The United States welcomed 661,500 new citizens as of June 15 in the fiscal year 2022, with India the second largest country of birth for naturalised American citizens in the first quarter after Mexico.
"Throughout our nation's history, the promise of both life and liberty, and the freedom to pursue happiness, is what has drawn millions from across the globe to call America their home," US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director M Jaddou said on Friday.
In Fiscal Year 2021, the USCIS welcomed 855,000 new US citizens. In Fiscal Year 2022, the USCIS has welcomed 661,500 new US citizens as of 15 June and made significant progress in reducing our naturalisation pending queues, the agency said.
The USCIS said it would celebrate Independence Day this year by welcoming more than 6,600 new citizens in more than 140 naturalisation ceremonies between 1 July and 8 July. The US celebrates its Independence Day on 4 July.
According to the US Homeland Security, 34 per cent of naturalisations in FY 2022 Q1 consisted of persons from the top five countries of nationality: Mexico (24,508), India (12,928), the Philippines (11,316), Cuba (10,689), and the Dominican Republic (7,046). During this period, the US welcomed 1,97,148 new citizens.
In FY 2021 Q1, the top five countries of nationality (Mexico, India, Cuba, the Philippines, and China) accounted for 35 per cent of naturalisations, it said.
The US federal government's fiscal year runs from 1 October to 30 September.
"At the USCIS, our belief in the promise of America is renewed daily as we work to welcome immigrants as our fellow citizens," said Jaddou, adding "our country will be stronger and more diverse because of the choice they have made."
Among the top countries of birth for persons naturalising in 2020, Mexico was the leading country (13 per cent of the total), followed by India (7.7 per cent), the Philippines (5.3 per cent), Cuba (5.0 per cent), and China (4.2 per cent).