Best Immigration Paralegal Services & Immigration Consultants Costa Mesa
We Provide Following Immigration Services
US Citizens and LPR, can Petition their Immediate Family members. Please read INA for more information.
The foreign fiance(e) of an American citizen may enter the United States on a K-1 visa to marry the American citizen...
We provide assistance in completing National Visa Center Processing Forms.
We assist our clients with the procedure and requirements for becoming a US Citizen.
We Provide Following Immigration Document Preparation Services in Costa Mesa
We are dedicated to providing professional service with the highest degree of honesty and integrity, and strive to add value to Best Immigration Paralegal Services & Immigration Consultants.
- Immigration Petition for Immediate Relative/Spouse $1200
- Immigration Petition/Application for Asylum $1500
- Immigration Petition/Application for Replacement/initial nonimmigrant arrival-departure document $300
- Immigration Petition/Application for Replacement of permanent resident card $300
- Immigration Petition/Application to extend or change nonimmigrant status $1200
- Immigration Petition/Application for Adjustment of status $1200
- Immigration Petition/Application for Naturalization/Citizenship $300
- Immigration Application/Petition for Travel documents $300
- Immigration Application/Petition for Work Permit/Renewal $300
- Immigration Affidavit of support $300
- Immigration Petition/Application for Temporary Protective Status (TPS) $1500
- Immigration Petition/Application for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) $750
- Immigration Application/Petition for U visa which is set aside for victims of crimes (and their immediate family members) $1500
- And Immigration Consultannt For I 9 Verification Form or as an I9 Authorized Representative For Remote Hire Employees
Immigration and Nationality Act of USA
|INA: TITLE I|
|ACT 102||Applicability of Title II to certain Nonimmigrants|
|ACT 103||Powers and duties of the Attorney General and the Commissioner.|
|ACT 104||Powers and duties of the Secretary of State|
|ACT 105||Liaison with internal security officers.|
|ACT 106||Employment authorization for battered spouses of certain nonimmigrants.|
|INA: TITLE II -- IMMIGRATION|
|CHAPTER 1 - SELECTION SYSTEM|
|ACT 201||Worldwide level of immigration.|
|ACT 202||Numerical limitation to any single foreign state.|
|ACT 203||Allocation of immigrant visas.|
|ACT 204||Procedure for granting immigrant status.|
|ACT 205||Revocation of approval of petitions.|
|ACT 206||Unused immigrant visas.|
|ACT 207||Annual admission of refugees and admission of emergency situation refugees.|
|ACT 209||Adjustment of status of refugees.|
|ACT 210||Special agricultural workers.|
|INA: TITLE II -- IMMIGRATION|
|CHAPTER 2 -- QUALIFICATIONS FOR ADMISSION OF ALIENS; TRAVEL CONTROL OF CITIZENS AND ALIENS|
|ACT 211||Documentary requirements.|
|ACT 212||General classes of aliens ineligible to receive visas and ineligible for admission; waivers of inadmissibility.|
|ACT 213||Admission of certain aliens on giving bond.|
|ACT 213A||Requirements for sponsor's affidavit of support.|
|ACT 214||Admission of nonimmigrants.|
|ACT 215||Travel documentation of aliens and citizens.|
|ACT 216||Conditional permanent resident status for certain alien spouses and sons and daughters.|
|ACT 216A||Conditional permanent resident status for certain alien entrepreneurs, spouses, and children.|
|ACT 217||Visa waiver program for certain visitors.|
|ACT 218||Admission of temporary H - 2A workers.|
|ACT 219||Designation of foreign terrorist organization|
|INA: TITLE II -- IMMIGRATION|
|CHAPTER 4 -- INSPECTION, APPREHENSION, EXAMINATION, EXCLUSION, AND REMOVAL|
|ACT 231||Lists of alien and citizen passengers arriving or departing; record of resident aliens and citizens leaving permanently for foreign country.|
|ACT 232||Detention of aliens for observation and examination.|
|ACT 233||Entry through or form foreign territory and adjacent islands; landing stations.|
|ACT 234||Designation of ports of entry for aliens arriving by civil aircraft.|
|ACT 235||Inspection by immigration officers; expedited removal of inadmissible arriving aliens; referral for hearing.|
|ACT 235A||Preinspection at foreign airports.|
|ACT 236||Apprehension and detention of aliens.|
|ACT 236A||Mandatory Detention of Suspected Terrorists; Habeas Corpus; Judicial Review|
|ACT 237||General classes of deportable aliens.|
|ACT 238||Expedited removal of aliens convicted of committing aggravated felonies.|
|ACT 239||Initiation of removal proceedings.|
|ACT 240||Removal proceedings|
|ACT 240A||Cancellation of removal; adjustment of status.|
|ACT 240B||Voluntary departure.|
|ACT 240C||Records of admission.|
|ACT 241||Detention and removal of aliens ordered removed.|
|ACT 242||Judicial review of orders of removal|
|ACT 243||Penalties related to removal|
|ACT 244||Temporary protected status|
|INA: TITLE II -- IMMIGRATION|
|CHAPTER 5 -- ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS|
|ACT 245||Adjustment of status of nonimmigrant to that of person admitted for permanent residence.|
|ACT 245A||Adjustment of status of certain entrants before January 1, 1982, to that of person admitted for lawful residence|
|ACT 246||Rescission of adjustment of status|
|ACT 247||Adjustment of status of certain resident aliens to nonimmigrant status|
|ACT 248||Change of nonimmigrant classification|
|ACT 249||Record of admission for permanent residence in the case of certain aliens who entered the United States prior to July 1, 1924 or January 1, 1972|
|ACT 250||Removal of aliens who have fallen into distress|
|INA: TITLE II -- IMMIGRATION|
|CHAPTER 6 -- SPECIAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO ALIEN CREWMEN|
|ACT 251||Lists of alien crewmen; reports of illegal landings|
|ACT 252||Conditional permits to land temporarily|
|ACT 253||Hospital treatment of alien crewmen afflicted with certain diseases|
|ACT 254||Control of alien crewmen|
|ACT 255||Employment on passenger vessels of aliens afflicted with certain disabilities|
|ACT 256||Discharge of alien crewmen|
|ACT 257||Bringing alien crewmen into United States with intent to evade immigration laws|
|ACT 258||Limitations on performance of longshore work by alien crewmen|
|INA: TITLE II -- IMMIGRATION|
|CHAPTER 7 -- REGISTRATION OF ALIENS|
|ACT 261||Aliens seeking entry into the United States|
|ACT 262||Registration of aliens in the United States|
|ACT 263||Provisions governing registration of special groups|
|ACT 264||Forms and procedure|
|ACT 265||Notices of change of address|
|INA: TITLE II -- IMMIGRATION|
|CHAPTER 8 -- GENERAL PENALTY PROVISIONS|
|ACT 271||Prevention of unauthorized landing of aliens|
|ACT 272||Bringing in aliens subject to exclusion on a health-related ground|
|ACT 273||Unlawful bringing of aliens into United States|
|ACT 274||Bringing in and harboring certain aliens|
|ACT 274A||Unlawful employment of aliens|
|ACT 274B||Unfair immigration-related employment practices|
|ACT 274C||Penalties for document fraud|
|ACT 274D||Civil penalties for failure to depart|
|ACT 275||Entry of alien at improper time or place; misrepresentation and concealment of facts|
|ACT 276||Reentry of removed alien|
|ACT 277||Aiding or assisting certain aliens to enter the United States|
|ACT 278||Importation of alien for immoral purpose|
|ACT 279||Jurisdiction of district courts|
|ACT 280||Collection of penalties and expenses|
|INA: TITLE II -- IMMIGRATION|
|CHAPTER 9 -- MISCELLANEOUS|
|ACT 281||Nonimmigrant visa fees|
|ACT 282||Printing of reentry permits and blank forms of manifests and crew lists|
|ACT 283||Travel expenses and expense of transporting remains of immigration officers and employees who die outside of the United States|
|ACT 284||Members of the Armed Forces|
|ACT 285||Disposal of privileges at immigrant stations|
|ACT 286||Disposition of moneys collected under the provisions of this title|
|ACT 287||Powers of immigration officers and employees|
|ACT 288||Local jurisdiction over immigrant stations|
|ACT 289||American Indians born in Canada|
|ACT 290||Central file; information from other departments and agencies|
|ACT 291||Burden of proof|
|ACT 292||Right to counsel|
|ACT 293||Deposit of and interest on cash received to secure immigration bonds|
|ACT 294||Undercover investigation authority|
|ACT 295||Transportation of remains of immigration officers and border patrol agents killed in the line of duty|
|INA: TITLE III|
|CHAPTER 1 -- NATIONALITY AT BIRTH AND BY COLLECTIVE NATURALIZATION|
|ACT 301||Nationals and citizens of the United States at birth|
|ACT 302||Persons born in Puerto Rico|
|ACT 303||Persons born in the Canal Zone or Republic of Panama on or after February 26, 1904|
|ACT 304||Persons born in Alaska on or after March 30, 1867|
|ACT 305||Persons born in Hawaii|
|ACT 306||Persons living in and born in the Virgin Islands|
|ACT 307||Persons living in and born in Guam|
|ACT 308||Nationals but not citizens of the United States at birth|
|ACT 309||Children born out of wedlock|
|INA: TITLE III|
|CHAPTER 2 -- NATIONALITY THROUGH NATURALIZATION|
|ACT 310||Naturalization authority|
|ACT 311||Eligibility for naturalization|
|ACT 312||Requirements as to understanding the English language, history, principles and form of government of the United States|
|ACT 313||Prohibition upon the naturalization of persons opposed to government or law, or who favor totalitarian forms of government|
|ACT 314||Ineligibility to naturalization of deserters from the Armed Forces of the United States|
|ACT 315||Alien relieved from training and service in the Armed Forces of the United States because of alienage barred from citizenship|
|ACT 316||Requirements as to residence, good moral character, attachment to the principles of the Constitution, and favorable disposition to the United States|
|ACT 317||Temporary absence of persons performing religious duties|
|ACT 318||Prerequisites to naturalization -- burden of proof|
|ACT 319||Married persons and employees of certain nonprofit organizations|
|ACT 320||Children born outside the United States and residing permanently in the United States; conditions under which citizenship automatically acquired|
|ACT 322||Children born and residing outside the United States; conditions for acquiring certificate of citizenship|
|ACT 324||Former citizens of United States regaining United States citizenship|
|ACT 325||Nationals but not citizens of the United States; residence within outlying possessions|
|ACT 326||Resident Philippine citizens excepted from certain requirements|
|ACT 327||Former United States citizens losing citizenship by entering the armed forces of foreign countries during World War II|
|ACT 328||Naturalization through service in the Armed Forces of the United States|
|ACT 329||Naturalization through active-duty service in the Armed Forces during World War I, World War II, the Korean hostilities, the Vietnam hostilities, or in other periods of military hostilities|
|ACT 329A||Posthumous citizenship through death while on active-duty service in the armed forces during World War I, World War II, the Korean hostilities, the Vietnam hostilities, or in other periods of military hostilities|
|ACT 330||Constructive residence through service on certain United States vessels|
|ACT 331||Alien enemies; naturalization under specified conditions and procedure|
|ACT 332||Procedural and administrative provisions; executive functions|
|ACT 334||Application for naturalization; declaration of intention|
|ACT 335||Investigation of applicants; examination of applications|
|ACT 336||Hearings on denials of applications for naturalization|
|ACT 337||Oath of renunciation and allegiance|
|ACT 338||Certificate of naturalization; contents|
|ACT 339||Functions and duties of clerks and records of declarations of intention and applications for naturalization|
|ACT 340||Revocation of naturalization|
|ACT 341||Certificates of citizenship or U.S. non-citizen national status; procedure|
|ACT 342||Cancellation of certificates issued by the Attorney General, the Commissioner or a Deputy Commissioner; action not to affect citizenship status|
|ACT 343||Documents and copies issued by the Attorney General|
|ACT 344||Fiscal provisions|
|ACT 346||Authorization granted for publication and distribution of citizenship textbooks from naturalization fees|
|ACT 347||Compilation of naturalization statistics and payment for equipment|
|INA: TITLE III|
|CHAPTER 3 -- LOSS OF NATIONALITY|
|ACT 349||Loss of nationality by native-born or naturalized citizen|
|ACT 351||Restrictions on loss of nationality|
|ACT 356||Nationality lost solely from performance of acts or fulfillment of conditions|
|ACT 357||Application of treaties; exceptions|
|INA: TITLE III|
|CHAPTER 4 -- MISCELLANEOUS|
|ACT 358||Certificate of diplomatic or consular officer of the United States as to loss of American nationality under Chapter IV, Nationality Act of 1940, or under Chapter 3 of this title|
|ACT 359||Certificate of nationality for a person not a naturalized citizen for use in proceedings of a foreign state|
|ACT 360||Judicial proceedings for declaration of United States nationality in event of denial of rights and privileges as national|
|ACT 361||Cancellation of United States passports and Consular Reports of Birth|
Immigration Word Glossary
A type of visa in which family members travel with the principal applicant, (in immigrant visa cases, within six months of issuance of an immigrant visa to the principal applicant).
Citizenship conferred at birth on children born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent(s).
1) To change from a nonimmigrant visa status or other status 2) To adjust the status of a permanent resident (green card holder).
Adjustment To Immigrant Status
Procedure allowing certain aliens already in the United States to apply for immigrant status. Aliens admitted to the United States in a nonimmigrant, refugee, or parolee category may have their status changed to that of lawful permanent resident if they are eligible to receive an immigrant visa and one is immediately available.
1 : the act or process of admitting [ into evidence]
2 a : a party's acknowledgment that a fact or statement is true NOTE: In civil cases admissions are often agreed to and offered in writing to the court before trial as a method of reducing the number of issues to be proven at trial.
b : a party's prior out-of-court statement or action that is inconsistent with his or her position at trial and that tends to establish guilt compare confession declaration against interest at declaration NOTE: Under the Federal Rules of Evidence an admission is not hearsay. Silence can sometimes be construed as an admission where a person would reasonably be expected to speak up.
An unmarried child under age 21, who was adopted while under the age of sixteen, and who has been in legal custody and lived with the adopting parent(s) for at least two years. These rules do not apply to orphans adopted by American Citizens. The adoption decree must give the child all the rights of a natural born child.
Permission to return to the United States after travel abroad granted by DHS prior to leaving the U.S. The following categories of people may need advance parole
: a nonbinding opinion or evaluation of a court or other judicial or quasi-judicial authority or body regarding the effect of the law on a situation that does not present an actual controversy between parties [to answer questions which were not brought before this Court would be to issue an advisory opinion "JBC of Wyoming Corp. v. City of Cheyenne , 843 P.2d 1190 (1992)"] NOTE: Advisory opinions are issued esp. by administrative agencies and by some state courts. Federal courts are constrained by the U.S. Constitution to deciding only cases or controversies and cannot issue advisory opinions.
Affidavit Of Support
A document promising that the person who completes it will support an applicant financially in the United States. Family and certain employment immigration cases require the I-864 Affidavit of Support, which is legally binding.All other cases use the I-134 Affidavit of Support. Go to I-864 General Information & Frequently Asked Questions to learn more.
Associated or controlled by the same owner or authority.
1 : someone or something that acts or exerts power
: a moving force in achieving some result
2 : a person guided or instigated by another in some action [where the heads of departments are the political…s of the executive, merely to execute the will of the president "Marbury v. Madison , 5 U.S. 137 (1803)"] see also innocent agent
3 a : a person or entity (as an employee or independent contractor) authorized to act on behalf of and under the control of another in dealing with third parties see also agency , fiduciary relationship , subagent compare fiduciary , principal , servant
: an agent acting under an agency by estoppel
: a labor union that represents the employees in a bargaining unit in negotiating with their employer through collective bargaining
: an agent that handles business affairs for another person or organization
: a paid official of a union who carries on union business between the employees and the employer
collective bargaining agent
: bargaining agent in this entry
del cre·de·re agent
: an agent that guarantees to his or her principal that third parties involved in the transaction will pay or perform
: an agent acting under an exclusive agency
: an agent acting under a general agency
: an agent (as for an interest group) that lobbies a legislature esp. professionally
: an agent or employee of a corporation or other business entity who has a position that involves the use of judgment and discretion and who is considered under the law as capable of accepting service of process and answering questions under cross-examination on behalf of the business entity
: an agent acting under an agency by estoppel
: an agent authorized to do one or more specific acts under particular instructions or within restrictions implied by the nature of the authorized acts
: an agent acting under a special agency compare general agent in this entry
: an officer, bank, or trust company that acts on behalf of a publicly held corporation in handling the transfer of stock and other securities and keeping records of the owners
: an agent acting under a general agency
b : a representative of a corporation designated to accept service of process on behalf of the corporation usually as required by statute
c : a person or organization that finds buyers or tenants for real estate owners usually for a commission
d : an independent sales or service representative of an insurance company compare broker
4 a : a representative, emissary, or official of a government [a diplomatic ]
b : an employee of a government agency usually that is involved in law enforcement [seized by DEA s ]
As a nonimmigrant class of admission, an alien coming temporarily to the United States to perform agricultural labor or services, as defined by the Secretary of Labor.
[Latin alienus not one's own, foreign] : relating, belonging, or owing allegiance to another country or government
Immigrant visas are issued to Amerasians under a law which provides for the admission of aliens born in Vietnam after January 1, 1962, and before January 1, 1976, if the alien was fathered by a U.S. citizen. Spouses, children, and parents or guardians may accompany the alien.
The law provides for the immigration to the United States of certain Amerasian children. In order to qualify for benefits under this law, an alien must have been born in Cambodia, Korea, Laos, Thailand, or Vietnam after December 31, 1950, and before October 22, 1982, and have been fathered by a U.S. citizen.
Affidavit of Support, Form I-864. A document promising that the person who completes it will support an applicant financially in the United States. Family and certain employment immigration cases require the I-864 Affidavit of Support, which is legally binding. All other cases use the I-134 Affidavit of Support. Go to I-864 General Information & Frequently Asked Questions to learn more.
A foreign citizen who is applying for a nonimmigrant or immigrant U.S. visa. The visa applicant may also be referred as a beneficiary for petition based visas
The letter and documents that tell an applicant of the date of the immigrant visa interview. It includes forms that the applicant must complete before the interview and instructions for how to get everything ready for the interview.
A U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) immigration form, Notice of Action Form I-797, that says that USCIS has approved a petition, or request for extension of stay or change of status.
Also known as Form I-94, Arrival-departure Record. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection official at the port-of-entry gives foreign visitors (all non-U.S. citizens) an Arrival-departure Record, (a small white card) when they enter the United States. Recorded on this card is the immigrant classification and the authorized period of stay in the U.S. This is either recorded as a date or the entry of D/S, meaning duration of status. It is important to keep this card safe because it shows the length of time you are permitted and authorized by the Department of Homeland Security to stay in the U.S. It is best kept stapled with your passport, kept in a safe place. The visitors return the I-94 card when they leave the country. The I-94W, Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival-departure Record (green card) is for travelers on the Visa Waiver Program. Go to the FAQs on the I-94 Form & the I-95 Form to learn more.
A person who cannot return to his home country because of a well-founded fear of persecution. An application for asylum is made in the United States to the DHS. Go to the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Asylum page to learn more.
: protection from arrest and extradition given esp. to political refugees by a nation or by an embassy or other agency that has diplomatic immunity
Aliens on whose behalf a U.S. citizen, legal permanent resident, or employer have filed a petition for such aliens to receive immigration benefits from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Beneficiaries generally receive a lawful status as a result of their relationship to a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, or U.S. employer.
: a person or entity (as a charity or estate) that receives a benefit from something: as
a : the person or entity named or otherwise entitled to receive the principal or income or both from a trust compare settlor , trustee
: a beneficiary that may receive proceeds from a trust depending on the occurrence of a specified event (as the death of another beneficiary)
: a beneficiary that according to the provisions of a trust is to receive income but not the principal of the trust NOTE: A trust may provide for income to be paid to someone (as a spouse) for his or her lifetime and then for payment of the principal to another person. A trustee is sometimes allowed to distribute some of the principal of the trust to an income beneficiary when necessary for the support of the beneficiary if support of the beneficiary was the purpose of the trust.
b : the person or entity named by the insured of a life insurance policy to receive the proceeds upon the insured's death
: a beneficiary named to receive the insurance proceeds if the primary beneficiary has died called also secondary beneficiary
: a beneficiary named to receive the insurance proceeds before any other
: contingent beneficiary in this entry
c : a person or entity entitled under a letter of credit to demand payment from the issuer of the letter
d : a person or entity that benefits from a promise, agreement, or contract
: third-party beneficiary in this entry [the contractual beneficiaries …are mortgagees and investors "Key Pac. Mortg. Inc. v. Industrial Indem. Co. , 845 P.2d 1087 (1993)"]
: a direct beneficiary whom the party paying for the other party's performance intends to benefit as payment for a debt or obligation compare donee beneficiary in this entry
: a third-party beneficiary to a contract whom the parties to the contract intended to benefit compare incidental beneficiary in this entry
: a direct beneficiary whom the party paying for the other party's performance intends to benefit as a gift or donation
: a third-party beneficiary to a contract whom the parties to the contract did not intend to benefit compare direct beneficiary in this entry
: a person or entity that is not a party to but has rights under a contract made by two other parties
Biologically unique information used to identify individuals. This information can be used to verify identity or check against other entries in the database. The best known biometric is the fingerprint, but others include facial recognition and iris scans. Go to the U.S. Department of State Biometrics page to learn more.
An alien resident of the United States reentering the country after an absence of less than six months in Canada or Mexico, or a nonresident alien entering the United States across the Canadian border for stays of no more than six months or across the Mexican border for stays of no more than 72 hours.
An alien coming temporarily to the United States to engage in commercial transactions which do not involve gainful employment in the United States, i.e., engaged in international commerce on behalf of a foreign firm, not employed in the U.S. labor market, and receives no salary from U.S. sources.
Cancellation Of Removal
A discretionary benefit adjusting an alien's status from that of deportable alien to one lawfully admitted for permanent residence. Application for cancellation of removal is made during the course of a hearing before an immigration judge.
Cancelled Without Prejudice
A stamp an embassy or consulate puts on a visa when there is a mistake in the visa or the visa is a duplicate visa (two of the same kind). It does not affect the validity of other visas in the passport. It does not mean that the passport holder will not get another visa.
The National Visa Center (NVC) gives each immigrant petition a case number. This number has three letters followed by ten digits (numbers). The three letters are an abbreviation for the overseas embassy or consulate that will process the immigrant visa case (for example, GUZ for Guangzhou, CDJ for Ciudad Juarez). The digits tell us exactly when NVC created the case. For example a case with the number MNL2001747003 would be a case assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Manila. 2001 is the year in which NVC received the case from the USCIS (formerly INS). The Julian date is 747 plus 500, so this case was created on September 4, 2001, the 247th day of the year. The 003 shows that it was the third case created for Manila on that day. This case number is not the same as the USCIS receipt number, which is written on the Notice of Action, Form I-797, from the USCIS. A consular section abroad cannot find a case if all you have is the USCIS receipt number.
Certificate Of Citizenship
A document issued by the Department of Homeland Security as proof that the person is a U.S. citizen by birth (when born abroad) or derivation (not from naturalization). The Child Citizenship Act of 2001 gives American citizenship automatically to certain foreign-born children of American citizens. These children can apply for certificates of citizenship.
Certificate Of Naturalization
A document issued by the Department of Homeland Security as proof that the person has become a U.S. citizen (naturalized) after immigration to the United States.
Changing from one nonimmigrant visa status to another nonimmigrant visa status while a person is in the U.S. is permitted for some types of visas, if approved by USCIS. Requests for change of status must be made by the visa holder to the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Go to How do I extend my stay? to learn more. USCIS determines whether the request is approved or denied.
1 : a son or daughter of any age and usually including one formally adopted compare issue NOTE: The word child as used in a statute or will is often held to include a stepchild, an illegitimate child, a person for whom one stands in loco parentis, or sometimes a more remote descendant, such as a grandchild. In interpreting the word child as used in a will, the court will try to effectuate the intent of the person who made the will as it can be determined from the language of the will.
2 : a person below an age specified by law
: infant minor [assault on a under 16 years of age] compare adult NOTE: A person who is below the statutory age but is married will usually be considered an adult.
[Anglo-French citezein , alteration of Old French citeien , from cité city]
1 : a native or naturalized individual who owes allegiance to a government (as of a state or nation) and is entitled to the enjoyment of governmental protection and to the exercise of civil rights see also Scott v. Sandford in the Important Cases section amendment xiv to the Constitution in the back matter compare resident NOTE: Under the Fourteenth Amendment, “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.” A person born outside of the U.S. to parents who were born or naturalized in the U.S. is also a citizen of the U.S. A corporation is not considered a citizen for purposes of the privileges and immunities clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. A corporation is, however, deemed a citizen of the state in which it is incorporated or has its principal place of business for purposes of diversity jurisdiction.
2 : a resident of a town or state who is also a U.S. native or was naturalized in the U.S.
A medically trained, licensed and experienced doctor practicing in the U.S. who is certified by USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service). These medical professionals receive U.S. immigration
: to live together as a married couple or in the manner of a married couple co·hab·i·ta·tion [ko-ha-b?-ta-sh?n] n
: a marriage that is without a ceremony and is based on the parties' agreement to consider themselves married and usually also on their cohabitation for a period and their public recognition of the marriage compare concubinage NOTE: Most jurisdictions no longer allow this type of marriage to be formed, although they may recognize such marriages formed prior to a certain date or formed in a jurisdiction that does permit common-law marriages.
Conditional Residence Visa
If you have been married for less than two years when your husband or wife (spouse) gets lawful permanent resident status (gets a green card), then your spouse gets residence on a conditional basis. After two years you and your spouse must apply together to the Department of Homeland Security to remove the condition to the residence. The investor visa (EB5 or T5/C5) is also a conditional residence. It requires an application procedure after two years to remove the condition on the permanent residence.
Any alien granted permanent resident status on a conditional basis (e.g., a spouse of a U.S. citizen; an immigrant investor), who is required to petition for the removal of the set conditions before the second anniversary of the approval of his or her conditional status.
Country Of (Last) Residence
The country in which an alien habitually resided prior to entering the United States.
Country Of Birth
The country in which a person is born.
Country Of Chargeability
The independent country to which an immigrant entering under the preference system is accredited for purposes of numerical limitations.
Country Of Citizenship
The country in which a person is born (and has not renounced or lost citizenship) or naturalized and to which that person owes allegiance and by which he or she is entitled to be protected.
Country Of Former Allegiance
The previous country of citizenship of a naturalized U.S. citizen or of a person who derived U.S. citizenship.
Country Of Nationality
The country of a person's citizenship or country in which the person is deemed a national.
A foreign national serving in a capacity required for normal operations and service on board a vessel or aircraft. Crewmen are admitted for twenty
The date that determines whether a preference immigrant visa applicant can be scheduled for an immigrant visa interview in any given month. The cut-off date is the priority date of the first applicant who could not get a visa interview for a given month. Applicants with a priority date before or earlier than the cut-off date can be scheduled. However, if your priority date is later (comes after) the cut-off date, you will need to wait longer, until your priority date is reached (becomes current). To find out whether a preference case is current, see the Visa Bulletin or telephone (202) 663-1541.
Department Of Homeland Security (Dhs)
DHS is comprised of three main organizations responsible for immigration policies, procedures, implementation and enforcement of U.S. laws, and more. These DHS organizations include U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Together they provide the basic governmental framework for regulating the flow of visitors, workers and immigrants to the United States. USCIS is responsible for the approval of all immigrant and nonimmigrant petitions, the authorization of permission to work in the U.S., the issuance of extensions of stay, change or adjustment of an applicant's status while the applicant is in the U.S, and more. CBP is responsible for admission of all travelers seeking entry into the U.S., and determining the length of authorized stay, if the traveler is admitted. Once in the United States the traveler falls under the jurisdiction of DHS. Visit the DHS site for more information.
Department Of Labor
A cabinet level unit/ministry of United States Government that has responsibility for labor issues. It has responsibility for deciding whether certain foreign workers can work in the United States.
departure Under Safeguards
The departure of an illegal alien from the United States which is physically observed by a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official.
An alien in and admitted to the United States subject to any grounds of removal specified in the Immigration and Nationality Act. This includes any alien illegally in the United States, regardless of whether the alien entered the country by fraud or misrepresentation or entered legally but subsequently violated the terms of his or her nonimmigrant classification or status.
: an act or instance of deporting ;specif : the removal from a country of an alien whose presence is illegal or detrimental to the public welfare compare exclusion
Citizenship conveyed to children through the naturalization of parents or, under certain circumstances, to foreign
Getting a status (visa) through another applicant, as provided under immigration law for certain visa categories. For example, the spouse and children of an exchange visitor (J Visa holder), would be granted derivative status as a J-2 Visa holder. Derivative status is only possible if the principal applicant is issued a visa.
: diversity of citizenship
Diversity Visa Program
The Department of State has an annual lottery for immigration to the United States. Up to 55,000 immigrants can enter the United States each year from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. See the U.S. Department of State program information.
Refers to an immigrant visa applicant who has: 1) returned Form DS 2001 (from the Instruction Package) to visa-issuing post (or in some cases, to the National Visa Center), OR 2) informed post in another way that he/she has all the documents for his/her immigrant visa application, and the post has completed its clearance procedures.
[Latin domicilium dwelling place, home]
1 : the place where an individual has a fixed and permanent home for legal purposes called also legal residence
2 : the place where an organization (as a corporation) is chartered or that is the organization's principal place of business compare citizenship , residence NOTE: The domicile of an individual or organization determines the proper jurisdiction and venue for legal process. The courts of a person's domicile have personal jurisdiction. For persons lacking capacity (as minors), domicile is often statutorily determined as the domicile of the guardian.
: to establish in or provide with a domicile [an alien admitted to the United States for permanent residence shall be deemed a citizen of the State in which such alien is domiciled "U.S. Code "] [any state in which a corporation is domiciled "L. H. Tribe"]
Duration Of Status
In certain visa categories such as diplomats, students and exchange visitors, the alien may be admitted into the U.S. for as long as the person is still doing the activity for which the visa was issued, rather than being admitted until a specific departure dates. This is called admission for "duration of status". For students, the time during which a student is in a full course of study plus any authorized practical training, and following that, authorized time to depart the country, is duration of status. The length of time depends upon the course of study. For an undergraduate degree this is commonly four years (eight semesters). Normally the immigration officer gives a student permission to stay in the U.S. for "duration of status." Duration of Status (or D/S) is recorded on Form I-94, Arrival-departure Record. The Department of Homeland Security U.S immigration inspector at port-of-entry gives foreign visitors (all non-U.S citizens) an Arrival-departure Record, (a small white card) when they enter the United States. Recorded on this card is the visa classification and the authorized period of stay in the U.S. This is either recorded as a date or the entry or D/S, meaning duration of status. The I-94 is a very important card to make sure you keep, because it shows the length of time you are permitted and authorized by the Department of Homeland Security to stay in the U.S.
See Diversity Visa.
A foreign citizen coming to the United States to participate in a particular program in education, training, research, or other authorized exchange visitor program. See the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Exchange Visitor Program and the U.S. Department of State Exchange Visitor (J) Visas for more information.
1 : the act of excluding or state of being excluded
: refusal of entry into the U.S. by immigration officials [review of deportation and orders] compare deportation
2 : something that excludes or is excluded: as
a : a part of an insurance contract that excludes specified risks from coverage compare condition , declaration
b : an amount that is excluded from tax liability [a $10,000 annual per donee for gifts "W. M. McGovern, Jr. et al. "] compare credit , deduction , exemption
Family First Preference
A category of family immigration (F1) for unmarried sons and daughters of American citizens, and their children.
Family Fourth Preference
A category of family immigration (F4) for brothers and sisters of American citizens and their spouses and children. The American citizen must be 21 years of age or older before he/she can file the petition. Before 1992 this was known as Fifth Preference (P-5).
Family Second Preference
A category of family immigration (F2) for spouses, children and unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents.
Family Third Preference
A category of family immigration (F3) for married sons and daughters of American citizens and their spouses and children. Before 1992 this was known as Fourth Preference (P-4).
Federal Poverty Guidelines
See Poverty Guidelines. The Department of Health and Human Services publishes a list every year giving the lowest income acceptable for a family of a particular size so that the family does not live in poverty. Consular officers use these figures in immigrant visa cases to determine whether a sponsor's income is sufficient to support a new immigrant, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Poverty Guidelines page for more information.
A person who plans or is contracted to marry another person. The foreign fiance(e) of an American citizen may enter the United States on a K-1 visa to marry the American citizen. Visit the U.S. Department of State Spouse and Fiance(e) of an American Citizen page to learn more.
Fiance(E)S Of U.S. Citizen
A nonimmigrant alien coming to the United States to conclude a valid marriage with a U.S. citizen within ninety days after entry.
A category of family immigration (F1) for unmarried sons and daughters of American citizens and their children.
Following To Join
A type of derivative visa status when the family member gets a visa after the principal applicant.
Foreign Affairs Manual (9 Fam)
Foreign Affairs Manual 9, Chapter 41 relates to nonimmigrant visas. Chapter 42 covers immigrant visas. Chapter 40 relates to visa ineligibilities and waivers. Go to the U.S. Department of State site to review 9 FAM Visas.
Foreign Government Official
As a nonimmigrant class of admission, an alien coming temporarily to the United States who has been accredited by a foreign government to function as an ambassador, public minister, career diplomatic or consular officer, other accredited official, or an attendant, servant or personal employee of an accredited official, and all above aliens' spouses and unmarried minor (or dependent) children.
Foreign Information Media Representative
As a nonimmigrant class of admission, an alien coming temporarily to the United States as a bona fide representative of foreign press, radio, film, or other foreign information media and the alien's spouse and unmarried minor (or dependent) children.
A category of family immigration (F4) for brothers and sisters of American citizens and their spouses and children. The American citizen must be 21 years of age or older before he/she can file a petition. Before 1992 this was known as Fifth Preference (P-5).
Full And Final Adoption
A legal adoption in which the child receives all the rights of a natural born, legitimate child.
General Naturalization Provisions
The basic requirements for naturalization that every applicant must meet, unless a member of a special class. General provisions require an applicant to be at least 18 years of age and a lawful permanent resident with five years of continuous residence in the United States, have been physically present in the country for half that period, and establish good moral character for at least that period.
[from the fact that it was formerly colored green] : an identity card attesting the permanent resident status of an alien in the U.S.
Persons from countries that do not have an American Embassy or Consulate where they can apply for immigrant visas are "homeless." For example, the United States Government does not have an embassy in Iran. Residents of Iran are "homeless" for visa purposes.
The income used to determine whether a sponsor meets the minimum income requirements under Section 213A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) for some immigrant visa cases.
I-551 (Green Card)
Permanent residence card or alien registration receipt card or "green card." See Lawful Permanent Resident.
Spouse, widow(er) and unmarried children under the age of 21 of an American citizen. A parent is an immediate relative if the American citizen is 21 years of age or older. There are no numerical limits to immigration of immediate relatives.
Certain immigrants who because of their close relationship to U.S. citizens are exempt from the numerical limitations imposed on immigration to the United States. Immediate relatives are: spouses of citizens, children (under 21 years of age and unmarried) of citizens, and parents of citizens 21 years of age or older.
See Permanent Resident Alien.
A visa for a person who plans to live indefinitely and permanently in the United States.
Immigration Act Of 1990
Public Law 101-649 (Act of November 29, 1990), which increased the limits on legal immigration to the United States, revised all grounds for exclusion and deportation, authorized temporary protected status to aliens of designated countries, revised and established new nonimmigrant admission categories, revised and extended the Visa Waiver Pilot Program, and revised naturalization authority and requirements.
Immigration And Nationality Act
The Act (INA), which, along with other immigration laws, treaties, and conventions of the United States, relates to the immigration, temporary admission, naturalization, and removal of aliens.
Immigration And Nationality Act (Ina)
American immigration law. The Immigration and Nationality Act, or INA, was created in 1952, Public Law No. 82-414. The INA has been amended many times over the years, but is still the basic body of immigration law. See INA for additional information.
Immigration And Naturalization Service (Ins)
A branch of the Department of Justice that formerly existed and had responsibility for immigration and naturalization. INS was renamed and became part of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on March 1, 2003. To learn more, go to the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) site.
An attorney appointed by the Attorney General to act as an administrative judge within the Executive Office for Immigration Review. They are qualified to conduct specified classes of proceedings, including removal proceedings.
Immigration Marriage Fraud Amendments Of 1986
Public Law 99-639 (Act of 11/10/86), which was passed in order to deter immigration-related marriage fraud. Its major provision stipulates that aliens deriving their immigrant status based on a marriage of less than two years are conditional immigrants. To remove their conditional status the immigrants must apply at an U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office during the 90-day period before their second-year anniversary of receiving conditional status. If the aliens cannot show that the marriage through which the status was obtained was and is a valid one, their conditional immigrant status may be terminated and they may become deportable.
Immigration Reform And Control Act (Irca) Of 1986
Public Law 99-603 (Act of 11/6/86), which was passed in order to control and deter illegal immigration to the United States. Its major provisions stipulate legalization of undocumented aliens who had been continuously unlawfully present since 1982, legalization of certain agricultural workers, sanctions for employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers, and increased enforcement at U.S. borders.
It's important to understand the concept of immigration status and the consequences of violating that status. Being aware of the requirements and possible consequences will make it more likely that you can avoid problems with maintaining your status. Every visa is issued for a particular purpose and for a specific class of visitor. Each visa classification has a set of requirements that the visa holder must follow and maintain. Those who follow the requirements maintain their status and ensure their ability to remain in the United States. Those who do not follow the requirements violate their status and are considered "out of status." For more information see "Out of Status" below. In Status means you are in compliance with the requirements of your visa type under immigration law. For example, you are a foreign student who entered the United States on a student visa. If you are a full time student and pursuing your course of study, and are not engaged in unauthorized employment, you are "in status." If you work full time in your uncle's convenience store and do not study, you are "out of status." See the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Extension of Stay and Change of Status.
See Immigration and Nationality Act.
: not admissible [ evidence] [ testimony] in·ad·mis·si·bil·i·ty [-mi-s?-bi-l?-te] n in·ad·mis·si·bly adv
See Temporary Worker.
As a nonimmigrant class of admission, an alien coming temporarily to the United States as a principal or other accredited representative of a foreign government (whether officially recognized or not recognized by the United States) to an international organization, an international organization officer or employee, and all above aliens' spouses and unmarried minor (or dependent) children.
An alien, employed for at least one continuous year out of the last three by an international firm or corporation, who seeks to enter the United States temporarily in order to continue to work for the same employer, or a subsidiary or affiliate, in a capacity that is primarily managerial, executive, or involves specialized knowledge, and the alien's spouse and minor unmarried children.
See Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.
A person who accepts legal responsibility for supporting an immigrant with an I-864 Affidavit of Support along with the sponsor. The joint sponsor must be at least 18 years of age, an American citizen or lawful permanent resident and have a domicile in the United States. The joint sponsor and his/her household must have the 125 percent income requirement by itself for the immigrant that he/she sponsors.
Kentucky Consular Center (Kcc)
A U.S. Department of State facility located in Williamsburg, Kentucky. It gives domestic (U.S.) support to the worldwide operations of the Bureau of Consular Affairs Visa Office. It manages the Diversity Visa (DV) Program.
The initial stage of the process by which certain foreign workers get permission to work in the United States. The employer is responsible for getting the labor certification from the Department of Labor. In general the process works to make sure that the work of foreign workers in the U.S. will not adversely affect job opportunities, wages and working conditions of U.S. workers.
Labor Condition Application (Lca)
A request to the Department of Labor for a foreign worker to work in the United States.
Lawful Permanent Resident (Lpr)
A person who has immigrated legally but is not an American citizen. This person has been admitted to the U.S. as an immigrant and has a Permanent Resident Card, Form I-551 also known as green card. It is a wallet-sized card showing that the person is a lawful permanent resident (immigrant) in the United States. This person is also called a legal permanent resident, a green card holder, a permanent resident alien, a legal permanent resident alien (LPRA) and resident alien permit holder.
Lawful Permanent Resident Alien (Lpra)
Lawful permanent resident.
A person who works in a religious organization but is not a member of the formal clergy.
See Local Educational Agency.
Most countries have legal procedures for natural fathers of children born out of wedlock to acknowledge their children. A legitimated child from any country has two legal parents and cannot qualify as an orphan unless: 1. only one of the parents is living, or 2. both of the parents have abandoned the child
The legal process which a natural father can use to acknowledge legally his children who were born out of wedlock (outside of marriage). A legitimated child can be a "child" under immigration law under these conditions: * the legitimation took place according to the law of the child's residence or the father's residence; * the father proved (established) that he is the child's natural father; * the child was under the age of 18; and * the child was in the legal custody of the father who legitimated the child when the legal process of legitimation took place.
Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act and amendments. This act of Congress allows foreign spouses of American citizens, the children of those foreign spouses, and spouses and children of certain lawful permanent residents (LPR) to come to the United States to complete the processing for their permanent residence. This Act became effective on December 21, 2000.
Local Educational Agency
School or school district. Also called LEA. This term is used for deciding tuition charges for secondary school students in F-1 visa status.
To stay in the United States longer than the period of time which Department of Homeland Security (DHS) gave to a person when he/she entered the United States, or to fail to meet the requirements or violate the terms of the visa classification. The person becomes "out of status." For example, you entered the U.S. on a student visa to study at a university. You work at your uncle's convenience store without authorization, and do not study. You have lost status. You are out of status.
See Diversity Visa Program.
Lpr Or Lpra
See Lawful Permanent Resident.
Machine Readable Passport (Mrp)
A passport which has biographic information entered on the data page according to international specifications. A machine readable passport is required to travel with a visa on the Visa Waiver Program. See the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) to learn more about the requirements.
Machine Readable Visa (Mrv)
A visa that contains biometric information about the passport holder. A visa that immigration officers read with special machines when the applicants enter the United States. It gives biographic information about the passport holder and tells the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) information on the type of visa. It is also called MRV.
To follow the requirements of the visa status and comply with any limitations on duration of stay.
A medical waiver permits an immigration applicant to be allowed into, or remain in the United States despite having a health condition identified as grounds of inadmissibility. Terms and conditions can be applied to a medical waiver on a case by case basis.
A person who leaves his/her country of origin to seek residence in another country.
Work performed for a religious organization to spread the faith (religion) and advance the principles and doctrines of the religion. Such work may include religious instruction, help for the elderly and needy and proselytizing.
See Machine Readable Visa.
Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act.
North American Free-Trade Agreement.
A person owing permanent allegiance to a state.
National Interest Waiver
This is for physicians and doctors who work in an area without adequate health care workers or who work in Veterans Affairs' facilities. These physicians and doctors can file immigrant visa petitions for themselves without first applying for a labor certification.
National Visa Center (Nvc)
A Department of State facility located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It supports the worldwide operations of the Bureau of Consular Affairs Visa Office. The NVC processes immigrant visa petitions from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for people who will apply for their immigrant visas at embassies and consulates abroad. It also collects fees associated with immigrant visa processing. Go to the NVC site for more information.
A person born in a particular country is a native of that country.
As a nonimmigrant class of admission, an alien coming temporarily to the United States as a member of the armed forces or as a civilian employed by the armed forces on assignment with a foreign government signatory to NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), and the alien's spouse and unmarried minor (or dependent) children.
To grant citizenship to a foreign-born person under statutory authority.
The form used by a lawful permanent resident to apply for U.S. citizenship. The application is filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the Service Center with jurisdiction over the applicant's place of residence.
An alien who seeks temporary entry to the United States for a specific purpose. The alien must have a permanent residence abroad (for most classes of admission) and qualify for the nonimmigrant classification sought. The nonimmigrant classifications include: foreign government officials, visitors for business and for pleasure, aliens in transit through the United States, treaty traders and investors, students, international representatives, temporary workers and trainees, representatives of foreign information media, exchange visitors, fiance(e)s of U.S. citizens, intracompany transferees, NATO officials, religious workers, and some others. Most nonimmigrants can be accompanied or joined by spouses and unmarried minor (or dependent) children.
Nonimmigrant Visa (Niv)
A U.S. visa allows the bearer, a foreign citizen, to apply to enter the United States temporarily for a specific purpose. Examples of persons who may receive nonimmigrant visas are tourists, student, diplomats and temporary workers. For more information, see Visa.
Notice Of Action
A Department of Homeland Security, U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) immigration form, Notice of Action, Form I-797 that says that USCIS has received a petition you submitted, taken action, approved a petition or denied a petition.
Numerical Limit, Exempt From
Those aliens accorded lawful permanent residence who are exempt from the provisions of the flexible numerical limit of 675,000 set by the Immigration Act of 1990. Exempt categories include immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, refugees, asylees (limited to 10,000 per year), Amerasians, aliens adjusted under the legalization provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, and certain parolees from the former Soviet Union and Indochina.
See National Visa Center.
For an alien entering the United States or adjusting without a labor certification, occupation refers to the employment held in the country of last legal residence or in the United States. For an alien with a labor certification, occupation is the employment for which certification has been issued.
: a child deprived by death of one or usually both parents ;broadly : a child without a parent or guardian
Out Of Status
A U.S. visa allows the bearer to apply for entry to the U.S. in a certain classification, for a specific purpose. For example, student (F), visitor (B), temporary worker (H). Every visa is issued for a particular purpose and for a specific class of visitor. Each visa classification has a set of requirements that the visa holder must follow and maintain. When you arrive in the U.S., a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspector determines whether you will be admitted, length of stay and conditions of stay in, the U.S. When admitted you are given a Form I-94 (Arrival/departure Record), which tells you when you must leave the U.S. The date granted on the I-94 card at the airport governs how long you may stay in the U.S. If you do not follow the requirements, you stay longer than that date, or you engage in activities not permitted for your particular type of visa, you violate your status and are considered be "out of status". It is important to understand the concept of immigration status and the consequences of violating that status. Failure to maintain status can result in arrest, and violators may be required to leave the U.S. Violation of status also can affect the prospect of readmission to the U.S. for a period of time, by making you ineligible for a visa. Most people who violate the terms of their status are barred from lawfully returning to the United States for years. See the U.S. Department of State Visa Expiration Date page for more information.
Out Of Wedlock (Born Out Of Wedlock)
A child born of parents who were not legally married to each other at that time.
An "Overstay" occurs when a visitor stays longer than permitted as shown on his/her Arrival/departure (I-94) card. A violation of the CBP defined length of admission may make you ineligible for a visa in the future. See Out of Status.
Embassies and consulates which issue immigrant visas have selected certain doctors to do the medical examinations for immigrant visa applicants.
: a prisoner released on parole
The maximum number of family-sponsored and employment-based preference visas that can be issued to citizens of any country in a fiscal year. The limits are calculated each fiscal year depending on the total number of family-sponsored and employment-based visas available.
Any person not a citizen of the United States who is residing in the U.S. under legally recognized and lawfully recorded permanent residence as an immigrant. Also known as "Permanent Resident Alien," "Lawful Permanent Resident," "Resident Alien Permit Holder," and "Green Card Holder."
Permanent Resident Alien
an alien admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident. Permanent residents are also commonly referred to as immigrants. Lawful permanent residents are legally accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the United States. They may be issued immigrant visas by the Department of State overseas or adjusted to permanent resident status by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the United States.
The place where a person is actually, physically located.
: the offense of having several and specif. more than two spouses at one time compare bigamy po·lyg·a·mous [-m?s] adj
Port Of Entry
Place (often an airport) where a person requests admission to the U.S. by the Customs and Border Protection officer.
: to put up (as bond) [ bail]
The Department of Health and Human Services publishes a list every year giving the lowest income acceptable for a family of a particular size so that the family does not live in poverty. Consular officers use these figures in immigrant visa cases to determine whether a sponsor's income is sufficient to support a new immigrant, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Go to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Poverty Guidelines to learn more.
Complete immigration inspection of airport passengers before departure from a foreign country. No further immigration inspection is required upon arrival in the United States other than submission of Form I-94 for nonimmigrant aliens.
A system for determining which and when people can immigrate to the United States within the limits of immigration set by Congress. In family immigration preference is based on the status of the petitioner (American citizen or lawful permanent resident) and his/her relationship to the applicant. In employment immigration it is based on the qualifications of the applicant and labor needs in the United States.
The nine categories since fiscal year 1992 among which the family-sponsored and employment-based immigrant preference visas are distributed. The family-sponsored preferences are: 1) unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens; 2) spouses, children, and unmarried sons and daughters of permanent resident aliens; 3) married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens; 4) brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens. The employment-based preferences are: 1) priority workers (persons of extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and certain multinational executives and managers); 2) professionals with advanced degrees or aliens with exceptional ability; 3) skilled workers, professionals (without advanced degrees), and needed unskilled workers; 4) special immigrants; and 5) employment creation immigrants (investors).
The alien who applies for immigrant status and from whom another alien may derive lawful status under immigration law or regulations (usually spouses and minor unmarried children).
The person named in the petition. For example, an American citizen may file a petition for his married daughter to immigrate to the United States. His daughter will be the principal applicant, and her family members will get visas from her position. They will get derivative status. Or a company may file a petition for a worker. The worker is the principal applicant. Family members get derivative status.
The priority date decides a person's turn to apply for an immigrant visa. In family immigration the priority date is the date when the petition was filed at a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office or submitted to an Embassy or Consulate abroad. In employment immigration the priority date may be the date the labor certification application was received by the Department of Labor (DOL).
Refers to becoming dependent upon the government for the expenses of living (food, shelter, clothing, etc.). Following U.S. immigration law, an applicant is ineligible for a visa if he/she will be a public charge.
The date which the Visa Office of the Department of State uses the qualifying date to determine when to send the Instruction Package to an immigrant visa applicant. The Instruction Package tells the applicant what documents need to be prepared for the immigrant visa application.
Rank Order Number
The number that Kentucky Consular Center gives to the entries of DV Program (lottery) as the computer selects them. The first entries chosen have the lowest numbers. The Visa Office of the Department of State gives winning entries a chance to apply for immigration according to their rank order number for their region.
A travel document that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issues to lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who want to stay outside of the U.S. for more than one year and less than two years. LPRs who cannot get a passport from their country of nationality can also apply for a re-entry permit. You can put visas for foreign countries in a re-entry permit.
A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) form, Notice of Action I-797, which says that the DHS has received a petition.
: an individual seeking refuge or asylum
: an individual who has left his or her native country and is unwilling or unable to return to it because of persecution or fear of persecution (as because of race, religion, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion)
The number of refugees approved for admission to the United States during a fiscal year.
The number of refugees admitted to the United States through ports of entry during a fiscal year.
Refugee Authorized Admissions
The maximum number of refugees allowed to enter the United States in a given fiscal year.
Aliens who have continuously resided in the United States since January 1, 1972, are of good moral character, and are not inadmissible, are eligible to adjust to legal permanent resident status under the registry provision. Before the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 amended the date, aliens had to have been in the country continuously since June 30, 1948, to qualify.
: the act or process of removing : the fact of being removed
See Voluntary departure.
Permanent relocation of refugees in a place outside their country of origin to allow them to establish residence and become productive members of society there. Refugee resettlement is accomplished with the direct assistance of private voluntary agencies working with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement.
Applies to non-U.S. citizens currently residing in the United States. The term is applied in three different manners; please see Permanent Resident, Conditional Resident, and Returning Resident
Sometimes a case that is current one month will not be current the next month. This occurs when the annual numerical limit has been reached. This usually happens near the end of a fiscal year (October 1 to September 30 of the next year). When the new fiscal year begins, the Visa Office gets a new supply of visa numbers and usually brings back the cut-off dates to where they were before retrogression.
Any Lawful Permanent Resident who has been outside the United States and is returning to the U.S. Also defined as a "special immigrant." If outside of the U.S. for more than 180 days, must apply for readmission to the U.S. If outside of the U.S. for more than one year and is returning to his or her permanent residence in the United States, usually must have a re-entry documentation from USCIS or an immigrant visa from the Department of State.
Lawful permanent residents who want to return to the United States after staying abroad more than one year or beyond the expiration of their re-entry permits.
Revalidation Or Renewal Of A Visa
Nonimmigrant visa applicants who currently have a visa, and are seeking renewal or revalidation of their visa for future travel to the U.S. must apply abroad, generally in their country of residence. The exception is renewal or revalidations of A, G, and NATO diplomatic and official visas (except A-3, G-5 and NATO-7), which continue to be processed in Washington and at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York. See Visa Renewal to learn more.
Revocation Of A Visa
Cancellation of a visa. The visa is no longer good (valid) for travel to the United States.
Temporary refuge given to migrants who have fled their countries of origin to seek protection or relief from persecution or other hardships, until they can return to their countries safely or, if necessary until they can obtain permanent relief from the conditions they fled.
See Special Agricultural Worker.
Schedule A Occupations
The Department of Labor (DOL) has given the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services authority to approve labor certifications for these occupations. These occupations are physical therapists, professional nurses and people of exceptional ability in the sciences or arts.
A category of family immigration (F2) for spouses, children and unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents.
A section of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) which establishes that sponsors have a legal duty to support immigrants they want to bring (sponsor) to the United States. They must complete Form I-864 Affidavit of Support.
Brother or sister.
Special Agricultural Worker
Farm workers in perishable products who worked for a specified period of time and were able to adjust status to lawful permanent resident according to the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.
A special category of immigrant visas for persons who lost their citizenship by marriage; persons who lost citizenship by serving in foreign armed forces; certain foreign medical school graduates; Panama Canal immigrants; and certain others.
Certain categories of immigrants who were exempt from numerical limitation before fiscal year 1992 and subject to limitation under the employment-based fourth preference beginning in 1992; persons who lost citizenship by marriage; persons who lost citizenship by serving in foreign armed forces; ministers of religion and other religious workers, their spouses and children; certain employees and former employees of the U.S. Government abroad, their spouses and children; Panama Canal Act immigrants; certain foreign medical school graduates, their spouses and children; certain retired employees of international organizations, their spouses and children; juvenile court dependents; and certain aliens serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, their spouses and children.
Special Naturalization Provisions
Provisions covering special classes of persons whom may be naturalized even though they do not meet all the general requirements for naturalization. Such special provisions allow: 1) wives or husbands of U.S. citizens to file for naturalization after three years of lawful permanent residence instead of the prescribed five years; 2) a surviving spouse of a U.S. citizen who served in the armed forces to file his or her naturalization application in any district instead of where he/she resides; and 3) children of U.S. citizen parents to be naturalized without meeting certain requirements or taking the oath, if too young to understand the meaning. Other classes of persons who may qualify for special consideration are former U.S. citizens, servicemen, seamen, and employees of organizations promoting U.S. interests abroad.
1 : a legislator who introduces and supports a legislative proposal (as a bill or amendment)
2 : a person who assumes responsibility for some other person (as an immigrant) or thing
3 a : one that securitizes assets
b : one that promotes, advocates, or favors a business venture (as investment in a security or limited partnership)
An immigrant who has had an affidavit of support filed for him/her.
Legally married husband or wife. A co-habiting partner does not qualify as a spouse for immigration purposes. A common-law husband or wife may or may not qualify as a spouse for immigration purposes, depending on the laws of the country where the relationship occurs.
State Workforce Agency
The agency or bureau in each State that deals with employment and labor issues. For the address of workforce agency in each State go to the U.S. Department of Labor Foreign Labor Certification site.
Having no nationality.
A spouse's child from a previous marriage or other relationship. In order for a stepchild to be able to immigrate as a "child," the marriage creating the stepchild/stepparent relationship must have happened before the stepchild was 18 years of age.
An alien coming to the United States surreptitiously on an airplane or vessel without legal status of admission. Such an alien is subject to denial of formal admission and return to the point of embarkation by the transportation carrier.
As a nonimmigrant class of admission, an alien coming temporarily to the United States to pursue a full course of study in an approved program in either an academic (college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, other institution, or language training program) or a vocational or other recognized nonacademic institution.
Subject To The Numerical Limit
Categories of legal immigrants subject to annual limits under the provisions of the flexible numerical limit of 675,000 set by the Immigration Act of 1990. The largest categories are: family-sponsored preferences; employment-based preferences; and diversity immigrants.
A child's living parent when the child's other parent is dead, and the living parent has not remarried.
See State Workforce Agency.
1 : exempted from taxation ;also : based on such exemption [ status] 2 : providing interest or income that is exempted from taxation [a municipal bond]
Temporary Protected Status (Tps)
Establishes a legislative basis for allowing a group of persons temporary refuge in the United States. Under a provision of the Immigration Act of 1990, the Attorney General may designate nationals of a foreign state to be eligible for TPS with a finding that conditions in that country pose a danger to personal safety due to ongoing armed conflict or an environmental disaster.
A foreign worker who will work in the United States for a limited period of time. Some visas classes for temporary workers are H, L, O, P, Q and R. If you are seeking to come to the U.S. for employment as a temporary worker in the U.S. (H, L, O, P, and Q visas), your prospective employer must file a petition with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), USCIS. This petition must be approved by USCIS before you can apply for a visa. Select temporary workers to visit the USCIS website and learn more. Select temporary worker visas to go to the Department of State website to learn more, and review information about NAFTA workers (TN visa) and treaty traders/investors (E visas).
Termination Of A Case
If the applicant fails to reply to the inquiry correspondence sent by their embassy or consulate, termination of their visa application will begin. The embassy or consulate will first send a Follow-up Letter and Instruction Package to the applicant. If the applicant does not answer within one year, a termination letter is sent. At this point the applicant has one more year to activate the immigrant visa case. If there is no answer in one year, the case is terminated. You can stop termination of a case by notifying the embassy or consulate before the prescribed time period has lapsed, that the applicant does not want the case to be closed (terminated).
Third Country National
Someone who is not an American and not a citizen of the country in which you are applying for a visa. Suppose you are a Kenyan visiting Mexico. If you apply for a visa to visit the United States while you are in Mexico, we will consider you a third country national.
A category of family immigration (F3) for married sons and daughters of American citizens and their spouses and children. Before 1992 this was known as Fourth Preference (P-4).
An alien in immediate and continuous transit through the United States, with or without a visa, including, 1) aliens who qualify as persons entitled to pass in transit to and from the United Nations Headquarters District and foreign countries and 2) foreign government officials and their spouses and unmarried minor (or dependent) children in transit.
Transit Without Visa (Twov)
A transit alien traveling without a nonimmigrant visa. An alien admitted under agreements with a transportation line, which guarantees his immediate and continuous passage to a foreign destination. (See Transit Alien.)
Treaty Trader Or Investor
As a nonimmigrant class of admission, an alien coming to the United States, under the provisions of a treaty of commerce and navigation between the United States and the foreign state of such alien, to carry on substantial trade or to direct the operations of an enterprise in which he/she has invested a substantial amount of capital, and the alien's spouse and unmarried minor children.
Upgrade A Petition
If you naturalize (become an American citizen) you may ask the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to change the petitions you filed for family members when you were a lawful permanent resident (LPR) from one category to another. This is called upgrading. For example, a petition for a spouse will be changed/upgraded from F2 to IR1. That is, the petition changes from a preference category with numerical limits to an immediate relative category without numerical limits. The applicant no longer has to wait for her/his priority date to be reached. Upgrading a petition sometimes has consequences. A preference petition for a spouse permits derivative status for children. An immediate relative petition does not. You, the petitioner, would need to file separate petitions for each of your children.
: an endorsement made on a passport by the proper authorities denoting that it has been examined and that the bearer may proceed
Visa Expiration Date
The visa expiration date is shown on the visa. This means the visa is valid, or can be used from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel for the same purpose, when the visa is issued for multiple entries. This time period from the visa issuance date to visa expiration date as shown on the visa, is called visa validity. If you travel frequently as a tourist for example, with a multiple entry visa, you do not have to apply for a new visa each time you want to travel to the U.S. As an example of travel for the same purpose, if you have a visitor visa, it cannot be used to enter at a later time to study in the U.S. The visa validity is the length of time you are permitted to travel to a port-of-entry in the United States to request permission of the U.S. immigration inspector to permit you to enter the U.S. The visa does not guarantee entry to the U.S. The Expiration Date for the visa should not be confused with the authorized length of your stay in the U.S., given to you by the U.S. immigration inspector at port-of-entry, on the Arrival-departure Record, Form I-94, or I-94W for the Visa Waiver Program. The visa expiration date has nothing to do with the authorized length of your stay in the U.S. for any given visit. There are circumstances which can serve to void or cancel the period of time your visa is valid. If you overstay the end date of your authorized stay, as provided by the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. immigration officer at port of entry, or U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), then this action on your part generally will automatically void or cancel your visa. However, if you have filed an application in a timely manner for extension of stay or a change of status, and that application is pending and not frivolous, and if you did not engage in unauthorized employment, then this normally does not automatically cancel your visa. If you have applied for adjustment of status to become a permanent resident alien ("green card" holder), you should contact USCIS regarding obtaining Advance Parole before leaving the U.S.
Congress establishes the amount of immigration each year. Immigration for immediate relatives is unlimited; however, preference categories are limited. To distribute the visas fairly among all categories of immigration, the Visa Office in the Department of State distributes the visas by providing visa numbers according to preference and priority date.
This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel for the same purpose for visas, when the visa is issued for multiple entries. The visa expiration date is shown on the visa. Depending on the alien's nationality, visas can be issued for any number of entries, from as little as one entry to as many as multiple (unlimited) entries, for the same purpose of travel. If you travel frequently as a tourist for example, with a multiple entry visa, you do not have to apply for a new visa each time you want to travel to the U.S. As an example of travel for the same purpose, if you have a visitor visa, it cannot be used to enter at a later time to study in the U.S. The visa validity is the length of time you are permitted to travel to a port-of-entry in the United States to request permission of the U.S. immigration inspector to permit you to enter the U.S. The visa does not guarantee entry to the U.S. The Expiration Date for the visa should not be confused with the authorized length of your stay in the U.S., given to you by the U.S. immigration inspector at port-of-entry, on the Arrival-departure Record, Form I-94, or I-94W for the Visa Waiver Program. The visa expiration date has nothing to do with the authorized length of your stay in the U.S. for any given visit. There are circumstances which can serve to void or cancel the period of time your visa is valid. If you overstay the end date of your authorized stay, as provided by the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. immigration officer at port of entry, or U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), then this action on your part generally will automatically void or cancel your visa. However, if you have filed an application in a timely manner for extension of stay or a change of status, and that application is pending and not frivolous, and if you did not engage in unauthorized employment, then this normally does not automatically cancel your visa. If you have applied for adjustment of status to become a permanent resident alien ("green card" holder), you should contact USCIS regarding obtaining Advance Parole before leaving the U.S. See Visa Expiration Date.
Visa Waiver Program
Allows citizens of certain selected countries, traveling temporarily to the United States under the nonimmigrant admission classes of visitors for pleasure and visitors for business, to enter the United States without obtaining nonimmigrant visas. Admission is for no more than 90 days.
Visa Waiver Program (Vwp)
Citizens of participating countries meeting the Visa Waiver Program requirements to may be allowed to enter the United States as visitors for pleasure or business without first getting a visa. Visitors can stay only 90 days and can not extend their stay. Go to U.S. Department of State information on the Visa Waiver Program to learn more.
Temporary permission to visit a country for a limited time and purpose.
The departure of an alien from the United States without an order of removal. The departure may or may not have been preceded by a hearing before an immigration judge. An alien allowed to voluntarily depart concedes removability but does not have a bar to seeking admission at a port-of-entry at any time. Failure to depart within the time granted results in a fine and a ten-year bar to several forms of relief from deportation.
Voluntary Service Program
An organized project that a religious or nonprofit charitable organization does to provide help to the poor or needy or to further a religious or charitable cause. Participants may be eligible for B visas.
Waiver Of Ineligibility
In immigration law certain foreign nationals are ineligible for visas to enter the United States for medical, criminal, security or other conditions and activities. Some applicants for visas are able to apply for permission to enter the United States despite the ineligibility. The applicant must apply for permission to enter the United States (waiver). Go to Classes of Aliens Ineligible to Receive Visas for more information. See also Ineligible/Ineligibility.
1 : the act or fact of withdrawing [ from a conspiracy] 2 : removal of money from a place of deposit or investment [a penalty for early ]
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