Over 59,000 Indians Acquired American Citizenship in 2023

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Nearly 8.7 lakh foreign nationals became US citizens during 2023, of which over 1.1 lakh were Mexicans (12.7%), 44,800 (5.1 per cent) from the Philippines and 35,200 (4 per cent) from the Dominican Republic.

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI – The annual progress report, released recently by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), has stated that more than 59,000 Indians became citizens of the United States during the 2023 fiscal year. This, it said, helped India secure the second slot for the top source country for new citizens in America after Mexico.

According to the official report, nearly 8.7 lakh foreign nationals became US citizens during the fiscal year 2023 (year ending September 30, 2023), of which over 1.1 lakh Mexicans (12.7% of the total number of new citizens) and 59,100 (6.7%) Indians obtained American citizenship.

A total of 44,800 (5.1 per cent) of the newly enlisted American citizens were from the Philippines and 35,200 (4 per cent) from the Dominican Republic.

To be eligible for naturalisation (awarding of US citizenship), an applicant must fulfil certain eligibility requirements set forth in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The requirements generally include being a lawful permanent resident (LPR) for at least five years. There are also other special naturalisation provisions that exempt certain applicants, including certain spouses of US citizens and applicants with military service, from one or more of the general requirements for naturalisation, the USCIS report stated.

Most people who acquired US citizenship in the fiscal year 2023 were eligible for naturalisation on the basis of being LPRs for at least 5 years (INA Section 316(a)), 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 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 2023 was 7 years. Further, under USCIS, naturalisation during the fiscal years 2022 and 2023 made up nearly a quarter of all naturalisations over the past decade.

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