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Layman’s Dictionary Of Immigration Legal Terms In Plain English

Should not be relied upon. General concepts and information not intended to substitute for legal definitions.  See an attorney or consult statutory, regulatory, policy memos, and caselaw.

EAD:  Employment Authorization Document.  A work permit that allows a foreign national to legally work within the US.

ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS.  the process by which an alien applies for permanent residence here in the United States.

CONSULAR PROCESSING.  The process by which an alien applies for an immigrant visa at US consulate abroad.

RFE.  Request for Evidence.  A request by USCIS for more information or documents before a decision can be rendered on a case.

NOID.  Notice of Intent to Deny.  An agency is intending on denying your case.  (The applicant is normally afforded an opportunity to respond.)

CONDITIONAL GREEN CARD.  If the couple has been married for less than two years, the alien will receive a grant of permanent residence with conditions.  In order to remove the conditions, the alien will be expected to file Form I-751

FOIA.  Freedom of Information Act.  Applicant files a foia to request a copy of his/her file on record.

INFOPASS.  Appointment that allows an individual to go to an immigration office to address a matter.

CIVIL SURGEON.  A doctor approved by USCIS to give a medical examination in connection with an application for adjustment of status.

I-94.  Arrival/Departure Record issued by the Department of Homeland Security.

A#.  Alien Number.

USCIS#.  Number assigned by USCIS.

CBP.  Customs and Border Protection.

DHS.  Department of Homeland Security.

USCIS.  US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

ICE.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

DACA.  Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.  Allows certain individuals who entered the country as minors and graduated from high school to apply for temporary protection from removal.

INS.  Immigration and Naturalization Services.

IMMIGRANT.  A foreign national who enters the US with an intention and permission to stay in the US permanently.

NONIMMIGRANT.  A foreign national who is not an immigrant.  An individual who is staying in the US temporarily with no intention of staying permanently.

PROVISIONAL WAIVER.  Filed on Form I-601A.  Allows an individual, if approved, to return to the US without having to wait three/ten years abroad by waiving the unlawful presence bar.

VISA.  A travel document which allows a foreign national to travel to the US border and apply for admission into the US.