Bolingbrook visa quotas are often a serious concern for anyone in Bolingbrook who is applying for a visa or petitioning for a family member or employee to immigrate to the United States. The quota system can be hard to understand, and it is subject to change at any time.
The good news is that while quotas have a tremendous impact on the timing of many visa applications, visa quotas do not cause delays for those in certain visa categories. An immigration lawyer could explain the quotas that apply in a particular situation and likely impact those quotas may have on the immigration process.
Overview of Visa Quotas in the U.S.
A visa quota is a limit on the number of visas the U.S. government issues in a single year for a type of visa category. The government also limits the number of visas issued to people coming from countries with high rates of immigration. Therefore, an individual seeking a visa may be subject to more than one type of visa quota in Bolingbrook.
The government issues temporary visas that expire at a designated time and permanent visas, often called immigrant visas because they allow the visa holder to live and work legally in the U.S. indefinitely. Both permanent and temporary visas may be subject to quotas, but quotas have a far greater effect on immigrant visas.
Although foreign nationals applying for a visa may have lived in many different countries, the U.S. government assigns one country to that applicant, usually based on the country of birth. The applicant is said to be “charged” to that country for quota purposes.
While legislators have attempted to change or eliminate country quotas, currently, U.S. law restricts the issuance of immigrant visas based on employment or family connection so that immigrants from a single country may receive no more than seven percent of the green cards issued. These quotas are sometimes referred to as country caps.
Country quotas were designed to allow for diversity among immigrants, but they can result in significantly longer delays for applicants from countries such as India, China, and Mexico. If a prospective immigrant is married to an individual born in a country without a visa backlog, that immigrant may be charged to the spouse’s country if they both apply for a permanent visa at the same time.
Bolingbrook visa quotas also apply to different categories of visas, including some temporary employment visas. For instance, U.S. law limits the number of family-preference visas to 226,000 each year. Within that broad category, the visa quotas are set as follows:
- Family first preference (unmarried adult children of citizens) 23,400
- Family second preference (spouses and unmarried children of LPRs) 114,200
- Family third preference (married children of citizens and their families) 23,400
- Family fourth preference (siblings of citizens and their families) 65,000
However, family members considered to be “immediate relatives” of U.S. citizens are not subject to annual Bolingbrook visa quotas. Individuals in this category include spouses, parents of adult citizens, unmarried children under age 21, and orphans adopted from another country.
More Information About Bolingbrook Visa Quotas
The U.S. State Department issues bulletins that summarize the availability of immigrant visas based on quota information and applicant numbers. Understanding the effect of the statistics and legal requirements can be a challenge for those not experienced in the process.
An immigration lawyer familiar with Bolingbrook visa quotas could provide more information about quota details and the impact of quotas in a given situation. While laws set annual limits on different categories, if those limits are not reached, the shortfall could be used to allocate additional visas to lower preference categories.