GLOSSARY OF IMMIGRATION TERMS

" A" Number/ALIEN NUMBER-- unique identifying file number for each Permanent Resident of the USA , which begins with capital letter "A" followed by 8 digits or by "0"plus 8 digits grouped as Axx-xxx-xxx.

ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS--the process of changing from a nonimmigrant visa classification to a Permanent Resident of the USA

ALIEN REGISTRATION RECEIPT CARD--the credit card sized laminated photo and fingerprint with individual's name and string of code numbers, officially known as Form I-55l or formerly Form I-l5l

ATTESTATION--paperwork certification by employers seeking to hire H-1B professional employees [salary, working conditions, % H1 workers, etc.]

USCIS/ Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services – agency which replaced the former U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service/INS when the agency became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2003

CHILD--unmarried, under 2l-year-old son or daughter

DEPENDENTS--spouse and unmarried, under 2l-year-old children except H1B dependents under age 18

DEPORTATION/ REMOVAL--compelled departure from the USA, generally at the expense of the US Government; deportation invokes a bar to re-entry to the USA

DUAL NATIONALITY--simultaneous possession of U.S. Citizenship and other nationality

FOLLOWING TO JOIN/ ACCOMPANYING--magic words which describe family members who immigrate after the principal has immigrated

GREEN CARD--slang term for Alien Registration Receipt Card/ Permanent Residency

H-l Visa--temporary, nonimmigrant visa open to members of specialty occupations which require graduate or undergraduate degrees; now divided into H-1A and H-1B and H-1C

IMMIGRANT VISA--visa to enter the USA for a permanent stay or change of residence; valid for 6 months once issued at U.S. Consular Section outside USA

IMMIGRANT INVESTORS-- immigrants who create 10 full-time jobs and invest $.5 M to $3 Million and maintain investment and jobs for minimum of 2-3 years

IMMIGRATION--the legal way to move to the USA permanently

INADMISSIBLE--any one of the characteristic grounds for which a non-US Citizen can be prohibited from entering the USA (criminal, immigration law violations, security)

I-94 Card /Arrival-Departure Record-- card stapled to passport page at port of entry to USA to evidence inspection and admission of foreign national for a set period of time

LABOR CERTIFICATION--process by which U.S. employers convince the U.S. Department of Labor that employers cannot find willing, able, available, qualified U.S. workers for the specific job even though prevailing wages and suitable working conditions are offered; test of the job market to determine existence of shortage of qualified employees

NONIMMIGRANT VISA--temporary visa beginning with a letter of the alphabet and hyphen followed by numeral 1 to 4

PRINCIPAL ALIEN--the foreign national who qualified for the immigrant visa and may have accompanying family members

REMOVAL/ DEPORTATION HEARING--quasi-civil hearing before a Judge of the Executive Office for Immigration Review at which time the U.S. Government Attorney has the burden to prove that the respondent is a non-citizen and non-national of the USA and the person is removable/deportable from the USA for criminal activity, violation of immigration law, threat to national security or similar non-desired characteristic/ activity

VISA--multi-color full-page stamp placed on the passport page showing place issued, date issued, number of permitted uses (one, two, multiple), expiration date, restrictions if any.
EXCEPTION: immigrant visa is not placed on passport page but is separate letter-sized paper with individual's photo attached and embossed with U.S. seal with forms packet

VISA EXEMPT-- citizens of Canada and Bermuda are exempt from requirement of B-1/B-2 visa prior to seeking admission to the USA for short business or pleasure visits

VISA WAIVER--citizens of 28 low-fraud countries allowed to board carriers destined for the USA without first obtaining a visa; limited to 90-day visitor stays for business or pleasure:
Andorra,Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark,Finland, France*,Germany*, Iceland, Ireland, Italy*, Japan*,Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands*,New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden*, Switzerland*, United Kingdom*[only England, Scotland, Wales, N. Ireland, Channel Islands, Isle of Man], and Uruguay.