm.

Until recently, hopeful immigrants from the Philippines in this visa category had been waiting in line since 1988. This has now moved up to 1989, with those who filed petitions in January of that year finally up to receive immigrant visas for the U.S. Here are this month's top four categories of immigrants who have faced the longest waits:

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

2) Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens from the Philippines, a wait that's coming up on 20 years (petitions filed July 22, 1992)

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

4) Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens from Mexico, a wait of more than 19 years (petitions filed January 15, 1993)

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


The line for many immigrants hoping to enter the United States legally remains, as ever, a very long one. So now that the U.S. State Department has posted whose turn is up this month to receive an immigrant visa, let's take a look once more at who has been waiting the longest.

According to the monthly Visa Bulletin, that distinction goes once more to the brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens from the Philippines, as is the norm. Those whose turn it is to receive visas this month filed petitions to come legally as immigrants back in November 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 November 1, 1988).

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

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

4) Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens from Mexico, a wait of just over 19 years (petitions filed January 1, 1993)

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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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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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