The U.S. Department of State has recently released a report that outlines the immigrant visa waiting list as of November 2022. It provides data from the National Visa Center on the current number of applicants waiting for their immigrant visas by country, as well as categorizations of family-sponsored and employment-based preferences.

Among the most important sections of the report include information on the following:

Worldwide Total People Waiting for Immigrant Visas

As of November 1, 2022, the report shows that 4,083,649 people are waiting on their immigrant visas. A large majority of these registrants belong to Mexico (1,211,140), the Philippines (296,037), India (293,569), and Dominican Republic (283,834). There are also large numbers of applicants coming from Vietnam, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Haiti, and El Salvador.

Family-Sponsored Preferences

The report also outlines the number of applicants currently waiting on their visas based on family-sponsored preferences, which include the F1, F2A, F2B, F3, and F4 visas:

  • F1 (Unmarried children of U.S. citizens): 282,459 applicants
  • F2A (Spouses and children of permanent residents that are under 21): 383,653 applicants
  • F2B (Unmarried children of permanent residents that are over 21): 411,773 applicants
  • F3 (Married children of U.S. citizens): 617,140 applicants
  • F4 (Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens): 2,220,476 applicants

The F4 category, which covers the siblings of U.S. citizens waiting for their visas, has the largest number by far. This means that people under this category experience longer wait times for the approval of their visas.

Employment-Based Preferences

The number of applicants currently waiting on their visas in the employment-based preferences category is much less compared to that in the family-based category. Here, there are a total of 168,148 people waiting on their employment visas, whether E1, E2, E3, EW, E4, or E5.

  • E1 (Priority worker and persons of extraordinary ability): 8,818 applicants
  • E2 (Professionals holding advanced degrees and persons of exceptional ability): 43,962 applicants
  • E3 (Skilled workers, professionals, and unskilled workers): 41,838 applicants
  • EW (Employment sponsored visa): 26,729 applicants
  • E4 (Certain special immigrants): 1,303 applicants
  • E5 (Immigrant investors): 45,498 applicants

The largest number of applicants belong to the E5 category, who are applying for a green card based on a major monetary investment in the United States.

Why Do Immigrant Visa Wait Times Take Long?

The wait time for immigrant visas is notorious for taking years before they are approved. And this report outlines exactly why. As seen, the number of people applying for different categories of immigrant visas is staggering. But the problem is that there are only a certain number of U.S. green cards made available every year. Because of that, the line is only going to get longer.