Immigration Statistics: Green Card, Citizenship, H-1B and F-1 Visa

Finally got around to update several statistics pages with the latest DOS and USCIS data.

Why spending time on this if the data are already available from government websites?

Well, for one, government data are scattered among many agencies. Each agency has multiple locations for statistics, released at different times throughout the year. So you know the data is there, but it’s not always easy to find and track them.

For example, the Department of State publishes a vast amount of data every year, and only a small fraction of them is related to immigration.

What we intend to do is to gather immigration data from all agencies, store them in one place, and keep up with government updates.

By the way, the Department of State does a better job than USCIS, in my opinion, in terms of keeping relevant data at the same place and making timely updates. USCIS tends to publish annual reports with a focus on conclusions rather than underlying data. USCIS did do an awesome job with their quarterly I-485 inventories, but they suddenly stopped, and never provided an explanation.

Secondly, the U.S. government tend to release data in PDF format. Although PDF has its advantages, it’s not convenient for readers to find specific information relevant to them. You can’t sort the data, for example. Sometimes the PDF documents are not even searchable, as if they were scanned from paper documents.

When DOS publishes annual non-immigrant visa statistics, it is a massive document including all visa types for all countries. If you’re just interested in F1 data, you have to manually dig through all of them to find what you’re looking for.

For these reasons, I’ve been pulling immigration statistics from government agencies and present them in a much more user-friendly format. These interactive charts and tables allow you to sort, search, and zoom in. They’re kept in a central location. And they contain only the most important data – in my opinion, of course – so you don’t have to go through a bunch of G1 visa statistics to find H-1B information.

When time allows, we intend to add more, but these are what we have so far:

Some examples:

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