8.7 Lakh Achieve US Citizenship! Who topped the list? India emerges as key contributor in record surge – Times of India

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Feb 12, 2024, 04:22PM ISTSource: TOI.in

In fiscal year 2023, close to 8.7 lakh foreign nationals successfully acquired US citizenship, slightly lower than the previous year’s count of 9.7 lakh new American citizens. Among the newly naturalized citizens, over 1.1 lakh Mexicans (12.7% of the total) and 59,100 Indians (6.7%) secured US citizenship, positioning India as the second-highest source country. Additionally, 44,800 new Americans (5%) hailed from the Philippines. The top five countries, including the Dominican Republic and Cuba, collectively constituted 32% of the total new citizens. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) annual progress report for 2023 provided valuable insights, filling the data gap from the 2022 USCIS progress report, which lacked country-of-birth details. In fiscal 2022, Mexico led with nearly 1.3 lakh new citizens (13.3%), followed by India with almost 65,960 (6.8%), and the Philippines contributing 53,413 (5.5%). The journey to American citizenship typically begins with obtaining a green card, signifying lawful permanent residency, with a waiting period of at least five years. For those married to US citizens, the waiting period is shortened to three years. However, the prolonged wait for a green card remains a significant challenge for Indians, often spanning several decades and hindering the pursuit of American citizenship.

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