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Immigration Terms

You may click on LINKS to learn more about how the LL.M. Law Group can help with your immigration needs. Please Note: Every term that is underlined is also defined.

Acquired Citizenship
Adjustment of Status
Admission Inspection
Affidavit of Support
A-file/A-number
Alien
Application Support Center
Asylum

Attorney General
Backlog Reduction Center
Beneficiary
Border and Transportation Security (BTS)
Border Crossing Card (BCC)
Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Cervices (BCIS)
Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (BCBP)
Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE)
Cancellation of Removal
Certificate of Citizenship
Child
Citizen
Conditional (Permanent) Resident
Consular Agent
Consular Processing

Conviction
Crime of Moral Turpitude (CMT)
Department of Homeland Security
Diversity Lottery
Dual Nationality
Employer Sanctions
Employer Verification

Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
Exchange Visitor
Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)
Expatriation
Fiancé(e) of U.S. Citizen
Foreign National
Good Moral Character
Green Card
Green Card Holder
Immediate Relative
Immigrant
Immigrant Visa
Immigration Judge
Infopass
Inspass (INS Passenger Accelerated Service System)
Intent
Intracompany Transferee
Investor
Labor Certification
Labor Condition Application (LCA)
Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)
Legacy INS
Legalization
Motion to Reconsider
Motion to Reopen
National
Nonimmigrant
Notice to Appear (NTA)
O*NET
Parole
Passport
Permanent Resident
Program Electronic Review Management System (PERM)
Physical Presence
Preference Categories

Priority Date
Reduction in Recruitment
Reentry Permit
Refugee
Removal
Rescission
Residence
Service Centers
SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System)
Status Violator

Student Visa Abuser
Transmission Requirements
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Unlawful Presence
US-VISIT
Visa
Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
Voluntary Departure
Waiver
Work Permit


ACQUIRED CITIZENSHIP: Citizenship conferred at birth on children born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent(s).

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ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS:
The process of obtaining Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status while physically present in the United States. See also green card holder and immigrant.
Adjustment of status should be distinguished from change of status which generally applies to nonimmigrants moving from one nonimmigrant status to another.  The adjustment of status option is unavailable to many (but not all) persons who entered the United States without inspection, or who violated status while in the United States, or on whose behalf an application for labor certification or a preference petition was not filed on or before April 30, 2001.

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ADMISSION INSPECTION:
The inspection of an alien upon arrival in the United States by an inspector at a port of entry. If the alien is admitted to the U.S. on a NONIMMIGRANT VISA, then the nonimmigrant is limited to carrying out a specific purpose (such as tourism, business, investment) for a specific time period. If an alien is admitted on an IMMIGRANT VISA, then there is no time limit for the immigrant to stay in the United States.

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AFFIDAVIT OF SUPPORT:
Document filed by a U.S. citizen, or Lawful Permanent Resident who resides in the United States, promising to provide financial support for an alien who is seeking to enter the United States or adjust status.
There are two Affidavit of Support forms, I-864 and I-134.  Form I-864 now is the form most often used.  It is required to be given by petitioners in the immediate relative and family preferences and in the employment-based categories if the employer/petitioner is related to the beneficiary. There are extensive obligations on the affiant, including enforceability as a contract until the beneficiary becomes a U.S. citizen or has 40 quarters of qualifying employment in the United States.  See IMMIGRANT VISAS.  The I-134 Affidavit of Support is often now used in connection with nonimmigrant visa applications as a form of evidence to demonstrate that an alien seeking classification as a VISITOR, STUDENT, or similar non-employment-based nonimmigrant classification will have adequate financial resources while in the United States to overcome public charge considerations.  See NONIMMIGRANT VISAS.

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A-FILE/A-NUMBER: The basic file/number created for many aliens, containing the alien’s Alien Registration Number.

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ALIEN:
As defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act, an alien is "any person not a citizen or national of the United States." An alien previously removed may be denied admission to the United States for a period of five to twenty years. See also immigrant, nonimmigrant.

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APPLICATION SUPPORT CENTER (ASC): An office that fingerprints applicants for certain immigration benefits, such as NATURALIZATION or adjustment of status.  The ASC may also collect other biometric data, such as a signature and digital photo, particularly in conjunction with electronically filed applications.

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ASYLUM:
A status sought by a person either (1) who is requesting admission at a U.S. port of entry who has a well grounded fear of prosecution if forced to return to his country of nationality or last habitual residence because of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion; or (2) who is already physically present in the United States.
One year after the receipt of asylum status, the asylee may apply for lawful permanent residence.  See also refugees. The recently passed REAL ID Act altered the standards and evidentiary burdens governing asylum applications, applications for withholding of removal, and other discretionary grants of relief from removal.  It requires asylum applicants to demonstrate that one of the enumerated grounds was or will be “at least one central reason” for their persecution, and allows immigration judges to require credible asylum and withholding applicants to obtain corroborating evidence “unless the applicant does not have the evidence and cannot reasonably obtain the evidence.”

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ATTORNEY GENERAL: A reference that may actually mean the Secretary of Homeland Security.  While the Homeland Security Act of 2002 transferred functions of legacy INS from the Department of Justice to the Department of Homeland Security, it did not change every authority-delegation reference in the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA) and other laws.

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BACKLOG REDUCTION CENTER (BRC): An office established by the Department of Labor to process and eliminate the backlog of labor certification applications filed throughout the United States prior to March 28, 2005.  There are two BRCs, located in Philadelphia and Dallas.

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BENEFICIARY:
The immigrant or nonimmigrant who will benefit from receiving the privilege of living and/or working on a temporary or permanent basis in the United States.
Beneficiaries generally receive a lawful status from the USCIS as a result of their relationship to a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, or U.S. employer.

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BORDER AND TRANSPORTATION SECURITY (BTS): One of the five major divisions, or “directorates” of the Department of Homeland Security, BTS assumes the enforcement functions of the former INS—including Border Patrol and Investigations.

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BORDER CROSSING CARD (BCC): An identity card issued to an alien who is lawfully admitted for permanent residence, or to an alien who is a resident in Mexico or Canada, by a consular officer or an immigration officer for the purpose of crossing the border from Canada or Mexico. The new biometric BCC is a laminated, credit card-style document with many security features and has a validity period of 10 years. Called a “laser visa,” the card is both a BCC and a B-1/B-2 VISITOR’S VISA.

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BUREAU OF CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES (BCIS): See U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

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BUREAU OF CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION (BCBP): See U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

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BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT (BICE): See U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

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CANCELLATION OF REMOVAL:
A potential remedy for a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) who has (1) been a LPR for at least five years and has resided continuously in the United States for at least seven years after having been admitted in any status and has not been convicted of an aggravated felony; or (2) anyone physically present in the United States for a continuous period of not less than 10 years immediately preceding the date of such application or the date of a Notice to Appear (NTA), who has been a person of good moral character during such period, has not been convicted of certain offenses, and who establishes that removal would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to the applicant's U.S. citizen or LPR spouse, parent or child. Applicant may be absent from the United States for up to 180 days during the 10 year period.

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CERTIFICATE OF CITIZENSHIP:
A formal document certifying to an immigrant that he has obtained the status of United States citizen on the basis of NATURALIZATION.

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CHILD:
An unmarried person who is: (1) a legitimate child; (2) a step-child; (3) a child legitimized under the law of the child's residence or domicile, or under the law of the father's residence or domicile; (4) an illegitimate child; (5) a child adopted before reaching the age of sixteen; and (6) an orphan.

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CITIZEN:
A status conferred upon a person by birth in the United States, abroad to U.S. citizen parents, or upon an immigrant who has completed the process of NATURALIZATION.

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CONDITIONAL (PERMANENT) RESIDENT:
A status conferred upon an alien spouse and child(ren) at the time of obtaining Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status, if the immigration status was obtained (1) on a family based petition; or (2) on an investor visa, in which case the status applies to the members of the visa holder's family.

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CONSULAR AGENT:
An employee of the U.S. Department of State (DOS) for the purpose of performing certain limited consular functions in an area where there is a need for consular assistance, but there is no United States consular post.

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CONSULAR PROCESSING:
The process of applying for an IMMIGRANT VISA or a NONIMMIGRANT VISA at a U.S. consular post.

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CONVICTION:
(1) A formal judgment of guilt entered by a court.  (2) A disposition in which, despite the withholding of any adjudication of guilt, a judge or jury has found an alien guilty (or the alien has entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere or has admitted sufficient facts to warrant a finding of guilt) and the judge has ordered some form of punishment, penalty or restraint.

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CRIME OF MORAL TURPITUDE (CMT):
A particularly depraved offense that rises to the level of serving as a ground for inadmissibility or removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Defined in the Foreign Affairs Manual as a criminal act “done contrary to justice, honesty, principle, or good morals; an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes his fellow man, or to society in general, contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty between man and man.  Moral turpitude implies something immoral in itself, regardless of the fact whether it is punishable by law. It must not be merely mala prohibita, but the act itself must be inherently immoral.  The doing of the act itself, and not its prohibition by statute, fixes the moral turpitude.”  See also good moral character and U.S. CITIZENSHIP.

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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY:
The agency into which the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) was folded effective March 1, 2003. 

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DIVERSITY LOTTERY:
The immigrant visa lottery program established by the 1990 Immigration Act that makes available up to 55,000 IMMIGRANT VISAS per year to persons from low-admission states and low-admission regions.

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DUAL NATIONALITY:
Possessing two citizenships at the same time. United States NATURALIZATION law does not require that an applicant for U.S. CITIZENSHIP act in any way to withdraw or revoke his own citizenship when taking the Oath of Allegiance to the United States.
Dual nationality can occur by birth in one country to citizens of another country, by marriage to a foreign national, and by foreign naturalization.  Certain countries do not accept dual citizenship, and require relinquishment of former citizenship upon NATURALIZATION to U.S. citizenship.

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EMPLOYER SANCTIONS:
Civil and criminal penalties imposed on employers and individuals who hire or refer for a fee aliens who are not authorized to work in the United States.

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EMPLOYER VERIFICATION:
A procedure established by the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) requiring employers to verify identify and eligibility to work.

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EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION DOCUMENT (EAD):
Official document authorizing an immigrant or nonimmigrant to work. See also work permit.

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EXCHANGE VISITOR:
An alien coming temporarily to the United States as a participant in a program approved by the Secretary of State for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, or receiving training.  See J VISAS.

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EXECUTIVE OFFICE FOR IMMIGRATION REVIEW (EOIR):
A branch of the U.S. Department of Justice that encompasses the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), Office of the Chief Immigration Judge (including all the Immigration Judges), and the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Offices (OCAHO).

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EXPATRIATION:
The loss of U.S. CITIZENSHIP or nationality by the voluntary performance of one of the acts listed in the Immigration and Nationality Act.

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FIANCÉ(E) OF U.S. CITIZEN:
A nonimmigrant alien coming to the United States to conclude a valid marriage with a U.S. citizen within 90 days after entry.  See K VISAS.

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FOREIGN NATIONAL:
See alien.

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GOOD MORAL CHARACTER:
The guidelines an immigrant must meet to become a naturalized citizen. See CITIZENSHIP AND NATURALIZATION.

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GREEN CARD:
The card (no longer green) that identifies an immigrant as a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). See GREEN CARD SERVICES.

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GREEN CARD HOLDER:
Also termed a Legal Permanent Resident, a "green card holder" is an immigrant who may live permanently in the United States. See also Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR).

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IMMEDIATE RELATIVES:
Certain immigrants who, because of their close relationship to U.S. citizens, are exempt from the numerical limitations (cap) 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 FAMILY VISAS.

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IMMIGRANT:
An immigrant is an individual seeking to become a Lawful Permanent Resident in the United States. See IMMIGRANT VISAS.

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IMMIGRANT VISA:
A document required by the Immigration and Nationality Act and properly issued by a consular officer at his office outside of the United States to an eligible immigrant.  An immigrant visa permits an alien to be admitted to the United States for permanent residence.  It has a six-month validity and the intending immigrant must apply for admission during this period.  See IMMIGRANT VISAS.

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IMMIGRATION JUDGE:
Administrative law judge who presides over removal proceedings.

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INFOPASS: The internet-based system that allows the public to make an appointment online with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) in their local area.  Please visit www.uscis.gov to learn more.

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INSPASS (INS Passenger Accelerated Service System):
An automated system utilizing kiosks at ports or entry, designed to reduce immigration inspection processing time for authorized travelers.

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INTENT:
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) presumes that every alien seeking admission to the United States intends to live and/or work permanently in the U.S. If the alien is not an immigrant, he must establish to the satisfaction of the admitting immigration officer at the port of entry that he is entitled to enter the United States on a NONIMMIGRANT VISA.

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INTRACOMPANY TRANSFEREE:
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 L VISAS.

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INVESTOR:
There are immigrant and nonimmigrant investors. A nonimmigrant investor may obtain a NONIMMIGRANT VISA if his country and the United States have a treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation (FCN) or a bilateral investment treaty (BIT). An immigrant investor may obtain permanent residence on an employment creation basis for persons who invest at least $1 million ($500,000 in certain geographic regions) and create at least 10 jobs. See INVESTOR VISAS.

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LABOR CERTIFICATION:
Certification by the Department of Labor that there (1) exists an insufficient number of U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available at the place of proposed employment and that (2) employment of the alien for whom labor certification is sought will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.
In December 2004, the U.S. Department of Labor issued its long-awaited PERM regulations, which, effective March 28, 2005, established a new system for filing labor certifications. See WORK VISAS.

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LABOR CONDITION APPLICATION (LCA):
The U.S. Department of Labor Form ETA-9035, approval of which must be submitted with an H-1B VISA petition.  This can also be filed electronically with Form ETA-9035E.  The LCA is an attestation by an employer seeking to hire an H-1B nonimmigrant to four conditions of employment: (1) that the employer is paying the H-1B nonimmigrant at least the higher of the actual wage paid by the employer to others in the same occupation with similar experience and qualifications or the prevailing wage for the occupation in the geographical area of the work site; (2) that the employment of the H-1B nonimmigrant will not adversely affect the working conditions of similarly employed workers; (3) that there is not a strike, lockout, or work stoppage in the occupation for which the H-1B nonimmigrant is being hired; and (4) that notice of the hiring of the H-1B nonimmigrant has been provided.  See H-1B VISAS.

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LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENT (LPR):
An immigrant who has obtained a Green Card, thus entitling him to live permanently in the United States.
A lawful permanent resident may engage in employment but may not vote in U.S. elections.  LPR status is the status gained by a person who is admitted to the United States with an IMMIGRANT VISA or has had his or her status adjusted to permanent residence after having first been admitted as a nonimmigrant.  Lawful permanent residence also may be obtained after a person has been granted asylum or was admitted to the United States as a refugee.  In addition, a person who has been in the United States for more than 10 years and is able to establish the requisite degree of hardship may be granted permanent residency following the “cancellation” of his or her removal proceeding.  LPR status may be taken away for the commission of certain acts that can result in deportability or inadmissibility or lost through “abandonment.”  See IMMIGRANT VISAS.

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LEGACY INS:
A reference to the Immigration and Naturalization Service that acknowledges its status as the predecessor to the Department of Homeland Security.

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LEGALIZATION:
A program established in 1996 to grant an alien temporary residence status which would later entitle the immigrant to apply for permanent residence.
Also referred to as “temporary resident status” and “amnesty.” 

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MOTION TO RECONSIDER:
A legal document that must be filed within 30 days of entry of a final administrative order of removal by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an Immigration Judge, or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), seeking reconsideration of the case by pointing out errors of law or fact in the prior order.

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MOTION TO REOPEN:
A legal document that must filed within 90 in proceedings before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an Immigration Judge, or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), showing new facts not available at the original proceeding by using affidavits or other evidence.

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NATIONAL:
A person owing allegiance to his or her country of origin.

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NONIMMIGRANT:
A person who can establish that he or she has a residence abroad that he or she has no intention of abandoning, who is coming to the United States for a temporary period.  Some of the nonimmigrant categories are students, tourists, and treaty investors.  See NONIMMIGRANT VISAS.

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NOTICE TO APPEAR (NTA):
A document issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to commence removal proceedings of an alien.

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O*NET: A job classification system that has replaced the Dictionary of Occupational Titles. 

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PAROLE
:
Permission granted by the Department of Homeland Security allowing a person to physically enter the United States yet still be considered to have not legally entered the country. A person paroled into the U.S. is treated in a legal sense as if he or she were still at the border’s edge seeking permission to enter. While parolees are not afforded any legal rights or benefits greater than those seeking admission, they are provided with legal documents that permit their presence in the United States.  Examples include parole for humanitarian or family unification purposes, and parole to proceed with the process of adjustment of status that would otherwise be considered to have been abandoned. 

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PASSPORT:
Any travel document issued by a competent authority showing the bearer’s origin, identity, and nationality if any, which is valid for the admission of the bearer into a foreign country.

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PERMANENT RESIDENT:
See also lawful permanent resident
and green card holder.

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PROGRAM ELECTRONIC REVIEW MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (PERM):
A new system, effective March 28, 2005, for filing labor certification applications.  The system uses automated computer systems to scan attestation forms filed by employers regarding their compliance with all regulatory requirements. 

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PHYSICAL PRESENCE:
The state of being in the United States for at least part of a day.
For NATURALIZATION as a U.S. citizen or claims of derivative citizenship, this is a key concept and must not be confused with residence

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PREFERENCE CATEGORIES:
Of those IMMIGRANT VISAS that are subject to numerical limitations, the classification into which the intending immigrant falls, based on the relationship to the sponsor (for FAMILY VISAS) or the nature of the anticipated employment.

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PRIORITY DATE:
The date on which a person submitted documentation establishing prima facie eligibility for an IMMIGRANT VISA.  For FAMILY VISAS, a person’s priority date is the date on which he or she filed the family-based preference petition.  If the alien relative has a priority date on or before the date listed in the Visa Bulletin (published monthly), then he or she is eligible for an IMMIGRANT VISA.  For employment-based cases, it is the date of the filing of the labor certification application, or if none is required, the date the IMMIGRANT VISA petition is filed.

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REDUCTION IN RECRUITMENT (RIR): An alternative method of labor certification under the system in place before March 28, 2005.  Since that time, RIR and conventional labor certification were completely revamped by the Department of Labor’s PERM rules.

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REENTRY PERMIT:
A travel document issued to a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) permitting him to leave the United States temporarily.
A person must be physically present in the United States to file the application, but may depart during the adjudication period.


REFUGEE:
A person outside of the United States who is unable or unwilling to return to his or her country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.  A refugee, once admitted, may apply in one year for permanent resident status.  See also asylum.

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REMOVAL:
A proceeding to enforce the departure of inadmissible aliens who are seeking admission to the U.S., or who are currently in the United States but are removable.

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RESCISSION:
Cancellation of prior adjustment of status to Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status.

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RESIDENCE:
The actual dwelling place of an individual, without regard to intent to stay.

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SERVICE CENTERS:
Five offices established to handle the filing, data entry, and adjudication of certain applications for immigration services and benefits. The service centers are currently not staffed to receive walk-in applications or questions. 

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SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System):
An internet-based software application to track and monitor nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors and their dependents.  See STUDENT VISAS (F VISAS) and J VISAS (EXCHANGE VISITORS).

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STATUS VIOLATOR:
A nonimmigrant who may be subject to removal because he violates the terms of his NONIMMIGRANT VISA status.

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STUDENT VISA ABUSER:
A ground for exclusion of a student because of his failure to attend school, or public adult education or language programs. See STUDENT VISAS.

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TRANSMISSION REQUIREMENTS:
The amount of time that a citizen must spend in the United States in order to be able to transmit CITIZENSHIP to a child born abroad of one citizen and one alien parent.

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UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES (USCIS):
On March 1, 2003, the service and benefit functions of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) transitioned into the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

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UNITED STATES CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION (CBP):
On March 1, 2003, the border inspection functions of the U.S. Customs Service, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, along with the U.S. Border Patrol, were transferred to the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection. To learn more, please go to: http://www.cbp.gov/

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UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT (ICE):
On March 1, 2003, functions of several border and security agencies including the U.S. Customs Service, Federal Protective Service (FPS), and former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) were transferred into the Directorate of Border and Transportation Security within the Department of Homeland Security. As part of this transition, these agency functions were reorganized into the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). To learn more, please go to:

http://www.ice.gov/

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UNLAWFUL PRESENCE:
Presence in the United States after the expiration of stay authorized, which is noted on the I-94 Form.

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US-VISIT: A program designed by the Department of Homeland Security to collect and share information on foreign nationals traveling to the United States.  This system allows the U.S. government to record the entry and exit of non-U.S. citizens and verify the identity of travelers coming in and out of the United States.

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VISA:
An official endorsement, obtained from a U.S. consul (abroad), certifying that the bearer has been examined and is permitted to proceed for purposes of seeking admission to the United States at a designated port of entry.  There are both IMMIGRANT VISAS and NONIMMIGRANT VISAS.  A visa does not grant the bearer the right to enter the United States; it merely allows one to attempt to seek admission at a port of entry.  The Department of State is responsible for visa adjudication at U.S. embassies and consulates outside of the United States, under the guidance and ultimate authority of the Department of Homeland Security.  At the port of entry, immigration inspectors determine admission into the U.S., as well as the length and conditions of stay.

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VISA WAIVER PROGRAM (VWP):
Program that allows nationals of certain countries (mostly in western Europe) that have an agreement with the United States to enter the U.S. for up to 90 days as visitors for business or pleasure without first obtaining a visa from a U.S. consulate.

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VOLUNTARY DEPARTURE:
A procedure that allows an alien to leave the United States voluntarily before being removed.

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WAIVER:
The removal of an impediment to obtaining a visa or status. Examples include the two year home country physical presence requirement for an EXCHANGE VISITOR with a J visa, and the Labor Certification process for professionals with advanced degrees and aliens of exceptional ability if in the national interest.

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WORK PERMIT:
Authorization to work in the United States. A U.S. citizen, national, or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) is automatically authorized to work. Generally, a NONIMMIGRANT VISA authorizing a nonimmigrant to work in the U.S. is limited as to time, and most always is limited by employer. Other aliens physically present in the United States may be eligible to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). See also WORK VISAS.

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