The Trump administration’s plan to end “chain migration” or family-based immigration could bring many Filipinos’ pending immigrant petition to the US to naught, GMA News’ Cedric Castillo reported on 24 Oras on Monday.

In his State of the Union Address last week, US President Donald Trump blamed the recent terrorist attacks in New York to chain migration, which allows an immigrant to bring to the US his or her distant relatives.

“In recent weeks two terrorist attacks in New York were made possible by the visa lottery and chain migration,” Trump said. “In the age of terrorism, these programs present risks we can just no longer afford.”

The report said Trump wants the granting of sponsorship to be limited only to the immigrant’s wife and children who are minors.There are two categories for sponsorship to the US: immediate relatives, which covers the wife, children and parents of a US citizen; and family-based immigration, which covers the US’ citizen’s children who are 21 years and above, as well as his or her. The latter also covers the family of a permanent resident.

Lawyer Ryan Barshop, an immigration consultant, said it is easier for immediate relatives of a US citizen to get an immigrant status.

“Let’s say we have an American citizen who is living in the Philippines and wants to bring over his Filipino spouse or child to the US. The process can take as little as six weeks,” Barshop said.

However, the process under the immediate relative category could last up to 25 years, he said.

The Philippines is fourth country that has the biggest number of petitions for immigration in the US.

Based on the latest visa bulletin of the US State Department for the F4 category, it is currently processing petitions submitted before October 1, 1994 — or almost 24 years ago.

Malacañang has yet to comment on Trump’s immigration plan.