US Citizenship Granted to Over 59,000 Indians in 2023, Second Highest Source Country: Report

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Nearly 8.7 lakh foreign nationals became US citizens during 2023.

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The recently released annual progress report for 2023 by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reveals that a significant number of Indians, over 59,000, acquired US citizenship during the fiscal year 2023. This places India as the second-largest source country for new citizens in the United States, following Mexico.

According to the official report, a total of nearly 8.7 lakh foreign nationals became US citizens in the fiscal year 2023, which concluded on September 30, 2023. Among them, 12.7% (over 1.1 lakh) were Mexicans, and 6.7% (59,100) were Indians.

The report further highlights that 5.1% (44,800) of the newly naturalized citizens were from the Philippines, and 4% (35,200) were from the Dominican Republic.

To qualify for naturalization, applicants must meet specific eligibility requirements outlined in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Generally, these requirements include being a lawful permanent resident (LPR) for at least five years. Certain exceptions are made for specific applicants, such as spouses of US citizens and those with military service, exempting them from one or more general naturalization requirements.

In fiscal year 2023, the majority of individuals who acquired US citizenship were eligible based on being LPRs for at least five years (INA Section 316(a)). Following this, applicants eligible for being LPRs for at least three years and married to a US citizen for three years (INA Section 319(a)), as well as those eligible due to military service during designated periods of hostilities (INA Section 329), constituted a significant portion.

The report underscores that, in general, a non-citizen must spend a minimum of five years as a lawful permanent resident to be eligible for naturalization, while the spouse of a US citizen must spend at least three years as an LPR.

The median number of years spent as an LPR for all citizens naturalized in FY 2023 was 7 years. Additionally, under the USCIS, naturalization during the fiscal years 2022 and 2023 accounted for nearly a quarter of all naturalizations over the past decade.

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