BOSTON (AP) — Officials say Massachusetts has experienced a large surge in the number of immigrants applying for U.S. citizenship in the state so far this year.

The Boston Globe reports ( ) 8,000 people applied for citizenship in Massachusetts from January to March. That number represents a 30 percent increase from the previous quarter.

Officials say roughly two-thirds of immigrants who applied for citizenship this quarter have been approved. To be eligible to apply for citizenship, immigrants must be at least 18 years old and a legal permanent resident of the country for at least five years or three years if they are married to a U.S. citizen.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services spokeswoman Paula Grenier acknowledged the application boom and said the agency typically sees its highest numbers from March through May.


Information from: The Boston Globe,