Trends of New U.S. Permanent Residents in 2013

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Immigration Statistics, recently reported that over 990,000 foreign nationals were granted U.S. permanent residence (“green card” status) in fiscal year (FY) 2013. These individuals, their respective countries of origin, and avenues to permanent resident status provide insight into immigration trends. The Murthy Law Firm welcomes and congratulates the almost one million new permanent residents of the United States.

Most Permanent Residents from Mexico, China, India, and the Philippines

The top countries of origin for new permanent residents in FY13 were Mexico (13.6%), China (7.2%), and India (6.9%). These countries were followed by the Philippines (5.5%), the Dominican Republic (4.2%), Cuba (3.3%), Vietnam (2.7%), and South Korea (2.3%). These statistics reflect the incredible diversity of the United States, with the remaining top countries each comprising 2.1 percent or less of new permanent residents. Included in this group are Colombia, Haiti, Jamaica, El Salvador, Nigeria, Pakistan, Canada, Ethiopia, Nepal, the United Kingdom, Iran, and Burma (Myanmar). This still leaves 35 percent of new permanent residents in FY13 who came from other countries throughout the world.

Most Green Cards Obtained via Family Sponsorship

For FY13, 66 percent, of new green cards were issued based on family sponsorship. Almost half of this group fell within the immediate relative category for spouses, parents, and children (including adopted orphans) of U.S. citizens. The next largest group for family-sponsored green cards was the family-based, second preference “A” (FB2A) category for spouses and minor children of permanent residents. More information on family-based immigration, including which relatives may qualify, can be found in the MurthyDotCom NewsBrief, Family-Based Immigration Simplified (26.Mar.2012).

Employment-Based Sponsorship and Asylee / Refugee Status

In FY13, 16 percent of new permanent residents obtained this status through employer sponsorship. The majority of these cases were filed in either the employment-based, second or third preference (EB2 or EB3) categories. A smaller number, 12.1 percent, obtained green cards by filing as refugees or asylees. The annual diversity visa lottery accounted for 4.6 percent of new permanent residents. Fewer than two percent of applicants became permanent residents in FY13 through a variety of other miscellaneous categories.

Overall Numbers Lower in 2013

There was a decrease in the number of new permanent residents in FY13, as compared to FY12. The decrease of four percent was primarily tied to lower numbers of family-based cases. But, there was an overall increase in employment-based permanent residents from the previous year. This was primarily due to a shift of excess family-based visa numbers to the employment categories, as permitted by law to avoid wasting the limited visa numbers allocated each year.

States with Highest Immigrants: CA, NY, FL, TX, and NJ

California was home to the largest number of new permanent residents, with almost 20 percent of the nation’s total. New York, Florida, Texas, and New Jersey rounded out the top five states of residence for these new green card holders. Over half of the new permanent residents reported that they planned to live in one of these five states.

Living the American Dream

It is exciting to have the United States continually infused with the vitality and diversity of new immigrants and permanent residents. While about half of this group was already living in the U.S. prior to adjusting status to permanent residence, there is an increased level of security and opportunities that accompany permanent resident status. The Murthy Law Firm is proud to have assisted a number of these new permanent residents, as they have taken this significant step towards living out their American dreams.

Copyright © 2014, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.