The latest figures from the US government's Department of Homeland Security show that 1,062,040 people obtained their 'green cards' properly known as lawful permanent residence in the USA last year, 2011.
Of these, 90,712 came from Europe. 13,443 came from the UK with a further 1,533 coming from the Republic of Ireland. The UK was the European country from with the most new green card holders. Twice as many came from the UK than from Germany, which came second out of the European Countries.
438,580 Asian citizens also gained US permanent resident status in 2011. Of these, 66,331 came from India. More Indians gained green cards than citizens of any other Asian country apart from China.
32,728 Australians and 12,495 New Zealanders as well as 19,506 Canadians also gained permanent residence status.
California was the most popular state for those who gained green cards. About 210,000 of the new permanent residents reside there. 150,000 live in New York and around 110,000 in Florida. 95,000 are settled in Texas.
Nearly 700,000 of the new permanent residents qualified as family members of US citizens while 140,000 (about 13%) qualified based on employment based immigration.
These broke down into five categories
• Priority workers 25,251
• Professionals with advanced degrees or exceptional ability 66,831
• Skilled workers, professionals and unskilled workers 37,216
• 'Special immigrants' 6,701
• Employment creation (investors) 3,340
There were also 50,000 who were granted permanent residency through the Green Card Lottery; The rest were largely refugees and asylum seekers.
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