On March 6, 2017, the President issued a Memorandum for the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Homeland Security on Implementing Immediate Heightened Screening and Vetting of Applications for Visas and Other Immigration Benefits, Ensuring Enforcement of All Laws for Entry into the United States, and Increasing Transparency among Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government and for the American People.
The Memorandum directs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to issue quarterly reports detailing the number of adjustments of immigration status. During the reporting period, data are disaggregated by type of adjustment, type and detailed class of admission, and country of nationality. The Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS), located within the Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans, prepared this report to comply with the President’s directive.
The report describes legal immigration and adjustments of status and provides links to data tables within four categories:
- Lawful Permanent Residents
- Refugee Arrivals
- Nonimmigrant (I-94) Admissions
Historically, OIS has reported on immigration benefits annually, with data extraction beginning 3 months after the end of the fiscal year. This quarterly report provides information about legal migration flows and adjustments of status based on data available one month after the end of the reporting period. OIS will provide revised figures for previous quarters in future reports as additional data becomes available. The numbers in this report reflect revisions to previously published numbers.
Lawful Permanent Residents
Approximately1 256,000 foreign nationals obtained lawful permanent resident (LPR) status in the first quarter (Q1) of Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 (see Table 1A). Over 117,000 foreign nationals entered the United States as new arrivals, unchanged from FY 2019 Q1. Lastly, over 139,000 foreign nationals adjusted status from within the United States, compared to over 140,000 in FY 2019 Q1.
Countries of Origin
Thirty-seven percent of new LPRs were from six top countries of nationality: Mexico, the People’s Republic of China (China), Vietnam, the Dominican Republic, India, and the Philippines (see Table 1A). In FY 2019 Q1, the top six countries (Mexico, China, India, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and the Philippines) represented 39 percent of new LPRs.
Classes and Modes of Admission
Forty-five percent of new LPRs obtained status as immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, followed by 20 percent who obtained status under family-sponsored preference, and another 20 percent who obtained status under employment-based preference (see Table 1B). Diversity and refugees, the next largest classes of admission, accounted for 5 and 4 percent of new LPRs, respectively. In FY 2018 Q1, immediate relatives, family-sponsored preferences, and diversity admissions represented similar percentages of new LPRs as the current year, while employment-based and refugee admissions had represented 15 and 10 percent of new LPRs, respectively.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provided LPR data from Computer Linked Application Information Management System (CLAIMS) and Electronic Immigration System (ELIS).2 CLAIMS includes information from the DHS Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, which is used by applicants living in the United States. ELIS includes information from applications for LPR status by applicants living abroad. ELIS automatically confirms the applicant’s status from the Department of State Form DS-230, Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration, or Form DS-260, Electronic Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration.
Over 3,000 refugees were admitted to the United States in FY 2020 Q1 (see Table 2), a 43 percent decline from FY 2019 Q1, when nearly 5,700 refugees were admitted.
Countries of Origin
Eighty-one percent of refugees were from six top countries of nationality: the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo), Burma, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Eritrea, and Moldova (see Table 2). In FY 2019 Q1, the six top countries of nationality (Congo, Ukraine, Burma, Eritrea, Afghanistan, and Burundi) accounted for 90 percent of refugee arrivals.
Refugee data presented in Table 2 are from the Worldwide Refugee Admissions Processing System (WRAPS) of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the U.S. Department of State.
Over 216,000 persons naturalized in FY 2020 Q1 (see Table 3), a 24 percent increase over the same quarter of the previous year.
Countries of Origin
Thirty-nine percent of naturalizations consisted of persons from six top countries of nationality: Mexico, India, the Philippines, Cuba, China, and Vietnam (see Table 3). In FY 2019 Q1, the top six countries Mexico, India, the Philippines, China, Cuba, and Vietnam) accounted for 40 percent of naturalizations.
Naturalization data presented in Table 3 come from administrative records of DHS Form N-400 applications recorded in the USCIS CLAIMS and ELIS data systems.
I-94 Nonimmigrant Admissions
At the time of this report, data on nonimmigrant admissions were available for FY 2019.3 Detailed data on nonimmigrants in this report are based on I-94/I-94W information, which U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) uses to record certain nonimmigrant admissions (collectively referred to as I-94 nonimmigrant admissions);4 future reports will also provide detailed data on non-I-94 admissions.
In FY 2019, DHS recorded a total (i.e., including non-I-94 admissions) of over 186 million total nonimmigrant admissions to the United States, including over 81 million I-94 nonimmigrant admissions (see Table 4B), nearly unchanged from FY 2018.
Countries of Origin
Six countries of nationality accounted for 62 percent of I-94 nonimmigrant admissions: Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, China, and Brazil (see Table 4A). In FY 2018, these top six countries (with South Korea in place of Brazil) accounted for 61 percent of I-94 admissions.
Classes of Admission
Ninety-one percent of I-94 nonimmigrant admissions comprised of visitors entering for pleasure or business, followed by temporary workers and their families (5 percent), and students and their families (2 percent; see Table 4B). These same top classes of admissions accounted for similar proportions of I-94 nonimmigrant admissions in FY 2018.
Data on total nonimmigrant admissions come from DHS workload estimates. Detailed data on I-94 nonimmigrant admissions are based on DHS Form I-94/I-94W arrival records recorded in the CBP TECS database.
- Numbers in this report are usually rounded to the nearest thousand. For exact numbers, refer to the data tables.
- USCIS has built the ELIS electronic case management system as a part of its Transformation Program – an agency-wide modernization initiative to enable end-to-end electronic benefit case processing. Currently, ELIS receives and processes a variety of USCIS form types; the data for this report are obtained from USCIS records and associated data for the immigrant visa packets (upon arrival in the United States) and the Application for Naturalization (Form N-400).
- The nonimmigrant admission data are always a quarter behind due to CBP’s data reporting closeout process.
- Information collected from these I-94 records includes arrival and departure dates, port of entry, class of admission, country of nationality, state of destination, age, and gender. A number of changes to I-94 procedures in recent years affected I-94 nonimmigrant admissions data. Beginning in 2010, DHS completed updates to computer systems at vehicular lanes and pedestrian crossings along the Northern and Southwest Borders to record land admissions previously excluded from I-94 data systems. Beginning in April 2013, CBP automated the I-94 process for nonimmigrants admitted at air and sea ports. This transition from paper to electronic I-94 records at air and sea ports also means that CBP automatically generates I-94 records for Canadian business and tourist travelers admitted at air and sea ports even though they were not previously required to complete I-94 forms. In 2014 CBP made additional changes to its electronic data systems, which have resulted in large increases in the number of I-94 nonimmigrant admissions recorded compared to previous years.
Previous quarterly data for this report are available in the OIS Reading Room under Legal Immigration and Adjustment of Status Report Quarterly Data.
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Last Published Date: September 1, 2020