The Pew Research Center has shared a new study showing that naturalizations in the United States have risen at levels unseen as far back as 2008.
In 2022, more than 900,000 immigrants became US citizens. The last time it was this high was in 2008, when over a million became citizens.
This comes after two years of the pandemic, which caused a sharp drop in naturalizations, and an increase in backlogs.
Now three years into this pandemic, it could be observed that the Biden Administration started normalizing and streamlining immigration processes and has seen an increasing number of immigrant applicants applying and getting their citizenships.
Among the countries with the biggest rebound in naturalization is the Philippines, which only followed Cuba and Jamaica. This makes the Philippines the Asian country with the biggest rebound.
Another notable number is 670,000 – this is the number of naturalizations that are still pending, signaling that there are more citizenship ceremonies to come.
This backlog is also seen to be reduced quickly as the Biden administration has put in place many improved processes like simplifying forms and redirecting the load of some immigration offices to those less overwhelmed.
According to Pew, the median time of processing a naturalization process now is around 10 months.
With the Biden administration continuously making background checks less strict and less discriminatory, it might be a good time to pursue naturalization.
For long-time residents with a long immigration history, it may be best, nonetheless, to seek advice or legal assistance from a trusted immigration lawyer before filing an application for naturalization.
(Atty. Lourdes S. Tancinco is an immigration attorney and immigrant rights advocate based in the San Francisco Bay area and a partner at the Tancinco Law P.C.. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.tancinco.com, facebook/tancincolaw, or at 1-888-930-0808)