Ranked: The 25 Countries Receiving the Most U.S. Immigration Visas
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Ranked: The 25 Countries Receiving the Most U.S. Immigration Visas

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The Top 25 Countries Receiving the Most U.S. Immigration Visas

Although many Americans feel that their country is on the wrong track, this does not stop foreigners from wanting to move to the United States. For many around the globe, the promise of the American dream is still worth the permanent move and hundreds of thousands of people every year apply for their U.S. immigration visas.

The ranking uses annual data from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs to visualize the countries whose citizens are receiving the highest number of U.S. immigrant visas.

U.S. Immigration Processes

The process of U.S. immigration is confusing at best, but it always starts with a visa. A visa, in the context of immigration, is essentially a permit to enter the country, issued to those looking to work and live in the United States. There are two visa categories: immigrant and non-immigrant.

Non-immigrant visas

These visas are typically for temporary workers, but also serve other purposes, like basic travel for tourists from certain countries. Even when obtained for work purposes however, non-immigrant visas expire and do not lead to green cards or citizenship.

Some examples of non-immigrant visas categories include: members of the press, diplomatic representatives, foreign military personnel stationed in the U.S., athletes, and a plethora of other unique situations. The popular, and nearly unattainable, H-1B visas are actually non-immigrant visas.

Immigrant visas

Immigrant visas, on the other hand, can either be employment-based or family-based. The intention behind them is that they will eventually lead to permanent status in the U.S., either through green cards or citizenship. A common example of an immigration visa is the K-1 visa or the “fiancé visa” for individuals marrying American citizens.

Who’s Getting U.S. Immigrant Visas?

Last year, more than 285,000 U.S. immigrant visas were issued. Here’s a look how that is distributed across every country worldwide:

RankCountryImmigrant Visas Issued (2021)
#1🇲🇽 Mexico40,597
#2🇨🇳 China18,501
#3🇩🇴 Dominican Republic17,941
#4🇵🇭 Philippines15,862
#5🇦🇫 Afghanistan10,784
#6🇻🇳 Vietnam10,458
#7🇮🇳 India9,275
#8🇸🇻 El Salvador7,813
#9🇵🇰 Pakistan7,213
#10🇧🇩 Bangladesh5,503
#11🇳🇵 Nepal5,342
#12🇪🇨 Ecuador5,061
#13🇳🇬 Nigeria4,990
#14🇨🇴 Colombia4,785
#15🇾🇪 Yemen 4,770
#16🇯🇲 Jamaica4,375
#17🇭🇹 Haiti3,799
#18🇲🇦 Morocco3,585
#19🇨🇺 Cuba3,232
#20🇳🇮 Nicaragua3,216
#21🇭🇳 Honduras3,180
#22🇨🇲 Cameroon3,048
#23🇺🇦 Ukraine3,019
#24🇰🇷 South Korea2,954
#25🇮🇷 Iran2,802
#26🇯🇴 Jordan2,785
#27🇬🇹 Guatemala2,717
#28🇬🇾 Guyana2,650
#29🇧🇷 Brazil2,423
#30🇪🇹 Ethiopia2,402
#31🇪🇬 Egypt 2,230
#32🇬🇭 Ghana2,216
#33🇻🇪 Venezuela2,031
#34🇩🇿 Algeria 1,922
#35🇬🇧 United Kingdom1,897
#36🇦🇱 Albania 1,794
#37🇹🇼 Taiwan1,775
#38🇵🇪 Peru1,772
#39🇰🇪 Kenya1,612
#40🇰🇭 Cambodia1,586
#41🇱🇧 Lebanon1,543
#42🇸🇱 Sierra Leone1,481
#43🇨🇦 Canada1,464
#44🇯🇵 Japan1,401
#45🇹🇷 Turkey1,361
#46🇹🇭 Thailand1,221
#47🇨🇩 Democratic Republic of the Congo1,203
#48🇷🇺 Russia1,154
#49🇩🇪 Germany1,086
#50🇦🇲 Armenia992
#51🇹🇬 Togo 989
#52🇵🇱 Poland942
#53🇨🇮 Cote d'Ivoire924
#54🇭🇰 Hong Kong SAR838
#55🇱🇷 Liberia803
#56🇱🇰 Sri Lanka799
#57🇹🇹 Trinidad and Tobago793
#58🇧🇾 Belarus 787
#59🇸🇩 Sudan 783
#60🇸🇾 Syria757
#61🇸🇴 Somalia724
#62🇮🇩 Indonesia714
#63🇷🇴 Romania706
#64🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia701
#65🇬🇪 Georgia652
#66🇧🇴 Bolivia642
#67🇫🇷 France622
#67🇮🇹 Italy622
#69🇲🇩 Moldova611
#70🇦🇷 Argentina608
#71🇿🇦 South Africa599
#72🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates598
#73🇨🇻 Cabo Verde597
#74🇰🇬 Kyrgyzstan592
#75🇲🇲 Myanmar587
#76🇰🇿 Kazakhstan584
#77🇮🇶 Iraq579
#78🇸🇳 Senegal566
#79🇿🇼 Zimbabwe543
#80🇨🇷 Costa Rica537
#81🇫🇯 Fiji 522
#82🇽🇰 Kosovo520
#83🇺🇿 Uzbekistan513
#84🇦🇺 Australia505
#85🇬🇳 Guinea500
#86🇧🇬 Bulgaria493
#87🇬🇲 The Gambia484
#88🇲🇰 North Macedonia472
#89🇮🇱 Israel471
#90🇹🇯 Tajikistan444
#91🇨🇱 Chile416
#92🇰🇼 Kuwait412
#93🇪🇸 Spain410
#94🇪🇷 Eritrea371
#95🇵🇦 Panama363
#96🇲🇳 Mongolia355
#97🇧🇯 Benin343
#98🇲🇾 Malaysia330
#99🇷🇸 Serbia328
#100🇦🇿 Azerbaijan308
#101🇧🇸 The Bahamas303
#102🇹🇿 Tanzania301
#103🇹🇳 Tunisia 298
#104🇱🇨 Saint Lucia292
#105🇷🇼 Rwanda291
#106🇹🇲 Turkmenistan284
#107🇺🇬 Uganda 281
#108🇩🇲 Dominica279
#109🇧🇿 Belize278
#110🇧🇫 Burkina Faso259
#111🇱🇾 Libya233
#112🇧🇦 Bosnia and Herzegovina231
#112🇬🇩 Grenada231
#114🇮🇪 Ireland213
#115🇳🇿 New Zealand205
#116🇭🇺 Hungary203
#117🇲🇱 Mali196
#118🇶🇦 Qatar190
#119🇳🇱 Netherlands182
#120🇱🇹 Lithuania177
#121🇧🇧 Barbados170
#122🇬🇷 Greece168
#123🇿🇲 Zambia152
#124🇸🇬 Singapore148
#124🇲🇪 Montenegro148
#126🇦🇬 Antigua and Barbuda146
#127🇺🇾 Uruguay144
#128🇨🇭 Switzerland142
#129🇱🇻 Latvia131
#130🇸🇪 Sweden123
#131🇵🇹 Portugal120
#132🇧🇪 Belgium114
#133🇻🇨 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines113
#134🇳🇪 Niger112
#135🇵🇾 Paraguay111
#136🇨🇬 Republic of the Congo108
#137🇨🇿 Czech Republic105
#138🇦🇹 Austria104
#139🇧🇮 Burundi98
#140🇭🇷 Croatia96
#141🇫🇮 Finland89
#142🇩🇯 Djibouti80
#142🇰🇳 Saint Kitts and Nevis80
#144🇸🇰 Slovakia77
#145🇧🇭 Bahrain66
#146🇲🇼 Malawi65
#147🇲🇷 Mauritania62
#148🇹🇩 Chad57
#149🇦🇴 Angola52
#150🇬🇦 Gabon49
#151🇪🇪 Estonia48
#152🇸🇷 Suriname45
#153🇸🇸 South Sudan41
#153🇹🇴 Tonga41
#155🇴🇲 Oman38
#156🇲🇬 Madagascar36
#156🇩🇰 Denmark36
#156🇮🇸 Iceland36
#159🇧🇹 Bhutan35
#159🇧🇲 Bermuda35
#161🇸🇮 Slovenia32
#162🇨🇾 Cyprus28
#163🇳🇴 Norway23
#164🇨🇫 Central African Republic22
#165🇧🇼 Botswana21
#165🇹🇨 Turks and Caicos Islands21
#167🇲🇴 Macau SAR20
#168🇱🇦 Laos11
#168🇲🇫 Saint Martin11
#168🇻🇬 British Virgin Islands11
#171🇲🇿 Mozambique10
#171🇳🇦 Namibia 10
#171🇦🇮 Anguilla10
#174🇲🇺 Mauritius9
#174🇸🇽 Sint Maarten9
#174🇼🇸 Samoa9
#177🇬🇼 Guinea-Bissau8
#177🇰🇵 North Korea8
#177🇨🇼 Curaçao8
#180🇰🇾 Cayman Islands7
#181🇵🇬 Papua New Guinea6
#182🇲🇹 Malta5
#182🇦🇼 Aruba5
#184🇱🇸 Lesotho4
#184🇧🇳 Brunei4
#186🇬🇶 Equatorial Guinea3
#186🇲🇸 Montserrat3
#188🇸🇿 Eswatini2
#188🇲🇻 Maldives2
#188🇵🇫 French Polynesia2
#188🇬🇮 Gibraltar2
#188🇱🇺 Luxembourg2
#188🇫🇲 Federated Sates of Micronesia2
#194🇸🇹 Sao Tome and Principe1
#194🇹🇱 Timor-Leste1
#194🇳🇨 New Caledonia1
#194🇲🇨 Monaco1
#194🇨🇽 Christmas Island1
#194🇲🇭 Marshall Islands1
#194🇵🇼 Palau1
#194🇸🇧 Solomon Islands1
#194🇻🇺 Vanuatu1
#203🇰🇲 Comoros0
#203🇪🇭 Western Sahara0
#203🇸🇨 Seychelles0
#203🇦🇩 Andorra0
#203🇫🇴 Faroe Islands0
#203🇬🇱 Greenland0
#203🇹🇫 French Southern and Antarctic Lands0
#203🇧🇱 St. Barthelemy0
#203🇵🇲 St. Pierre and Miquelon0
#203🇼🇫 Wallis and Futuna0
#203🇮🇴 British Indian Ocean Territory0
#203🇫🇰 Falkland Islands0
#203🇵🇳 Pitcairn0
#203🇸🇭 St. Helena0
#203🇬🇸 South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands0
#203🇱🇮 Liechtenstein0
#203Northern Ireland (DV Only)0
#203🇸🇯 Svalbard0
#203🇸🇲 San Marino0
#203🇻🇦 Vatican City 0
#203🇨🇨 Cocos (Keeling) Islands0
#203🇳🇫 Norfolk Island0
#203🇰🇮 Kiribati0
#203🇳🇷 Nauru0
#203🇨🇰 Cook Islands0
#203🇳🇺 Niue0
#203🇹🇰 Tokelau0
#203🇹🇻 Tuvalu0
Total285,069

Mexican citizens received the highest number of visas to immigrate permanently to the U.S. at nearly 40,600. America’s other neighbor, Canada, ranked 43rd, only receiving 1,464 visas. China and India also rank high on the list, ranking at #2 and #7 respectively.

Interestingly, only one European country, Ukraine, made the top 25. In 2021, prior to the Russian invasion, Ukrainians obtained 3,019 visas. A number of the top visa recipient nations are marked by violence and political unrest, like Afghanistan (#5) and Iran (#25).

Looking beyond the top 25, one surprising find is that eight North Korean citizens received immigration visas last year. Additionally, a number of countries only received a handful of U.S. immigrant visas including Luxembourg’s two, and Timor-Leste’s one.

Regionally, the bulk of the highest ranking countries are located in Asia. Here’s a breakdown:

RankRegionImmigrant Visas Issued (2021)
#1Asia 111,419
#2North America91,919
#3Africa35,776
#4Europe 23,972
#5South America20,688
#6Oceania1,295

Finally, here’s the geographical distribution of persons receiving U.S. immigrant visas.

Map infographic showing which countries receive the most U.S. immigration visas

The State of U.S. Immigration

Around 15% of the U.S. population is made up of immigrants, and the country is home to the highest number of total immigrants in the world, at 50.6 million.

In terms of how many visas are issued annually, there is a federal ceiling of 700,000 and certain countries have their own specific caps on how many their citizens can receive, as mandated by the United States. Although the numbers change drastically year by year, they have not come close to the limit in the last decade.

Here’s a look at the total U.S. immigrant visa issuances globally. Notably, they diminished by almost half during the pandemic:

YearImmigrant Visas Issued Worldwide % Change Year-over-Year
2012482,300-
2013473,115-1.9%
2014467,370-1.2%
2015531,463+13.7%
2016617,752+16.2%
2017559,536-9.4%
2018533,557-4.6%
2019462,422-13.3%
2020240,526-48.0%
2021285,069+18.5%

Overall, whether for economic purposes, reunification of families, or in fleeing from danger, people are continuing to come to the United States.

In the period between 2016 and 2060, it’s expected that the share of the U.S. population that is American-born is going to grow by 20%. Meanwhile, the share of the population that is foreign-born is expected to jump by 58%.

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The Top Google Searches Related to Investing in 2022

What was on investors’ minds in 2022? Discover the top Google searches and how the dominant trends played out in portfolios.

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Trend lines showing when the top Google searches related to investing reached peak popularity over the course of 2022.
The following content is sponsored by New York Life Investments

The Top Google Searches Related to Investing in 2022

It was a turbulent year for the markets in 2022, with geopolitical conflict, rising prices, and the labor market playing key roles. Which stories captured investors’ attention the most? 

This infographic from New York Life Investments outlines the top Google searches related to investing in 2022, and offers a closer look at some of the trends.

Top Google Searches: Year in Review

We picked some of the top economic and investing stories that saw peak search interest in the U.S. each month, according to Google Trends.

Month of Peak InterestSearch Term
JanuaryGreat Resignation
FebruaryRussian Stock Market
MarchOil Price
April Housing Bubble
MayValue Investing
JuneBitcoin
JulyRecession
AugustInflation
SeptemberUS Dollar
OctoberOPEC
NovemberLayoffs
DecemberInterest Rate Forecast

Data based on exact searches in the U.S. from December 26, 2021 to December 18, 2022.

Let’s look at each quarter in more detail, to see how these top Google searches were related to activity in the economy and investors’ portfolios.

Q1 2022

The start of the year was marked by U.S. workers quitting their jobs in record numbers, and the effects of the Russia-Ukraine war. For instance, the price of crude oil skyrocketed after the war caused supply uncertainties. Early March’s peak of $125 per barrel was a 13-year high.

DateClosing Price of WTI Crude Oil
(USD/Barrel)
January 2, 2022$76
March 3, 2022$125
December 29, 2022$80

While crude oil lost nearly all its gains by year-end, the energy sector in general performed well. In fact, the S&P 500 Energy Index gained 57% over the year compared to the S&P 500’s 19% loss.

Q2 2022

The second quarter of 2022 saw abnormal house price growth, renewed interest in value investing, and a bitcoin crash. In particular, value investing performed much better than growth investing over the course of the year.

IndexPrice Return in 2022
S&P 500 Value Index-7.4%
S&P 500 Growth Index-30.1%

Value stocks have typically outperformed during periods of rising rates, and 2022 was no exception.

Q3 2022

The third quarter was defined by worries about a recession and inflation, along with interest in the rising U.S. dollar. In fact, the U.S. dollar gained against nearly every major currency.

Currency USD Appreciation Against Currency
(Dec 31 2020-Sep 30 2022)
Japanese Yen40.1%
Chinese Yuan9.2%
Euro25.1%
Canadian Dollar7.2%
British Pound22.0%
Australian Dollar18.1%

Higher interest rates made the U.S. dollar more attractive to investors, since it meant they would get a higher return on their fixed income investments.

Q4 2022

The end of the year was dominated by OPEC cutting oil production, high layoffs in the tech sector, and curiosity about the future of interest rates. The Federal Reserve’s December 2022 economic projections offer clues about the trajectory of the policy rate.

 202320242025Longer Run
Minimum Projection4.9%3.1%2.4%2.3%
Median Projection5.1%4.1%3.1%2.5%
Maximum Projection5.6%5.6%5.6%3.3%

The Federal Reserve expects interest rates to peak in 2023, with rates to remain elevated above pre-pandemic levels for the foreseeable future.

The Top Google Searches to Come

After a year of volatility across asset classes, economic uncertainty remains. Which themes will become investors’ top Google searches in 2023?

Find out how New York Life Investments can help you make sense of market trends.

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