The State Department’s National Visa Center reports that as of November 2013, there are 4,322,575 immigrant visa applicants worldwide waiting for their interview dates and visa issuance to those who meet all the requirements.

Of this total, 436,639 are from the Philippines, 401,880 of which are in the Family Sponsored categories.  The F2A category (spouses and minor children of lawful permanent residents) has the least numbers of applicants (12,491).  

Under current law, the Second Family Preference category has the most number of visas allocated (114,200).  From this total, 77% or 87,934 are for the F2A category: of this number, 65,950 are not subject to per country limit.

The yearly per-country limit is 25,620.

Should US economy continue to improve and third world economies to the opposite way, the demand for immigrant visas will be greater.  Instead of staying home because of domestic opportunities (employment and business) those who do not have political connections look for economic salvation elsewhere.  In this scenario, visa movement will be slower as there are too many applicants for a limited number of visas.
The opposite is true. As the Philippine economy improves (as had been exhibited in the last three years) less people are prone to leave the country because opportunities abound.
A major factor is the conflict in the Middle East and Africa. Recurring or even increased incidents of national strife affect the deployment of Overseas Filipino Workers. In some countries such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and closer to home – Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong – animosity towards OFWs contributes to the push factors.  With 4 million Filipinos in the United States, immigrant visa petitions and opportunities for work will accelerate visa applications and migration.

Such acceleration will – without doubt – cause a longer immigrant visa waiting list as more petitions are filed on top of the current ones (see below).


Family-sponsored Preferences  
Increase/Decrease as of as of From 2012 Totals

Category Nov. 1, 2012 Nov. 1, 2013 (and % of change)
Family First 288,705 279,693 (- 3.1%)
Family 2nd Total 706,910 706,059 (- 0.1%)
2A - Spouses/Children 220,313 238,417 (+ 8.2%)
2B - Adult Sons/Daughters 486,597 467,642 (- 3.9%)
Family Third 830,906 804,242 (- 3.2%)
Family Fourth 2,473,114 2,420,977 (- 2.1%)
Total 4,299,635 4,210,971 (- 2.1%)


Employment-based Preferences
Increase/Decrease as of as of From 2012 Totals

Category Nov. 1, 2012 Nov. 1, 2013 (and % of change)
Employment First 2,547 2,691 (+ 5.7%)
Employment 2nd 6,892 15,866 (+ 130.2%)
Employment Third Total 99,978 87,937 (- 12.0%)
Skilled Workers 86,862 76,742 (- 11.7%)
Other Workers 13,116 11,195 (- 14.6%)
Employment Fourth Total 479 362 (- 24.4%)
Employment Fifth Total 3,162 4,748 (+ 50.2%)
Total 113,058 111,604 ( - 1.3%)








(- 2.0%)


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