• Tuesday, May 28, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

India second largest source country for new US citizens

People born in Mexico represented the largest number of naturalisations, followed by persons from India, Philippines, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic

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By: Pramod Thomas

AS MANY AS 65,960 Indians officially became US citizens, making India the second-largest source country for new citizens in America after Mexico, according to the latest Congressional report.

An estimated 46 million foreign-born persons resided in the US in 2022, approximately 14 per cent of the total US population of 333 million, according to American Community Survey data from the US Census Bureau.

Of these, 24.5 million, about 53 per cent, reported their status as naturalised citizens.

In its latest “US Naturalisation Policy” report of April 15, the independent Congressional Research Service in the fiscal year 2022, 969,380 individuals became naturalised US citizens.

“Individuals born in Mexico represented the largest number of naturalisations, followed by persons from India, Philippines, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic,” it said.

Based on the latest available data, CRS said in 2022, as many as 128,878, Mexican nationals became American citizens. They were followed by Indians (65,960), the Philippines (53,413), Cuba (46,913), Dominican Republic (34,525), Vietnam (33,246) and China (27.038).

According to CRS as of 2023, 2,831,330 foreign-born American nationals were from India, which is the second largest number after Mexico’s 10,638,429. Mexico and India are followed by China with 2,225,447 foreign-born American nationals.

However, as many as 42 percent of the India-born foreign nationals living in the US are currently ineligible to become US citizens, CRS report said.

As of 2023, as many as 290,000 India-born foreign nationals who were on Green Card or Legal Permanent Residency (LPR) were potentially eligible for naturalisation.

CRS said in recent years, some observers have expressed concern over USCIS processing backlogs for naturalisation applications.

Although there continues to be a backlog of naturalisation applications, since FY2020 the agency has reduced the number of applications pending completion by more than half.

As of the end of FY2023, USCIS had approximately 408,000 pending naturalisation applications, down from 550,000 at the end of FY2022; 840,000 at the end of FY2021; and 943,000 at the end of FY2020.

In FY2023, 823,702 LPRs submitted naturalisation applications. The number of individuals who have recently applied for citizenship remains well below the estimated population of 9 million LPRs who were eligible to naturalise in 2023.

The percentage of foreign-born individuals who are naturalised varies by several factors, including country of origin.

Immigrants from Honduras, Guatemala, Venezuela, Mexico, El Salvador, and Brazil have the lowest percentages of naturalised foreign born, while those from Vietnam, the Philippines, Russia, Jamaica, and Pakistan have the highest.

(PTI)

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