Minnesota immigrants: 2011 snapshot

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has published its 2011 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics. With 109 of its114 pages devoted to tables of immigration numbers, it’s not coffee-table reading. Here’s what it says about Minnesota immigrants:

Legal permanent residence: 12,389 new immigrants were granted legal permanent resident status in Minnesota in 2011. That means they can live legally, and indefinitely, in the United States. If they fulfill other conditions — including specified length of residence, passing a citizenship test, speaking and reading English — they may eventually apply for citizenship. Looking back over ten years, the only lower numbers were reported in 2003 and 2004. Overall, 1,062,040 new immigrants gained legal permanent residence in the United States in 2011.

Citizenship: Minnesota welcomed 11,044 new citizens in 2011 — the highest number in the past ten years. They represent part of the 694,193 immigrants becoming citizens across the United States in 2011.

Temporary visitors: Many people come from other countries as tourists, students, temporary workers, or in some other temporary status. In contrast to legal permanent residents, they have a strict time limit on their stay in this country. The official term for these temporary visitors is “nonimmigrant admissions.” Some 202,958 people came to Minnesota with nonimmigrant visas in 2011.

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