How many visas are available to Filipino professionals, skilled workers? How many applications are pending? What are the other options available?
US Immigrant Visas Based on Occupation
Until the proposed Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill in the US Congress becomes law, foreign professionals and skilled workers must compete with the 40,000 immigrant visas worldwide under the EB3 category (Skilled workers, professionals and Other Workers).
Those who have Masters or PhDs may apply for immigrant visas on their own (EB2, without a sponsoring employer). They must, however, prove that granting them green cards will be to the national interest of the United States.
The other categories such as Religious workers (EB4) ; those who are on the top of their field e.g., science, arts, education, business, athletics (EB1), and especially immigrant investors (EB5), are not required to prove that there are no US citizens or residents willing and able to take the job.
So how many visas are currently available for Filipino applicants in the EB categories – and how many are waiting (meaning they have approved petitions but they must wait until their priority dates become current)?
The State Departments report on (1) the number of visas available and (2) the immigrant visa waiting list shows how supply (visa applicants) exceeds the supply (visa allocation). Please note that the worldwide limit or visas available means this total number is further divided among all other countries.
Hence, while the visas available in the EB3 is 48,400 and the Philippines has 36,978, the EB3 visa available to the Philippines (based on the 25,620 per country limit for all categories) is only 3,550. Since there are 36,978 Filipino EB3 applicants and only 3,550 available for the rest of the year, the remaining 33,428 must wait until their priority dates become current and they are considered as “documentarily qualified.”
Category Visas On Waiting
EB1 45,188 0
EB2 45,188 377
EB3 48,400 36,978
Other Workers 1,278
EB4 11,128 27
EB5 11,128 0
The most viable alternative (for those in the EB3 classification) is to look for visa options within the EB categories, such as moving up to EB2 or EB1; or explore working visas in the US. The next logical step is to look for visa and migration options just across the border (Canada) under the Federal Skilled Worker, Provincial Nominee Program or Canadian Experience Class as well as exploring the Student to Resident pathways in the four countries with permanent migration programs – Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK.
To find out which visa or migration option is for you, complete the online form above (Personal Intake Sheet Online) for a free assessment. You can also call the Immigrant Visa Center at 02-634-8717.