Annual Report of Waiting List for Immigrant Visa Applicants

Thứ Tư, 24 Tháng Hai 201617:12(Xem: 6045)
Annual Report of Waiting List for Immigrant Visa Applicants

The Department of State has just released their annual report of the Immigrant Visa Waiting lists for applicants who are subject to a quota. These quota categories are called Preference visas. They include the F-1 visa for adult unmarried children of US citizens, F2 petitions for the spouse and unmarried children of permanent residents, F3 visas for a US citizen’s married children and F4’s for the siblings of a US citizen.

A total of 226,000 immigrant visas per year are available in these Preference categories. There is a limit to the number of immigrant visas that can be issued for each country. This year it is about 25,600 visas. Consulates usually do not issue as many visas as that, but if they reach the limit, they must suspend visa issuance until the start of the new fiscal year in October of each year.

A US citizen’s spouse, minor children and parents are considered Immediate relatives and they are not subject to a waiting time. There is also no quota or long wait time for Fiancée visa applicants.

In Asia, about 1.9 million people are waiting to be eligible for visa interviews. The largest number is in the F4 category for siblings of US citizens.

As usual, Vietnam is among the top five countries with the highest number of waiting list applicants. In Mexico, 1.3 million people are waiting to be eligible for visas. The Philippines has about 400,000 people waiting, followed by India with 344,000, and Vietnam with 280,000. Next comes mainland China with 260,000 applicants waiting for visa interviews.

The State Department gives some figures for the top five countries:

In Vietnam, there are 7,500 applicants waiting for F1 visas. The number of applicants waiting for F2A visas is not given because this is a smaller number, not amount the top five countries.

Those in Vietnam waiting for F2B visas are the adult, unmarried children of permanent residents. Many of them were aged out and could not go with the rest of the family to the US. They number about 13,000 applicants.

In the F3 category, married children of US citizens, there are 57,600 people waiting for visas. This includes the spouse and minor children of the principal applicants.

The F4 category for siblings of US citizens also includes the spouse and minor children of the applicants, creating a large wait list of 196,000 applicants.

An important event occurred in October last year, affecting foreigners who are in the US legally as non-immigrants, and who are waiting for their immigrant visa petitions to become current.

For example, if you are a foreign student in the US with a pending visa petition you may be able to submit your Green Card application early. This doesn’t mean that you will get your Green Card ahead of time, but it does mean that when your petition becomes current CIS will have all of your application documents on file and will be able to process your case faster.

Let’s say your American citizen parent filed an F-1 petition for you after July 2008. That means you cannot get a Green Card right now because your petition is not yet current. But with the new rule, you can submit your Green Card Application to CIS now. If you do that:

(1) It will give CIS time to complete processing and they will be able to issue your Green Card soon after your petition becomes current.

(2) You can receive Employment Authorization from CIS so you will be able to work legally while waiting for your petition to become current.

(3) You will be able to apply for Advance Parole. With Advance Parole, you will be able to make trips abroad while waiting for your petition to become current.

Q.1. Does the new early filing system apply to applicants waiting in Vietnam for an immigrant visa?

A.1. No, it does not apply to applicants outside the US because they will be applying for an immigrant visa rather than Adjustment. But the new system also does not in any way penalize applicants abroad. Their cases will not suffer any kind of delay under the new system.

Q.2. Can someone who has a pending petition, but is out of status in the US, file the Adjustment Application early?

A.2. You can only submit an Early Application if you are present in the US in lawful nonimmigrant status. That is why it is crucial to maintain your legal status in the US. If your tourist visa or student visa expires, you will not be able to submit an application to CIS for Adjustment, Extension or Change of status.
Q.3. Can an American citizen file a petition along with an Adjustment application for his spouse, parent or minor child who are already in the US?

A.3. Yes, the I-130 petition can be filed with the I-485 Adjustment application in order to get the Green Card for the applicant.

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