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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

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18 January 2002

INS Announces Legal Immigration Figures for Fiscal Years 1999 and 2000

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) today announced the number of persons who legally immigrated to the United States in Fiscal Years (FY) 1999 and 2000. These totals include new arrivals to the United States who obtained immigrant visas abroad through the Department of State, and persons who were already living in the United States who became permanent residents by applying for adjustment of status with the INS.

Legal immigration in recent years, including both fiscal years 1999 and 2000, has been affected by a backlog in adjustments of status applications pending a decision. The increase in the number of legal immigrants between fiscal years 1999 and 2000 reflects improved processing of adjustment cases by INS -- up 80% between FY 1999 and FY 2000, from 244,793 to 442,405. These processing improvements continued in FY 2001 and the number of adjustment cases will show another annual increase.

FY 1999 Highlights

  • A total of 646,568 persons legally immigrated to the United States. Of that total, 401,775 obtained their visas abroad from the Department of State and 244,793 were granted adjustment of status i.e. permanent residence, by the INS.
  • The major categories of immigrants were: immediate relatives of U.S. citizens (259,562), family preferences (216,883), employment preferences (56,817), diversity program (47,571) and refugee/asylee adjustments (42,852).
  • Sixty-eight percent of legal immigrants settled in the following six states: California (161,247), New York (96,979), Florida (57,484), Texas (49,393), Illinois (36,971) and New Jersey (34,095).
  • Five countries accounted for 40 percent of immigrants: Mexico (147,573), The People's Republic of China (32,204), Philippines (31,026), India (30,237), and Vietnam (20,393).
FY 2000 Highlights
  • A total of 849,807, persons legally immigrated to the United States. Of that total, 407,402 obtained their visas abroad from the Department of State and 442,405 were granted adjustment of status i.e. permanent residence, by the INS.
  • The major categories of immigrants were: immediate relatives of U.S. citizens (348,879), family preferences (235,280), employment preferences (107,024), diversity program (50,945) and, refugee/asylee adjustments (65,941).
  • Sixty-eight percent of legal immigrants settled in the following six states: California (217,753), New York (106,061), Florida (98,391), Texas (63,840), Illinois (40,013) and New Jersey (36,180).
  • Five countries accounted for 39 percent of immigrants: Mexico (173,919), The People's Republic of China (45,652), Philippines (42,474), India (42,046), and Vietnam (26,747).
Unlike the U.S. Census reports on the foreign-born population, these immigration counts refer only to the number of persons granted legal permanent resident status in the United States during a one-year period. It is not a population count and does not include all foreign-born persons.

Complete reports are available on the INS website at www.ins.gov.

-- INS --


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