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BCIS Announces Legal Immigration Figures for FY 2002

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 03071441 (posted Jul. 14, 2003)"

U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services
Washington, D.C. 20536

Contact: Office of Public Affairs 
Phone:    (202) 514-2648

July 14, 2003

 BCIS Announces Legal Immigration Figures for FY 2002

Washington, D.C. – The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) today announced  the number of persons who legally immigrated to the United States in Fiscal Year 2002.  This total includes new arrivals to the United States who obtained immigrant visas abroad through the Department of State, and persons who were already living in the United States and who became permanent residents by applying for adjustment of status with the INS.

The number of persons granted lawful permanent residence in the U.S. in FY 2002 was about the same as  in FY 2001.  Legal immigration in recent years, including FY 2002, has been affected by a backlog in adjustment of status applications pending.

FY 2002 Highlights

  • A total of 1,063,732 persons legally immigrated to the United States.  Of that total, 384,427 obtained their immigrant visas abroad from the Department of State and 653,259 were granted adjustment of status i.e. permanent residence, by the INS.
  • The major categories of immigrants were:  immediate relatives of U.S. citizens (486,748), family preferences (187,069), employment preferences (179,968), refugee/asylee adjustments (126,084) and diversity program (42,829).
  • Sixty-five percent of legal immigrants settled in the following six states:  California (291,216), New York (114,827), Florida (90,819), Texas (88,365), New Jersey (57,721), and Illinois (47,235).
  • Five countries accounted for 40 percent of immigrants:

Mexico (219,380), India (71,105), The People’s Republic of China (61,282), Philippines (51,308), and Vietnam (33,627).

Unlike the U.S. Census reports on the foreign-born population, these immigration counts refer only to the number of persons granted lawful permanent resident status in the United States during a one-year period.  It is not a population count and does not include all foreign-born persons.

Complete reports are available on the BCIS website at www.bcis.gov.

-BCIS-