Arizonans may be interested to learn that most of the largest immigrant groups in the United States had increased rates of naturalization from 2005 to 2015, according to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center. The largest increase was among immigrants from Ecuador and India. The nations that either showed a decline or no change were Honduras, Cuba and China.
Several conditions must be met for a person to be eligible for citizenship. The person must be at least 18 and have been a lawful permanent resident for at least five years. For people married to a citizen, the time period for residency is three years. The person must also be in good legal standing. The process can take up to a year and be expensive for some people. Between 2005 and 2015, around 11 percent of applications for naturalization were denied.
In 2015, naturalized citizens made up about 44 percent of the total foreign-born population of the United States. The largest group of lawful immigrants is from Mexico, but they are also the least likely of the large groups to apply for naturalization. People may decide not to become naturalized for many reasons, including cost, not knowing the language and maintaining close ties to the home country.
People who are interested in naturalizing or who have other immigration issues might want to consult an attorney. U.S. immigration law is changing rapidly, and those changes may be a source of anxiety for some people who have questions about the process. People might also want to discuss advantages and disadvantages of immigration in their particular situations and what the right choices might be for them.