Individuals from countries throughout the world are interested in coming to the United States to live in places like Miami. There are of course multiple ways this can be accomplished legally. One of those ways is through family-based immigration. Depending on the country one is seeking to immigrate from, the wait time can vary widely.
The number of green cards made available each year is not based on demand. Rather each country across the globe is given an equal percentage of family-based visas. For this reason, residents of countries where a lot of people want to immigrate to the U.S. via family sponsorship, have to get in line. Countries where the wait is particularly long include Mexico, India, China and the Philippines.
According to the U.S. State Department's April Visa Bulletin, individuals who currently have the longest wait are Filipino siblings of current U.S. Citizens. People waiting for green cards via this method have been waiting over 23 years, since 1989. Only slightly behind that group are the married children of U.S. citizens from the Philippines. They have been waiting almost 20 years to legally move to the U.S.
Current residents of Mexico are another group who are facing long waits. The children of U.S. legal permanent residents from Mexico who are unmarried and over the age of 20 have been waiting since December 1992. Similarly, married children of U.S. citizens from Mexico have been waiting since January 1993.
Immigration issues are complex and seemingly ever-changing. Obtaining a green card through sponsorship by a family member is not an exception. For those interested in pursuing permanent residence in the U.S., it is a good idea to work with an immigration law firm.
Source: KPCC, "Who had the longest wait for an immigrant visa this month?" Leslie Berestein Rojas, April 5, 2012