Despite an exciting summer and fall, when the wait for a green card for some family-based applicants had widdled down to less than a year, things continue to slide backward.

Although immediate relatives of US citizens (i.e. parents, children and spouses) are immediately eligible to apply for a green card, other family members must wait in a (very long) line. Only a small number of green cards are made available for adult sons and daughters of US citizens, brothers and sisters of US citizens, and spouses, children and unmarried sons and daughters of green card holders. Further, applicants from countries with a history of high numbers of immigrants, such as Mexico and the Philippines, must wait even longer.  For instance, brothers and sisters of US citizens who were born in the Philippines must wait 23 years for a green card.

At the start of 2011, the wait for a green card for spouses and children of lawful permanent residents was approximately six years. As of the most recent Department of State visa bulletin, the wait is now approxmately seven years.

DV Lottery and Green Card numbers for April 2011