Indian immigration to the United States

July, 2001

Computers and Human Life:

According to the most recent data provided by the United States Immigration and Naturalisation Service (INS), Indians have moved to second position for being the largest source of legal migrants to US. The report is for the fiscal year 2001 (October 1, 2000 - September 30, 2001). The number of persons granted lawful permanent residence in the US was 1,064,318, of which 70,290 came from India, making it the second highest source of migrants.

In 2001, as in 2000, the leading country of origin for legal migrants was Mexico with 206,426. India with 70,290 replaced China at number two. China had held the second position in 2000. China accounted for 56,426 immigrants and was followed by the Philippines 53,154 and Vietnam 35,531 respectively. These five countries represented 40 percent of all immigrants in 2001. India's figure of 70,290 accounts for 6.6% of the total number of legal US migrants. Pakistan was the other country from the sub-continent in the list of top 20 countries. In 2001, Pakistan accounted for 16,448 legal migrants to the US.

The number of Indians migrating to the United States has increased significantly during the last four years. This information is presented below in a tabular form:

Indian immigrants to the United States

Year Number Percentage of total
2001 70,290 6.6
2000 42,046 4.9
1999 30,237 4,7
1998 36,482 5.6

This total includes new arrivals to the US who obtained immigrant visas abroad through the Department of State and people who were already living in the US who became permanent residents by applying for adjustment of status with the INS. In 2001, the total figure was divided as follows:

Ranking of International students to the United States (Top 10 countries)

New arrivals: 411,059 (38.6%)
Adjustment of status : 653,259 (61.4%)

Legal immigration in recent years, including in fiscal 2001-02, has been affected by a backlog in adjustment of status applications pending, says the INS. The increase in the number of legal immigrants between fiscal years 2000-01 and 2001-02 reflects improved processing of adjustment cases by INS -- from 442,405 to 653,259. These processing improvements continued in the current fiscal year.

The major categories of immigrants were:

Family sponsored immigrants 676,107
Employment based preferences 179,195
Refugee/asylum adjustments 108,506
Diversity programme 42,015

Some 65 per cent of legal immigrants settled in the following six states:

Rank State Number Percent
1 California 282,957 26.6
2 New York 114,116 10.7
3 Florida 104,715 9.8
4 Texas 86,315 8.1
5 New Jersey 59,920 5.6
6 Illinois 48,296 4.5

About 30 per cent of the total immigrants settled in the following five metropolitan areas:

Rank Metropolitan Area Number Percent
1 Los Angeles / Long Beach 98,997 9.3
2 New York 92,361 8.7
3 Miami 48,797 4.6
4 Chicago 44,888 4.2
5 Washington D.C 39,815 3.2

- report

The views of this column are the author's own, and do not necessarily represent the views of NRI Online.

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