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59,100 Indians got US Citizenship in 2023, India second largest source country: report

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Washington: The recently released annual progress report for 2023 by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) revealed that over 59,000 Indians acquired US citizenship in 2023, securing India's position as the second-largest source country for new citizens in the United States after Mexico.

During the fiscal year 2023, which ended on September 30, 2023, nearly 8.7 lakh foreign nationals became US citizens. Of this total, over 1.1 lakh were Mexicans, constituting 12.7% of the new citizens, and 59,100 were Indians, accounting for 6.7% of the total number.

The report further highlighted that 44,800 (5.1%) of the newly naturalised American citizens were from the Philippines, and 35,200 (4%) were from the Dominican Republic.

To be eligible for naturalisation, an applicant must fulfil specific eligibility requirements outlined in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). These requirements typically include being a lawful permanent resident (LPR) for at least five years.

Special naturalisation provisions exempt certain applicants, such as certain spouses of US citizens and applicants with military service, from one or more general requirements for naturalisation, according to the USCIS report.

In FY 2023, most individuals who acquired US citizenship were eligible for naturalisation based on being LPRs for at least five years (INA Section 316(a)). This was followed by applicants eligible for being LPRs for at least three years and married to a US citizen for three years (INA Section 319(a)), and applicants eligible based on their military service during a designated period of hostilities (INA Section 329).

Generally, a non-citizen must spend at least five years as an LPR to be eligible for naturalisation, while the spouse of a US citizen must spend at least three years as an LPR. The median number of years spent as an LPR for all citizens naturalised in FY 2023 was seven years.

Under the USCIS, naturalizations during the fiscal years 2022 and 2023 accounted for nearly a quarter of all naturalizations over the past decade.

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