Visa Waiting List Nov 1, 2015 and 2016

Priority Dates for Philippine Applicants, May 2010 to May 2017

As part of our advocacy program, providing free information to the migrant community, we are sharing the priority dates of the Family-sponsored categories for the Philippines from May 2010 to May 2017 so that those who are waiting for their immigrant visa interview would have a historical perspective and clear idea of how long they still would have to wait before immigrant visas become available.

Conversely, for those who may have not been monitoring the priority dates, they could check if their priority dates have become current and what they can do to still pursue their immigrant visa applications.

Family-
Sponsored 

All Chargeability 
Areas May 2017

May 2010

May 2015

May 2016

May 2017 

F1

08DEC10

01NOV94

01FEB05

01OCT04

01FEB06

F2A

15JUL15

01DEC06

01SEP13

01NOV14

15JUL15

F2B

01OCT10

15NOV98

22APR04

01MAY05

01AUG06

F3

15JUN05

01MAY92

15AUG93

22JAN94

22SEP94

F4

08MAY04

08DEC87

22OCT91

01OCT92

15OCT93

Over a five year period in the same month (from 2010 to 2015) the F1 category moved 10 years and 3 months, then retrogressed the next year, only to move up two years this year.  For the one year period (2015 to 2016) the F1 moved 1 year and 4 months.  As with the other visa categories, the priority dates moved faster or retrogressed depending on available visas as well as how those in other countries with visa allocation used their own quota.

As expected, however, the F3 and F4 categories continue to be the snail crawlers of all Family-sponsored categories for the Philippines.  This is partly caused by the huge backlog or number of applicants in these categories waiting for their priority dates to be current, not only from the Philippines but other countries as well. 

Family-sponsored Preference Categories, Worldwide

Over a one-year period, the F2A virtually remained the same, while the F2B was reduced by 57,382 though the fall in numbers could be due to petitioners becoming U.S. citizens and a number of applicants were not aware that they could still choose to remain under F2B through the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) instead of being automatically converted to F1 (where the wait is usually longer).

While there had been sizeable usage of the F3 and F4 visas, the total number of those waiting for their visas in these two categories continue to be in large numbers causing a slowdown if not virtual standstill.

Hence for beneficiaries in these categories (F3 and F4) they should explore other options – such as student or working visas in the U.S. or looking up further North to Canada to explore permanent residency options through their occupations.

Categories

2015

2016

F1

322,788

310,884

F2A

276,022

276,839

F2B

480,755

423,373

F3

825,991

781,810

F4

2,549,718

2,466,667

Employment-based Preference Categories, Worldwide

Categories

2015

2016

E1

3,474

3,801

E2

11,440

14,370

E3

61,584

55,521

EW

6,208

8,804

E4

379

354

E5

17,662

24,629

Visa Waiting List by Country – Top 12

For the last 17 years, there are 12 countries with oversubscribed categories. It is worth noting that during this period, 148,427 applicants from the Philippines seem to have their visas issued and been reunited with their families.

It is also likely that a number of petitioners have passed away and the visa petitions automatically revoked.  Unless the beneficiaries explore the request to reinstate or revalidate their petitions for humanitarian purposes, the visa applications would have been terminated.

In some cases, failure to inform the National Visa Center, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or the appropriate Consular Post or Embassy of a change in address could also result in termination of the case if the beneficiary failed to apply for the visa.

A visa applicant may still resume visa processing even if he or she fail to apply within a year of the visa becoming available and being notified (even if he or she did not receive the  notice) at the old address on record with NVC.

Country                                              Nov.2016               Nov.2013            Nov. 2010

Mexico                                                1,309,282               1,312,198            1,381,896

Philippines                                        387,323               436,639               535,750

India                                                    331,423               326,921               336,719

Vietnam                                             266,297               255,475               283,299

China-mainland                               252,497               239,182               274,563

Dominican Republic                       199,055               175,313               162,323

Bangladesh                                    179,504               162,655               154,622

Pakistan                                          127,768               111.799               113,816

Haiti                                                 115,580               109,489               105,193

Cuba                                                106,351               105,744               86,969

El Salvador                                       78,947                  71,833                 85,706

Jamaica                                            54,398                 55,576                  67,766

All others                                        958,627               802,524               1,025,919

Worldwide Total                             4,367,052               4,322,575           4,683,393

Philippines, Family-Employment  Sponsored 2016

The figures below show how immigrant visas for Filipinos in the Family and Employment-sponsored categories were used or reduced (by usage or non-use e.g., failure to apply resulting in revocation.

The first column shows the number of visa applicants waiting, the second column shows the total number of visa applicants worldwide.  The two columns for 2013 follow the same pattern

Family Sponsored

                               2016                                                                   2013      

           Philippines       Total Worldwide    % of Total      Philippines      Total worldwide         

F1           19,863                  310,884               6.4%           21,369                279,693              

F2A        12,625                  276,839               4.5%            12,491                238,417

F2B        57,440                  423,373               13.6%         50,299                467,642

F3           135,200               781,810               17.3%          146,325              804,242

F4           137,105               2,466,667            5.5%            171,397            2,420,977

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Employment-based    

Only in three categories were Filipinos represented: the E2 (Aliens with advanced degrees); E3 - Skilled workers and professionals and EW - Other workers. 

                              2016                                                                   2013

          Philippines      Total Worldwide   % of Total       Philippines    Total Worldwide 

E1           0                            3,801                                          0                   2,691

E2           400                        14,370            2.8%                  704             15,866

E3           23,923                  55,521             43.1%               32,965          76,742

EW         745                        8,804              8.5%                 1,043             11,195

E4           0                            354                                         24                   362

E5           0                            24,269                                     0                    4,748

E5 Immigrant Investors, Top 5

This is one category where Filipinos are not represented.  Note that the top five countries have economies that performed well and surpassed the Philippine performance- and dominated by the People's Republic of China.  It makes business sense for Filipino taipans and magnates to invest in the Philippines especially in real estate (malls, housing) telecomm and other public utilities) since their $1 million would get a better return on investment than bringing that capital to the U.S. under the EB5 immigrant investor category.

The super-rich Filipinos anyway are enamored on green bucks, not green cards.

                                                        2016        %of Total           2013                    

China-mainland born                      22,910           93%               3,863    

Hong Kong S.A.R.                             447             1.8%               63

Vietnam                                              232            0.9%               73

Korea, South                                     109             0.5%               126

China-Taiwan born                          106               0.4%               82

All others                                           825             3.4%               476

Worldwide total                              24,269                 100%

                              

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About the Author

Crispin Aranda

Crispin Aranda

Crispin R. Aranda is an established International Visa Conselor and Immigrant Advocate. He is the president of IVC and is in several migration radio programs.


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