The number of people who became naturalized US citizens substantially increased in 2021. According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), 808,000 individuals naturalized in the 2021 fiscal year which ended on September 30, 2021. In the fiscal year 2020, only 625,400 people naturalized.
This increase follows Covid-19 pandemic office reopenings and the Biden administration’s encouragement of lawful permanent residents to apply for citizenship. The naturalization numbers are still lower than the pre-Covid-19 figures. In 2019 USCIS reported an 11-year high of 843,593 individual naturalizations. The naturalization record of more than a million people was in 2008.
USCIS Director Ur Jaddou told CNN that USCIS can now ramp up processing following the Covid-19 pandemic, “It is a tremendous value to the nation to have people that are lawful permanent residents become citizens, so we would like to encourage that.” In July 2021, another USCIS official told CNN that there are more than 9 million people in the United States who are lawful permanent residents that may be able to apply for citizenship.