Q: Geographically, for any of these Visas, if someone is coming from South America versus Europe or Asia, are there different quotas for different parts of the world?Is there application the same regardless?
A: Their applications are the same. There are quotas, although we no longer use a hemisphere-based quota system, exactly. The countries that are over-subscribed, meaning there are more people applying for green cards from those countries than are available given the per-year availability, they are “over-subscribed” and will begin to show backlogs, essentially waiting lists or queues, based on when an applicant’s initial submission is filed with the U.S. Government.
That date is called their “priority date,” and for those countries that are over-subscribed, which are generally China, India, Mexico, and the Philippines, there is usually a delay for people to process for their green cards until long after the initial petitions have been filed. For all other countries, what is called the “Worldwide Category,” there may be waits as well.
When there is no wait for the immigrant Visa the category, is considered “current.”
Q: If there is a country that is significantly under-subscribed, for example, if I’m coming from France, is it easier for me than if I’m coming from the U.K. or Russia?
No, not to my knowledge. There may be security concerns that are endemic or specific to a particular country, but I think someone coming from the U.K. versus someone coming from France would experience virtually identical application processes.
Of course, the U.S. Embassy in Paris may be quicker than the Embassy in London for a number of reasons, having nothing to do with the law, but that’s basically a function of staffing issues, the size of the Embassy’s physical plant, and technology problems with the U.S. State Department. But all things being equal, I don’t believe there is any differential between someone applying from the U.K. versus someone applying from France.
Learn more about the immigration services provided by Philip Levin & Associates.