Beneficiaries (family members who were petitioned by their US citizen or green card h older relatives years ago) could be waiting for up to 22 years – particularly in the F4 Family-based category – petition filed by sibling to sibling.

 The top six countries with the most number of beneficiaries – Mexico, Philippines, India, Vietnam, China-mainland born, Dominican Republic represent 63% of the overall numbers.

 Philippines ranked second (Mexico is on top of the list) among thirteen countries with the highest number of waiting list registrants in FY2010. Together, visa applicants from these 13 countries represent 78% of the total. 

 The statistics from the U.S. State Department cover both the Family-sponsored and Employment-based categories, including the visa numbers or allocation for each classification is described below:

 FAMILY-SPONSORED

 First (F1): Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens: 23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.

 Second: Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents: 114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, plus any unused first preference numbers:  Under the 2nd Family-sponsored category are the F2A and the F2B.

A. (F2A) Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents: 77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;
B. (F2B) Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents: 23% of the overall second preference limitation.

 Third (F3): Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens: 23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.

 Fourth (F4): Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens: 65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.

 EMPLOYMENT-BASED

 First: Priority Workers: 28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required for fourth and fifth preferences.

 

Second: Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability: 28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required by first preference.

 

Third: Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers: 28.6% of the worldwide level, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences, not more than 10,000 of which to "*Other Workers".

 

Fourth: Certain Special Immigrants: 7.1% of the worldwide level.

 

Fifth: Employment Creation: 7.1% of the worldwide level, not less than 3,000 of which reserved for investors in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area, and 3,000 set aside for investors in regional centers by Sec. 610 of P.L. 102-395.

 Family-sponsored Preferences, Worldwide

All categories in the Family-sponsored categories increased in 2010 as compared to the year before.

 

Category

FY 2009

FY2010

% Change

Family First

245,516

271,018

25,502 /+10.4%

Family Second Total

842,762

913,611

70,849 /+8.4%

  F2A, Spouses, children

324,864

361,038

36,174 / +11.1%

  F2B Adult Sons/Daughters

517,898

552,573

34,675 / +6%

Family Third

553,280

853,083

299,803 / +54.2%

Family Fourth

1,727897

2,515062

787,165 / +45.6%

 

TOTAL

 

3,369,455

 

4,552,774

 

1,183,319 / +35.1%

 

Employment-Based

 

Category

FY2009

FY2010

Increase/Decrease

% Change

Employment First

3,601

2,961

-640

-17.8%

Employment Second

6,295

6,738

+443

+7.0%

Employment Third Total

119,759

119,183

-576

-0.5% 

   Skilled Workers/Professionals

103,448

102,395

-1,053

-1.0%

   Other Workers

16,311

16,788

+477

+2.9%

Employment Fourth

529

554

+25

+4.7%

Employment Fifth

325

1,183

+858

+264%

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

130,509

130,619

+110

+0.1%

 

GRAND TOTAL, BOTH CATEGORIES

 

 

3,499,964

 

4,683,393

 

+1,183,429

 

+33.8%

 

While there is a per country limit of 25,620, the quota covers only the Preference categories.  Certain classifications are not covered by numerical limits such as the immediate relatives of US citizens: spouse, minor child and parent.

 Immediate relatives of US citizens are not subject to quota or numerical limits.  However in the Family-based category, these immediate relatives compete with the others for the total allocation until the 480,000 worldwide quota (mainly for both Family and Employment based categories)  reaches the magic ceiling of 223,000.  The total visas for Emploment-based categories is 140,000.

Country                                    FY2010

Mexico                                   1,381,896

Philippines                                535,750

India                                         336,719

Vietnam                                    283,299

China-mainland born                  274,563

Dominican Republic                  162,323

Bangladesh                               154,622

Pakistan                                   113,816

Haiti                                          105,193

Cuba                                        86,969

El Salvador                               85,706

Korea, South                             68,852

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