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Legal Immigration and Adjustment of Status Report Fiscal Year 2020, Quarter 3

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issues 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.

The report describes legal immigration and adjustments of status and provides data tables (at bottom of this webpage) for these four categories:

  • Lawful Permanent Residents
  • Refugee Arrivals
  • Naturalizations
  • 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

Recent Trends

Approximately 78,000 aliens obtained lawful permanent resident (LPR) status in the third quarter (Q3) of Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 (see Table 1A). Over 17,000 aliens entered the United States as new arrivals, an 85 percent decrease from FY 2019 Q3. Nearly 61,000 aliens adjusted status from within the United States, a 60 percent decrease from FY 2019 Q3. These significant drops coincided with COVID-19-related public health restrictions that resulted in U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) field office closures.

Countries of Nationality

Thirty-eight percent of FY 2020 Q3 LPRs were from the top six countries of nationality: Mexico, the People’s Republic of China (China), India, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cuba, and El Salvador (see Table 1A) respectively. In FY 2019 Q3, the top six countries of nationality (Mexico, China, India, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic, and Vietnam, respectively) represented 40 percent of new LPRs.

Classes and Modes of Admission

The largest LPR class of admission (37 percent) was comprised of immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, followed by 21 percent who obtained status under employment-based preference, and 17 percent who obtained status as refugees (see Table 1B). Family-sponsored preferences and asylees, the next largest classes of admission, accounted for 11 and 7 percent of LPRs respectively. In FY 2019 Q3, the majority of new LPRs consisted of immediate relatives of U.S. citizens (51 percent), family-sponsored preference (18 percent), employment-based preferences (15 percent), refugees (7 percent), and diversity (3 percent).

Data Sources

USCIS provided LPR data from its Computer Linked Application Information Management System (CLAIMS) and its Electronic Immigration System (ELIS). CLAIMS includes information from 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 certain Form I-485 records, as well as applications for LPR status submitted by applicants living abroad. LIS automatically confirms the applicant’s status based on one of two Department of State forms: either Form DS-230, Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration, or Form DS-260, Electronic Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration.

Refugee Arrivals

Recent Trends

Fewer than 400 refugees were admitted to the United States in FY 2020 Q3 (see Table 2), a 96 percent decline from FY 2019 Q3, when over 9,000 refugees were admitted.

Countries of Nationality

Sixty-eight percent of refugees arrived from the top six countries of nationality: Pakistan, Burma, El Salvador, Guatemala, and the Democratic Republic of Congo and Iran (same number) (see Table 2) respectively. In FY 2019 Q3, the top six countries of nationality (the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burma, Ukraine, Eritrea, Afghanistan, and Syria respectively) accounted for 86 percent of refugee arrivals.

Data Sources

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.


Recent Trends

Fewer than 77,000 persons naturalized in FY 2020 Q3 (see Table 3), a 65 percent decrease from FY 2019 Q3, when 218,000 persons naturalized.

Countries of Nationality

Forty-one percent of naturalizations consisted of persons from the top six countries of nationality: Mexico, India, the Philippines, Cuba, Vietnam, and China (see Table 3), respectively. In FY 2019 Q3, the top six countries of nationality (Mexico, India, the Philippines, China, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic, respectively) accounted for 39 percent of naturalizations.

Data Sources

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 the second quarter (Q2) of FY 2020. 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).

Recent Trends

In FY 2020 Q2, DHS recorded a total (i.e., including both I-94 and estimated non-I-94 admissions) of over 28 million nonimmigrant admissions to the United States. Specifically, this included nearly 15 million I-94 nonimmigrant admissions (see Table 4B), a 20 percent decrease from FY 2019 Q2.

Countries of Nationality

Six countries of nationality accounted for 66 percent of I-94 nonimmigrant admissions: Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Brazil, and India, respectively (see Table 4A). In FY 2019 Q2, the top six countries of nationality (Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, China, and Brazil respectively) accounted for 65 percent of I-94 nonimmigrant admissions.

Classes of Admission

Seventy-five percent of I-94 nonimmigrants admitted were visitors for pleasure, followed by visitors entering for business (12 percent), and temporary workers and their families (7 percent; see Table 4B). In FY 2019 Q2, these classes of admissions represented 75, 13, and 6 percent of I-94 nonimmigrant admissions respectively.

Data Sources

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 in the CBP TECS database.


  1. Numbers in this report are usually rounded to the nearest thousand. For exact numbers, refer to the data tables.
  2. USCIS 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), Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, and certain records from Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
  3. The nonimmigrant admission data are always a quarter behind due to CBP’s data reporting closeout process.
  4. 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. The I-94 data do not describe all nonimmigrant admissions because certain visitors (e.g. most short-term visitors from Mexico and Canada) are not required to fill out the I-94 form.

Previous quarterly data for this report are available in the OIS Reading Room under Legal Immigration and Adjustment of Status Report Quarterly Data.

Return to OIS home page.

Attachment Ext. Size Date
File Legal Immigration and Adjustment of Status Report FY 2020, Quarter 3 xlsx 72.41 KB 02/04/2021
Created Date: May 22, 2017
Last Published Date: April 19, 2021
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