India Emerges as the Second-Largest Contributor to US Citizenship in 2022

66000 Indians Officially Became US Citizens

Washington D.C: In a significant demographic shift, India has risen to become the second-largest source of new US citizens, trailing only Mexico. A comprehensive report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) reveals that in the fiscal year 2022, a total of 65,960 Indians were naturalized as US citizens.

The United States, a nation built on the foundation of immigration, housed an estimated 46 million foreign-born individuals in 2022, making up about 14% of the country’s total population of 333 million, as per data from the American Community Survey conducted by the US Census Bureau. Among these, over half, approximately 24.5 million, have attained the status of naturalized citizens.

The CRS report, dated April 15, 2024, indicates that 969,380 individuals across various nationalities were granted US citizenship in 2022. The largest group of new citizens originated from Mexico, with 128,878 individuals naturalized. Following Mexico, the countries contributing the most to the new citizen pool were India, the Philippines, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic.

As of 2023, the Indian-born population holding American nationality stood at 2,831,330, the second-highest number after Mexico’s 10,638,429. China followed these two countries with 2,225,447 foreign-born American nationals.

However, not all Indian-born residents in the US have the opportunity to become citizens. The CRS report highlights that 42% of them are currently ineligible for US citizenship. On a more positive note, as of 2023, around 290,000 Indian-born individuals on Green Cards or Legal Permanent Residency (LPR) were potentially eligible for naturalization.

The report also sheds light on the challenges faced by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in processing naturalization applications. Despite a persistent backlog, the agency has made strides in reducing the number of pending applications by more than half since FY2020. By the end of FY2023, the backlog had been cut down to approximately 408,000 applications, a significant decrease from the 550,000 at the end of FY2022.

In FY2023 alone, 823,702 LPRs applied for naturalization, indicating a robust interest in US citizenship despite the backlog. This number, however, is still considerably lower than the estimated 9 million LPRs who were eligible to naturalize in 2023. The likelihood of naturalization varies significantly among immigrants, with the lowest percentages observed among those from Honduras, Guatemala, Venezuela, Mexico, El Salvador, and Brazil, and the highest among immigrants from Vietnam, the Philippines, Russia, Jamaica, and Pakistan.

66000 Indians Officially Became US Citizens

Eligibility for naturalization is governed by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which typically requires applicants to have been lawful permanent residents for a minimum of five years. This milestone reflects the ongoing evolution of the American demographic landscape and underscores the diverse origins of the nation’s citizenry.