Godoy Olivieri, Ltd.-An immigration law firm
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312-445-0591 800-264-2752

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Visa wait times depend on several factors

As you may have already heard, the wait time to obtain an immigrant visa depends on many factors, including where the would-be immigrant is from. Countries with more people seeking to enter the United States face a longer wait because there is a cap on the number of applications that can be approved from each country.

The purpose behind this rule is to make sure that immigrants from a variety of countries are given the opportunity to come to the United States. However, the wait can be very frustrating for people from countries with larger backlogs of applicants, such as Mexico or the Philippines.

The wait time can also depend on which type of visa is being applied for. Typically, visas are family-based or employment-based, and there are separate lines and quotas for each.

For example, this year no more than 26,320 family-based applications can be approved from any one country and U.S. law states that one country can account for no more than 7 percent of accepted applications. Mexico currently has a backlog of 1,312,198 applicants as a result.

The relationship between the visa applicant and the U.S. citizen or permanent resident sponsor also affects the wait time. For example, foreign children being adopted by American parents face a much shorter line than, say, adult children of citizen or permanent resident parents.

When it comes to employment based immigration, countries with the longest waits include China and India because there are simply more people applying for employment-based visas from these countries. Although, the lines for highly-skilled workers are often quite short no matter what country the applicants are from.

Ultimately, applying for a visa can be a long and confusing process no matter where you are from or what type of visa you are applying for. For that reason, it is wise to consult an experienced immigration lawyer for guidance.

Source: ABC News, "Long Waits for Would-Be-Immigrants, Not for Others," David Crary, Jan. 4, 2013

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Godoy Olivieri, Ltd.-An immigration law firm

2021 Midwest Road
Suite 200
Oak Brook, IL 60523
312-445-0591 local
800-264-2752 toll free
630-705-5258 fax
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1655 S. Blue Island Ave.
Suite 300
Chicago, IL. 60608
312-445-0591 local
800-264-2752 toll free
630-705-5258 fax
Map & Directions