46,000 Indians Take US Citizenship, Second To Mexico
More than 46,000 Indian got US citizenship in 2016, second only to Mexicans. According to US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Indians account for 6% of the total citizenship conferred by the US during the fiscal year 2016 (1 October 2015 to 30 September 2016).
According to a report by The Times of India, there has been a slight decline on citizenships been granted as can be seen from the slight decrease of Mexico’s citizenship. Uncertainty on work visa applications has spurred the number of applications too.
With 9.72 lakh applications for US citizenship (or naturalisation), the fiscal year 2016 saw a rise of 24% over the previous year. Comparatively, the 7.83 lakh applications in 2015 were only 1% higher than the number in 2014.
Usually, people with green cards can apply for the citizenship process. People usually go to the US with work visas. They obtain a green card for their long-term work or education commitments. With the flux in policies and more jobs be given to citizens, people are preferring to get citizenship.
“Indians… more than ever recognise the value of citizenship. A citizen has certain rights and protections — a fundamental right being that to vote… additional job opportunities. Given the anti-immigrant rhetoric, immigrants are more aware of the need to be protected,” says John C Yang, president of the non-profit body Asian Americans Advancing Justice, in the Times of India report.
Indian are worried about the citizenship process, as there is a possibility that they might not get the green card as well. With this, they have to go for regular follow-up questions, cross investigation. The investigation also involves a lot of family relationships, says Yang.
Rajiv Khanna, managing attorney at Immigration.com illustrates: In one case, an individual who held a green card for seven years was denied citizenship. The reason given by the authorities was that when they approved his green card, they were unaware that as an H-1B employee, he had worked at a location where he was not authorised. The US authorities went back eight years or more in the past to find a problem that could have then been easily curable.