A lot of people who have successfully immigrated to the United States intend to file a family preference petition to allow their children to come and live with them in the U.S.

But before doing so, they wait until they are “ready”, whether that means settling all matters for their kids’ seamless immigration, saving up enough money to support their life in the U.S., or making arrangements for their housing and education.

But this is one of the biggest mistakes people make. By the time they become “ready”, they are often already way behind schedule.

Visa Bulletin Processing Times

Immigration cases are known to take a while to be adjudicated. But for family preference petitions, that wait can be much longer than most people expect.

In the Visa Bulletin, married children over 21 who filed their family preference cases in 2008 can now immigrate to the U.S. That’s a 14-year wait for a case to be adjudicated and approved.

On the other hand, an unmarried child over the age of 21 who filed their case in 2014 is only now eligible to immigrate — an 8-year wait.

Don’t Wait Until You Are “Ready”

An applicant who waits until they are “ready” for their family to come to the U.S. is already behind schedule in filing their family preference petitions. With these cases taking 8, 14, and 20 years to adjudicate, applicants need to plan ahead.

Even if they are not ready at this time, they should still go ahead and start their cases so they can get in line while they wait or make all the necessary preparations.

By the time the priority date becomes available on the Visa Bulletin, which is several years from now, then they will probably be ready to have their children immigrate to the U.S.