How long is the immigration ‘line’? As long as 24 years.
Both President Obama and the Senate’s Gang of Eight agree: If undocumented immigrants want to get legal status, they’ll have to “get in the back of the line” of those who’ve already gone through legal channels to immigrate to this country. But what is this line? And exactly how long is it?
There’s no one line. There are many lines with wait times that vary wildly depending on the type of green card that a prospective immigrant is applying for, the number of visas available and his or her country of origin: For those applying for work visas because of their “extraordinary ability,” including high-ranking professors and international business executives, there is virtually no wait time. By contrast, a brother or sister of a U.S. citizen from the Philippines applying for a family-sponsored visas may have been waiting 24 years, as those visas have been oversubscribed, according to the State Department’s latest figures.
“There are so many different lines. It’s very hard for people to understand that there are so many different categories and that each wait time is different,” says Mary Giovagnoli, director of the Immigration Policy Council. As of November, there were 4.3 million people on the wait list for family-based visas and 113,058 waiting for employment-based visas — nearly 4.5 million in the overall backlog. (There are also about 41,000 “diversity” visas allocated to those from countries with low admission rates.)
Check out the infographic on the page!!
Back of the line? means 17+ years for my sister after I’ve petitioned for her, now let’s add the 22 years she’s already been here. Citizenship in 39 years after 1st arriving to the US. Also note that for some people ‘the line’ is as long as 24 years and they have already been here 20+ years.