United States has always been considered the land of opportunities with thousands of people migrating in order to fulfill their dreams and live a better life. Recently it saw a sharp increase in new citizenship.
During the fiscal year of 2023, more than 8.7 million foreign nationals successfully obtaining U.S. citizenship. According to the annual report released by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), India is the second largest source of new citizenship after Mexico.
The report unveiled that 59,100 Indians acquired US citizenship in 2023, compromising 6.7% of the total new citizens. Notably, Mexico topped the charts with more than 1.1 lakh new citizens, accounting 12.7% of the total.
The process of naturalisation in US requires the applicants to meet specific criteria outlined in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The general requirements include being a lawful permanent resident (LPR) for at least five years. However, the report highlighted special provisions that allow certain candidates, such as spouses of US citizens and individuals with military service, from some of the standard eligibility requirements.
The USCIS report confirmed that most individuals who obtained U.S. citizenship in FY 2023 is eligible on the basis being LPRs for at least five years, as specified in INA Section 316(a). Additionally, candidates eligible for being LPRs for at least three years and married to a US citizen for the same period (INA Section 319(a)) constituted a significant portion.
Military service during a designated period of hostilities (INA Section 329) also paved the way for a considerable number of new citizens.
The average number of years spent as an LPR for all citizens naturalized in FY 2023 was 7 years. Looking at the broader context, the USCIS report confirmed that naturalization in fiscal years 2022 and 2023 constituted for nearly a quarter of that of the past decade.