The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) recently released statistics on various immigration levels during the fiscal year 2007 (October 1, 2006 through September 30, 2007). Overall, the number of foreign nationals entering the United States either as nonimmigrants or immigrants decreased from fiscal year 2006 to fiscal year 2007.
In fiscal year 2007, 171.4 million foreign nationals entered the United States in a nonimmigrant visa category. The number of foreign nationals entering the United States as nonimmigrants has been steadily decreasing since fiscal year 2003. The greatest percentage increase in nonimmigrant categories was with F-1 students that saw an increase of 23.6% from fiscal year 2006 to fiscal year 2008. The H-1B and L-1 categories saw an increase of 12.9% and 10.2%, respectively.
In fiscal year 2007, the number of foreign nationals obtaining lawful permanent resident status also decreased to 1,052,415 from fiscal year 2006 when 1,266,129 foreign nationals obtained permanent resident status. This is a decrease from 1991 when the greatest number of foreign nationals obtained legal permanent resident (1,826,595). The government attributes the decrease in foreign nationals immigrating to the United States on the U.S. economy.