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New wait times for family-sponsored immigration released

Each month, the U.S. State Department issues a Visa Bulletin that reveals the wait times for people who enter the country by family-related visas. It may surprise you to find out just how long some people must wait before being reunited with their families in the United States.

According to new numbers from April's Visa Bulletin, family members seeking admission into the United States from the Philippines faced the longest wait time before being eligible for processing, which has become the norm. Siblings of those from the Philippines faced the longest wait, in particular.

Brothers and sisters of adult citizens from the Philippines, who just became eligible to have their petitions reviewed, had to wait more than 23 years. That group is followed by the married sons and daughters of United States citizens that hail from the Philippines, who have waited for about 20 years for the chance at a visa.

Unmarried children of United States permanent residents from Mexico had been waiting 19 years for their immigration petitions to be processed, and married children of United States citizens hailing from Mexico had been waiting about 19 years, according to the official report.

The reason certain countries have longer family-related immigration delays than others is that every country worldwide is allotted an equal percentage of visas, regardless of demand from a specific region.

Last year, a bill was proposed in Congress that would have eliminated country-based caps on employment visas and slightly altered the limits on family-sponsored visas; however, it died in the Senate. Those in support of the bill said it would be a way to help spur economic growth in the United States.

Source: Southern California Public Radio, "Who had the longest wait for an immigrant visa this month?" Leslie Berestein Rojas, April 5, 2012

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