Over 59,000 Indians Achieve US Citizenship in 2023, Making India the Second-Highest Source Country

The annual progress report for 2023 from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reveals that more than 59,000 Indians acquired US citizenship in the fiscal year 2023. This significant number secures India as the second-highest source country for new US citizens after Mexico. The report states that during the fiscal year ending September 30, 2023, approximately 870,000 foreign nationals became US citizens, with 12.7% being Mexicans and 6.7% Indians.

According to the USCIS report, 5.1% of the newly naturalized citizens were from the Philippines, and 4% were from the Dominican Republic. Eligibility for naturalization, which involves the granting of US citizenship, is determined by meeting specific requirements outlined in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Generally, applicants must be lawful permanent residents (LPRs) for at least five years. Certain exemptions, such as for spouses of US citizens and military service members, may apply.

The majority of individuals who acquired US citizenship in FY 2023 met the eligibility criteria of being LPRs for at least five years, according to INA Section 316(a). Other significant categories included applicants eligible through 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 based on military service during designated periods of hostilities (INA Section 329).

The report underscores that, in general, non-citizens must spend a minimum of five years as lawful permanent residents to qualify for naturalization, while spouses of US citizens must spend at least three years as LPRs. The median number of years spent as an LPR for all citizens naturalized in FY 2023 was seven years.

Moreover, naturalizations during the fiscal years 2022 and 2023, under the USCIS, accounted for nearly 25% of all naturalizations over the past decade, highlighting a substantial trend in the acquisition of US citizenship

Source: Deccan Chronicle