Annual Flow Report
U.S. Legal Permanent Residents: 2006
A legal permanent resident (LPR) or “green card” recipient is defined by immigration law as a person who has been granted lawful permanent residence in the United States. Permanent resident status confers certain rights and responsibilities. For example, LPRs may live and work permanently anywhere in the United States, own property, and attend public schools, colleges, and universities. They may also join certain branches of the Armed Forces, and apply to become U.S. citizens if they meet certain eligibility requirements. This Office of Immigration Statistics Annual Flow Report presents information obtained from applications for LPR status on the number and characteristics of persons who became LPRs in the United States during 2006.1
In 2006, a total of 1,266,264 persons became LPRs of the United States (see Table 1 and Figure 1).The majority of new LPRs (65 percent) already lived in the United States when they were granted lawful permanent resi-
effect today. U.S. law gives priority for immigration status to foreign nationals who have a close family relationship with a U.S. citizen or LPR, who have needed job skills, who are from countries with relatively low
dence. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) were granted permanent residence based on a family relationship with a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States. The leading countries of birth of new LPRs were Mexico (14 percent), China (7 percent) and the Philippines (6 percent).
levels of immigration to the United States, or who have refugee or asylee status.
Preference Immigration and Diversity Limits
The term preference has been used in immigration law to designate priority categories for LPR status. As specified
THE REAL ID ACT OF 2005
Provisions of the REAL ID Act of 2005 (enacted into law May 11, 2005) affected the LPR flows for 2005 and 2006.The Act eliminated the 10,000 annual cap on asylee adjustments of status and recaptured 50,000 employment-based visas to be used for Schedule A
Figure 1. LPR Flow to the United States: 1900 to 2006
workers. Schedule A occupations are those for which the Secretary of the Department of Labor has deter- mined that there are not sufficient U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified and available. Additionally, it must be demonstrated that the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers similarly employed will not be adversely affected by the employment of aliens in such occupations. Schedule A workers include, but are not limited to, physical therapists, nurses, and aliens of exceptional ability in the arts and sciences.
THE LEGAL IMMIGRATION PROCESS
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and its amendments are the basis for most immigration laws in
1930 1945 1960 1975 1990 2006
Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security
In this report, years refer to fiscal years (October 1 to September 30).
Office of Immigration Statistics