Timing of Naturalization in the United States Through 1996: The Experience of the Legal Immigrant Cohorts of 1977 and 1982   [open pdf - 205KB]

"Recent increases in the number of legal immigrants becoming U.S. citizens have sparked interest in whether changes are also occurring in naturalization rates. Increases in naturalization rates may reflect greater social and cultural integration among immigrants and affect future levels of immigration through the right of citizens to sponsor close relatives for admission. Relatively little information, however, is available on the propensity of immigrants to naturalize. Measures such as the proportion of the foreign-born population that is naturalized, commonly calculated from cross-sectional data, are not based on the population at risk to naturalize and therefore do not indicate the frequency at which immigrants are naturalizing. The administrative records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) are the only source of national data on the naturalization of same-year admission or cohorts of legal immigrants. This study uses INS data to examine factors associated with the timing of the naturalization decision through 1996 of legal immigrants admitted to the U.S. in fiscal years 1977 and 1982. The naturalization experience of these cohorts, though incomplete, includes 19 years for the earlier and 14 years for the later group. By 1996, 51 percent of the 1977 cohort and 46 percent of the 1982 cohort had become U.S. citizens. The results will provide a baseline from which to compare the naturalization experiences of later immigrant cohorts."

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United States Department of Homeland Security: http://www.dhs.gov/
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