How Many Are Waiting for Immigrant Visas?

The good news is that there are less than a million visa applicants waiting in 2012  than the year before.

The bad news is that despite the reduction in visa applicants worldwide, the waiting period remains lengthy – up to 22 years for sisters and brothers of US citizens.

A piece of good news is that there are other visa options in the US or other countries that you may take if your visa date is at least 3 to 5 years away.

Family-based Waiting in Line

To see which Family-based categories moved faster – or slower – because there are less applicants in 2012 than there were in 2011, check the table below:


Categories                  Nov 2011       Nov. 2012


Family First                295,168         288,705

Family Second A        839,755         706,910

Family Second B        322,636         220,313

Family Third              846,520         830,906

Family Fourth            2,519,623      2,473,114

Total                           4,501,066      4,299,635

If you have a US Citizen brother or sister who intends to file a family-petition for you as a sibling, you would be better off if your brother or sister gets you an employer or as a logical career pathway, gets you admitted into a college or university since you could apply for change of status to working visa and later to immigrant visa while in the United States.

Employment-based Waiting in Line

Note that the EB5 (Employment-Fifth) category for Philippines is zero, zilch, nada. Why?  Because this category is for investors with at least $500,000.00  to set up a commercial enterprise in the US.  Given the performance of the US and Philippine economies, if you have half-a-million dollars, your investment would earn more in the country than outside. 

Unless $500,000 is like P100 pesos to you and getting a green card based on investment is not the main reason for applying.   Or you are one of those who look at the financial crisis in the US as an opportunity, such as buying foreclosed properties with the intention of holding on to them and selling when the economy recovers, or you would be engaged in lending or providing loans for businesses in need.  Note, however, that there are no Philippine applicants in this immigrant investor category.  Top on the list of the EB5 are China, South Korea, Mexico, Iran, Venezuela and Russia.


Categories                        Nov. 2011      Nov. 2012

Employment First                 2,118              2,547

Employment Second             6,888            6,892

Employment Third               112,023         99,978

  Skilled/Professionals          97,060          86,862

  Other Workers                    14,963            13,116


Employment Fourth             498                 479

Employment Fifth                 1,806              3,162

Total                                       4,624,399      4,412,693

If you need help in assessing your US Family-based petition, copy this link or click here:

If you wish pursue other visa options in the US and other countries and want to have a free assessment based on your occupation, age, education, training, and communication skills, copy this link or click here -

For the complete list, click on this link to the National Visa Center -

Got a question? Let us know - we're here to help.

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