Citizenship Applications Surge During Summer 2007 Even Higher Than Initial Government Estimates
More than 460,000 applications were filed in July 2007 alone, ahead of a major increase in filing fees
WASHINGTON – Updated government figures given to the Migration Policy Institute by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services show far more immigrants filed naturalization applications in the several months preceding a fee increase that took effect on July 30, 2007 than initially announced.
More than 460,000 lawful permanent residents filed naturalization applications in July 2007 alone – a nearly 650 percent increase over the number filed during the same month in 2006, according to the latest USCIS data. Overall, nearly 1.4 million naturalization applications were filed in fiscal 2007, almost twice as many as during the previous year.
The surge in applications has led to a sharp increase in processing times, rising to an average of 18 months for petitions filed after June 2007, up from last year’s average of just under seven months.
|Month||FY 2006||FY 2007||Percent Change|
Source: United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
By the end of December 2007, USCIS had nearly 1 million naturalization cases that were pending.
A new MPI fact sheet examines the issues surrounding the backlog, including the fact that the new waiting time will prevent most naturalization applicants who filed after June 2007 from gaining US citizenship in time to register and vote in November. The fact sheet is available online here.