Washington(IANS): Mexico, China and India topped the list the countries whose nationals were among over a million foreigners who became permanent legal residents of the United States in fiscal year 2010 ended in September.
While Mexico topped the list as the country of birth with 13 percent of the 1,042,625 new legal permanent residents or green card holders, China and India accounted for seven percent each, the department of homeland security said Thursday.
Most of the 1,042,625 new legal permanent residents (54 percent) already lived in the United States when they were granted their green cards, according to DHS data.
Nearly two-thirds of the new recipients obtained the legal residency status based on family ties to a US citizen or legal US permanent resident. Under the Immigration Act of 1990, the department places an annual limit on the number of new applicants of between 416,000 and 675,000 for family-sponsored preference, employment-based preference and diversity immigrants.
The number of family-sponsored applicants are limited to 226,000 to 480,000 per year. Despite the number of green cards issued each year, some 10.8 million undocumented foreigners still live in the United States, according to DHS figures.