US Citizenship: Indians Secure Second Spot After Mexico in 2023

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US Citizenship: Indians Secure Second Spot After Mexico in 2023

| Updated: February 14, 2024 09:54

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently released its annual progress report for 2023, revealing that over 59,000 Indians were enlisted as bona fide US citizens. This significant number has helped India secure the second slot as the top source country for new citizens in America, following Mexico.

The official report disclosed that nearly 8.7 lakh foreign nationals became US citizens during the fiscal year 2023, which ended on September 30, 2023. Of these new citizens, over 1.1 lakh were Mexicans, accounting for 12.7% of the total, and 59,100 were Indians, making up 6.7%.

To be eligible for naturalisation, the process of awarding US citizenship, an applicant must fulfil certain eligibility requirements outlined in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). These requirements generally include being a lawful permanent resident (LPR) for at least five years. However, certain special naturalisation provisions exempt some applicants, such as certain spouses of US citizens and applicants with military service, from one or more of the general requirements for naturalisation.

Most people who acquired US citizenship in FY 2023 were eligible for naturalisation on the basis of being LPRs for at least 5 years (INA Section 316(a)). This was followed by applicants who were eligible for being LPRs for at least 3 years and married to a US citizen for 3 years (INA Section 319(a)), and applicants who were eligible on the basis of their military service during a designated period of hostilities (INA Section 329).

The report further added that, in general, a non-citizen must spend at least 5 years as a lawful permanent resident to be eligible for naturalisation, while the spouse of a US citizen must spend at least 3 years as a lawful permanent resident. The median number of years spent as an LPR for all citizens naturalised in FY 2023 was 7 years.

The USCIS report concluded by stating that naturalisations during the fiscal years 2022 and 2023 accounted for nearly a quarter of all naturalisations over the past decade.

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