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What is the wait time for foreign-born relatives to immigrant?

On Behalf of | Dec 1, 2023 | Family Immigration |

Moving to the United States can take a long time and come with complications for people born in other countries.

It is important for those wanting to start a new life in the U.S. to know the steps and how long they might have to wait.

Understanding the visa bulletin

First, you usually need to get a visa. Every month, the U.S. Department of State puts out a Visa Bulletin. This shows who can get immigrant visas based on their relationships and where they are from. There are different categories for family members and workers, and each category has its own waiting time.

Family categories

If you have family in the U.S., you might go through family categories. Immediate family members, like spouses, parents and unmarried children under 21, usually wait less time. But if you are in categories like F1, F2A, F2B, F3 or F4, you might wait longer, depending on how many people want visas.

Work categories

For work-based immigration, there are different levels. Priority workers, people with advanced degrees or special skills and skilled workers all wait different amounts of time. The demand for certain skills and qualifications can make the wait longer or shorter.

Location matters

Your country of origin is also important. Some countries have more people wanting visas, so the wait is longer. The U.S. has limits for each country, so people from high-demand countries might wait longer than those from low-demand countries.

Coming to the U.S. for people born in other countries involves understanding and working through the system’s complexities. It is important to keep in mind that in 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services handled 8.6 million applications.


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