Glossary
of Terms

Fiance Visa

Glossary of Terms

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  • A

    The term used to describe when an immediate family member is issued a visa allowing them to travel with the principal applicant to the United States.

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or C.P.A., C.A., C.G.A. or C.M.A.

    Funds that have been invested or are in the process of being invested.

    The acronym for ‘American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act’.

    A fee collected by the USCIS from the U.S. employer when filing an H-1B, or labor certification petition on behalf of a foreign worker. The fee is either $750 (If the U.S. employer employs less than 25 employees) or $1500 (If the U.S. employer company employs 25 or more employees).

    The process of changing status from a nonimmigrant visa category to permanent residence (‘green card’) in the United States.

    The form that is filed with the USCIS allowing an individual to change status from a nonimmigrant visa category to permanent residence (‘green card’) in the United States.

    Assuming approval by the United States embassy or consulate, an E-2 (for foreign investor and spouse and/or child) nonimmigrant machine readable visa is placed in the passport. The visa allows the passport holder to request permission to enter the United States. The visa is presented to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer who decides whether to admit the individual into the United States, the nonimmigrant classification and the length of admission. If admitted, a record of admission known as an Arrival-Departure Record (form I-94) that indicates the nonimmigrant classification, the date and port of entry and length of admission is created. Form I-94 can be viewed and printed online.

    Assuming approval by a United States embassy or consulate, a machine readable visa is placed in a passport. The visa allows the passport holder to request permission to enter the United States. The visa is presented to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer who decides whether to admit the individual into the United States, the immigration classification and the length of admission. If admitted, a record of admission known as an Arrival-Departure Record (form I-94) that indicates the immigration classification, the date and port of entry and length of admission is created.

    Assuming approval by the United States embassy or consulate, a TN or TD (spouse or child) nonimmigrant machine readable visa is placed in a Mexican citizen’s passport. The visa allows the passport holder to request permission to enter the United States. The visa is presented to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer who decides whether to admit the individual into the United States, the nonimmigrant classification and the length of admission. If admitted, a record of admission known as an Arrival-Departure Record (form I-94) that indicates the nonimmigrant classification, the date and port of entry and length of admission is created. Form I-94 can be viewed and printed online.

    A Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer decides whether to admit the individual into the United States, the nonimmigrant classification and the length of admission. If admitted, a record of admission known as an Arrival-Departure Record (form I-94) that indicates the nonimmigrant classification, the date and port of entry and length of admission is created. Form I-94 can be viewed and printed online.

    An individual (unmarried and under age 21 years of age) legally adopted while under 16 years of age that has been in the legal custody and lived with the adopting parent(s) for at least 2 years.

    A document issued by the USCIS allowing an individual to return to the United States after temporary travel outside the United States. The document is valid for 1 year (multiple entries) and must be issued prior to the applicant departing the United States. Typically, the document is issued to an individual that filed for permanent residence (‘green card’) allowing return to the United States while the adjustment of status application is being processed. See also ‘travel document’.

    A U.S. master’s degree or higher (or a foreign equivalent degree) or a U.S. bachelor’s degree (or a foreign equivalent degree) plus 5 years of progressive post bachelor degree experience.

    The form filed with the United States embassy or consulate and completed by an individual (usually an immediate relative) that declares that they promise to financially support an applicant that is filing for a non-immigrant visa.

    The form filed with the USCIS and completed by an individual (usually an immediate relative) that declares that s/he promises to financially support an applicant that is filing for an immigrant visa or permanent residence (‘green card’).

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    An individual other than a U.S. citizen.

    A term used to describe a card (the size of a credit card) issued by the USCIS to confirm that an alien is a resident (immigrant) and can live and work in the United States. See also: ‘permanent resident card’, ‘residence card’, ‘lawful permanent resident card’, ‘green card’ and ‘I-551’.

    An individual that has immigrated based upon issuance of an immigrant visa by the United States embassy or consulate or the approval of an adjustment of status (‘green card’) application by the USCIS and can live and work in the United States. See also: ‘permanent resident’, ‘lawful permanent resident’ and ‘resident’.

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    An individual applying for an immigration benefit from either the Department of Labor, United States embassy or consulate or USCIS.

    A form filed by an applicant with the United States embassy or consulate or the USCIS in order to gain an immigration benefit.

    The form filed by an applicant with the USCIS to request issuance of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to allow legal employment in the United States.

    The form filed by an applicant with the National Visa center (NVC) to request an immigrant visa from the United States embassy or consulate in the applicant’s home country for the purpose of allowing the applicant to legally enter as a resident and live permanently in the United States.

    The application filed by the U.S. employer with the Department of Labor in order to obtain labor certification. See also: ‘ETA Form 9089’.

    The form filed by an applicant with the USCIS to request issuance of a certificate of naturalization evidencing U.S. citizenship.

    The application filed by the U.S. employer with the Department of Labor in order to obtain a prevailing wage determination. See also: ‘ETA Form 9041’.

    The form filed by an applicant with the USCIS to request issuance of an advance parole travel document to allow them to re-enter the United States after temporary travel outside the United States while an application to adjust status is pending.

    The form filed by an applicant with the USCIS allowing an individual to change status from one nonimmigrant visa category to another or to extend their present status in the United States (e.g., to H-4 status, L-2 status, TD status, or E-2 status for a spouse or child).

    The form filed by an applicant with the USCIS to adjust status to that of a permanent resident of the United States.

    Package from the United States embassy or consulate which contains specific instructions regarding: the visa application forms to complete, obtaining a medical examination at a designated facility, the documentation to be presented at the interview, payment of visa fees and the date and time of the interview.

    The form (form I-797) issued by the USCIS informing the petitioner or applicant that a petition or application has been approved.

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license

    The form (form I-94) known as an Arrival-Departure Record created at the time of admission indicating the immigration classification, date and port of entry and length of admission. Form I-94 can be viewed and printed online. If the individual is from a country designated by the United States as not requiring a visa to request permission to enter (i.e. visa waiver program) this form is issued. Form I-94W can be viewed and printed online.

    The form (form I-94) indicating the nonimmigrant classification, date and port of entry and length of admission. Form I-94 can be viewed and printed online.

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    The notice issued to the U.S. employer by the Department of Labor requesting evidence of compliance with labor certification regulations.

    Upon arrival to the United States, a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer decides whether to admit an individual into the United States. If admitted, the CBP officer will issue the individual an Arrival-Departure Record (form I-94 or I-94W) that indicates the immigration classification, date and port of entry and length of admission. The term ‘authorized length of stay’ refers to the length of stay allowed in the United States. See also: ‘period of stay’.

  • B

    An individual receiving an immigration benefit from the USCIS as the result of a petitioner filing a petition. See also: ‘sponsored immigrant’.

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    The process by which the USCIS captures your photograph and fingerprints required for the processing of certain applications.

  • C

    A citizen of Canada by birth or naturalization (not an immigrant).

    A stamp placed on a visa previously issued by a United States embassy or consulate cancelling the visa. The ‘cancelled without prejudice’ stamp does not affect the ability to obtain a visa in the future or any other current visa.

    Issued by the National Visa Center (NVC) to a person applying for an immigrant visa, case numbers are 3 letters followed by a 10 digit number. (i.e. ABC 0123456789)

    The document issued by the USCIS confirming that an individual is a U.S. citizen by birth.

    The document issued by the USCIS confirming that an individual is a U.S. citizen by birth.

    The document issued by the USCIS confirming that an individual has been granted United States citizenship after meeting certain requirements.

    The process by which the Department of Labor approves a Labor Condition Application (LCA) or Application for Permanent Employment Certification.

    The process of changing status from one nonimmigrant visa category to another in the United States.

    The form filed by an applicant with the USCIS allowing an individual to change status from one nonimmigrant visa category to another in the United States. See also: ‘Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status’

    The country to which an immigrant entering the United States under the family or employment based preference system is ‘charged’ (i.e. assigned). Since there is a limit to the percentage of immigrant visas that can be allotted to each country in a year, the country to which an immigrant is ‘charged’ is important. Chargeability is usually determined by country of birth.

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    An unmarried individual under 21 years of age.

    An individual (unmarried and under age 21 years of age) legally adopted while under 16 years of age that has been in the legal custody of, and lived with, the adopting parent(s) for at least 2 years.

    An individual (unmarried and under age 21 years of age) whose foreign parent married a U.S. citizen when that person was under 18 years of age.

    Funds that have been irrevocably committed are ‘at risk’ (subject to total or partial loss if investment fortunes reverse).

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary certificate, and three years experience

    A foreign spouse that has been married fewer than 2 years at the time the conditional residence visa is issued by the United States embassy or consulate or the adjustment of status (‘green card’) application is approved by the USCIS. The conditional resident must file a petition with the USCIS to remove the conditions during the 90 day period prior to the expiration of the 2 years.

    The visa (also known as a conditional resident visa) issued by the United States embassy or consulate in the foreign spouse’s home country for the purpose of allowing the spouse to legally enter as a resident and live permanently in the United States. The CR-1 visa is issued to a foreign spouse who has been married fewer than 2 years. After entry into the United States, the foreign spouse is issued a residence (‘green card’) by the USCIS valid for 2 years from the date of entry, at that time termed a ‘conditional resident’. The conditional resident must file a petition with the USCIS to remove the conditions during the 90 day period prior to the expiration of the 2 years.

    The CR-2 visa (also known as a conditional resident visa) is issued by the United States embassy or consulate in the spouse’s home country for the purpose of allowing the spouse’s minor (under 21 and unmarried) children to legally enter as a resident and live permanently in the United States. After entry into the United States, the children are issued a residence (“green card”) by the USCIS valid for 2 years from the date of entry. The children are termed a “conditional resident”. The conditional resident must file a petition with the USCIS to remove the conditions during the 90 day period prior to the expiration of the 2 years.

    The requirement that an applicant for naturalization (U.S. citizenship) must have resided continuously in the U.S. from the date of filing of the application until being granted U.S. citizenship.

    The requirement that an applicant for naturalization (U.S. citizenship) must be a lawful resident for 5 years subsequent to obtaining lawful resident status. If the applicant is married to a U.S. citizen the residency requirement is 3 years if the applicant’s U.S. citizen spouse is a U.S. citizen for 3 years and the applicant has been ‘living in marital union’ for 3 years.

    The designation used to describe the holder of a ‘Conditional Resident’ visa, or their status in the United States.

    The designation used to describe the visa issued to children of a conditional spouse, or their status in the United States.

    The means by which an immigrant can be ‘charged’ (assigned) to a country other than their country of birth. Since there is a limit to the percentage of immigrant visas that can be allotted to each country in a year, the country to which an immigrant is ‘charged’ is important.

    The government agency (part of the United States Department of Homeland Security) that oversees lawful immigration in to the United States by guarding United States borders.

  • D

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    For immigration purposes, a female ‘child’ is termed a ‘daughter’ when she turns 21 years of age or marries.

    D.D.S., D.M.D., Doctor en Odontologia or Doctor en Cirugia Dental; or state/provincial license

    The government agency located in the United States that oversees the labor certification and labor condition application processes.

    The status imparted to certain family members that allows them to obtain an immigration benefit based on the fact that a principal applicant has obtained an immigration benefit.

    The foreign investor must be entering the United States solely to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise.

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree, and successful completion of training in the appropriate areas of insurance adjustment pertaining to disaster relief claims; or three years’ experience in claims adjustment and successful completion of training in the appropriate areas of insurance adjustment pertaining to disaster relief claims

    The acronym for Department of Labor.

    The form filed by an applicant with the United States embassy or consulate in the applicant’s home country for the purpose of requesting a nonimmigrant visa allowing the applicant to legally enter the United States.

    The form filed by a K visa applicant with the United States embassy or consulate in the applicant’s home country for the purpose of requesting a K nonimmigrant visa allowing the applicant to legally enter the United States to marry a U.S. citizen.

    The form filed by an applicant online for the purpose of requesting a nonimmigrant visa allowing the applicant to legally enter the United States.

    The form filed by an applicant with the National Visa center (NVC) to request an immigrant visa from the United States embassy or consulate in the applicant’s home country for the purpose of allowing the applicant to legally enter as a resident and live permanently in the United States.

    The form filed by an applicant online with the National Visa Center (NVC) to request an immigrant visa from the United States embassy or consulate in the applicant’s home country for the purpose of allowing the applicant to legally enter as a resident and live permanently in the United States.

    When a visa is presented to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer, s/he decides whether to admit the individual into the United States; the immigration classification; and the length of admission. If admitted, the CBP officer will issue the individual an Arrival-Departure Record (form I-94) that indicates the immigration classification, date and port of entry and length of admission. For certain visa categories (i.e. students on an F-1 visa) the length of admission is ‘duration of status’. This means that the individual may remain in the United States as long as s/he continues to be engaged in the activity for which the visa was issued as opposed to a specific length of time.

  • E

    The form filed with the USCIS (by a spouse or child of an E-2 visa holder) allowing an individual to change to E-2 status or extend one’s E-2 status. See also: ‘Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status’

    The form that is used to collect additional information about the U.S. enterprise and the foreign investor. A U.S. enterprise seeking to classify a foreign investor in E-2 classification must file this supplement along with the Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker (form I-129).

    The form filed by the foreign investor’s U.S. enterprise to hire the foreign investor to develop and direct his or her enterprise. See also: ‘Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker (form I-129)’

    The status accorded a foreign investor or spouse or child(ren) by USCIS or Customs and Border Protection.

    A nonimmigrant visa (temporary stay) issued by the United States embassy or consulate for the purpose of entering the United States as a foreign investor or spouse or child(ren).

    The acronym for ‘Employment Authorization Document’.

    The acronym for ‘Employment Based First Preference Category’.

    The acronym for ‘Employment Based Second Preference Category’.

    The acronym for ‘Employment Based Third Preference Category’.

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    The relationship between the U.S. employer and the foreign worker. The relationship is demonstrated by the fact that the U.S. employer may hire, pay, fire and supervise or otherwise control the foreign worker’s work.

    The continuous employment of a foreign worker outside of the United States for at least 1 year within the past three 3 years preceding the filing of the L-1 petition.

    The work permit issued by the USCIS to an individual that meets certain eligibility criteria allowing them to work legally in the United States.

    The foreign worker may qualify for the EB-1 category if s/he he is an alien with extraordinary ability in sciences, art, education, business or athletics or an outstanding professor or researcher or a multinational executive or manager.

    In order to qualify to file an Immigrant Petition, both the position offered and the foreign worker must meet the eligibility criteria of an employment based (EB) immigrant visa category. There are five EB immigrant visa categories under which the foreign worker may apply each with different requirements.

    The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) limits the number of immigrant visas that are issued each year based on an employment preference category. A foreign employee is placed into an employment based preference category based the requirements (skill, education and experience) of their position.

    The foreign worker may qualify for the EB-2 category if s/he a member of the professions holding an advanced degree or has exceptional ability.

    The foreign worker may qualify for the EB-3 category if s/he is either a professional, skilled worker or other worker.

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    The term used to describe the means by which an alien enters the United States without being inspected by a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer. The See also: ‘illegal entry’.

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    The application filed by the U.S. employer with the Department of Labor in order to obtain a prevailing wage determination. See also: ‘application for prevailing wage determination’.

    The application filed by the U.S. employer with the Department of Labor in order to obtain labor certification. See also: ‘application for permanent employment certification’.

    The acronym for ‘Entry Without Inspection’.

    A degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts or business and will substantially benefit prospectively the national economy, cultural or educational interests or welfare of the U.S. To be considered a person of exceptional ability the foreign individual must meet 3 of the following criteria: degree diploma, certificate or similar award from a college, university, school or other institution of learning relating to the area of exceptional ability; letter(s) from current or former employers documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience; license to practice the profession or certification for a particular profession or occupation; evidence that s/he has commanded a salary or other remuneration demonstrating exceptional ability; membership in a professional association(s); and recognition of achievements and significant contributions to the industry or field by peers, governmental entities or professional or business organizations.

    The employee directs the management of the organization or a major component or function; establishes goals and policies; exercises wide latitude in discretionary decision making; and received only general supervision or direction from higher level executives, board of directors or stockholders.

    The process of extending an individual’s nonimmigrant visa status in the United States.

    The form filed by an applicant with the USCIS allowing an individual to extend their nonimmigrant visa stay in the United States.

    The small percentage of foreign individuals who have risen to the very top of their field of endeavour. The foreign individual’s extraordinary ability must be in sciences, art, education, business or athletics and demonstrated through sustained national or international acclaim; whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation; and who seeks entry into the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability. To demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim the foreign individual must provide evidence of a one-time achievement (i.e. Nobel Prize) or document any 3 of the following: receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized awards or prizes; membership in an association in the field for which classification is sought which requires outstanding achievement of their members; published material about the foreign individual in major trade publications or other major media; participation as a judge evaluating the work of others in the field; evidence of original scientific, scholastic, artistic, athletic or business related contributions of major significance; authorship of scholarly articles in the field; artistic exhibitions or showcases; performance in a leading or cultural role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation; high salary or remuneration in relation to others in the field; or commercial success in the performing arts.

  • F

    The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) limits the number of immigrant visas that are issued each year based on a family preference category. A foreign relative is placed into a family based preference category based upon their relationship to the U.S. citizen or permanent resident petitioner.

    A guideline that summarizes the minimum income required for an individual to prove that they can financially support an applicant that is filing for an immigrant visa or permanent residence (‘green card). See also: ‘poverty guideline’.

    An alien in possession of a K-1 visa that has a bona-fide intent to marry a U.S. citizen within 90 days of admission to the United States.

    The slang term used to describe a form filed by a petitioner (U.S. citizen) to establish their relationship to a fiancé(e) in order to bring that fiancé(e) and that individual’s children to the United States for marriage.

    The a fiancé(e) visa (also known as a K-1 visa) is issued by the United States embassy or consulate in the fiancé(e)’s home country for the purpose of allowing the fiancé(e) to legally enter the United States to marry the U.S. citizen. The K-1 visa is not designed as visitor visa to be used for a couple to become better acquainted.

    The status imparted to certain family members that allows them to obtain a visa once the principal applicant has obtained a visa.

    When an immediate family member is issued a visa allowing them to travel to the United States after the principal applicant.

    The country to which an immigrant entering the United States under the family or employment based preference system is ‘charged’ (i.e. assigned). Since there is a limit to the percentage of immigrant visas that can be allotted to each country in a year, the country to which an immigrant is ‘charged’ is important. Chargeability is usually determined by country of birth.

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license

    A fee collected by the USCIS from the U.S. employer when filing a new petition on behalf of a foreign worker. The fee is $500. Applies to H1-B, labor certification, and L-1 visa petitions.

  • G

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    The requirement that an applicant for naturalization (U>S. citizenship) must be a person of good moral character for 5 years prior to filing the application until being granted U.S. citizenship.

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years’ experience

    A colloquial term used to describe a card (the size of a credit card) issued by the USCIS to confirm that an alien is a resident (immigrant) and can live and work in the United States. The term ‘green card’ was derived from the former color of the card. See also: ‘permanent resident card’, ‘lawful permanent resident card’, ‘residence card’, ‘alien registration receipt card’ and ‘I-551’.

  • H

    The form that is used to collect additional information about the U.S. employer and the foreign worker as well as to determine the appropriate American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act (ACWIA) fee and whether the foreign worker is subject to the H-1B numerical limitation (H-1B Cap). A U.S. employer seeking to classify a foreign worker in H-1B classification must file this supplement along with the Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker (form I-129).

    The form that is used to collect additional information about the U.S. employer and the foreign worker as well as to determine the appropriate American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act (ACWIA) fee and whether the foreign worker is subject to the labor certification numerical limitation (labor certification Cap). A U.S. employer seeking to classify a foreign worker in labor certification classification must file this supplement along with the Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker (form I-129).

    The numerical limitation of 65,000 visas allotted per fiscal year. Applies to labor certification and H-1B visas.

    The form filed by a petitioner (U.S. company) to establish it is hiring a foreign worker to work in a ‘specialty occupation’ and the foreign worker possesses at least a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent).

    A nonimmigrant visa (temporary stay) issued by the United States embassy or consulate in the foreign person’s home country for the purpose of entering the United States. Applies to persons in H-1B or labor certification status.

    The form filed with the USCIS (by a spouse or child of an H-1B visa holder) allowing an individual to change to H-4 status or extend one’s H-4 status. See also: Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree in hotel/restaurant management; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate in hotel/restaurant management, and three years’ experience in hotel/restaurant management

  • I

    The form filed by a petitioner (U.S. company) to establish it is hiring a foreign worker to work in a ‘specialty occupation’ and the foreign worker possesses at least a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent).

    The form filed by a petitioner (U.S. company) to transfer to the United States a manager or executive or ‘specialized knowledge’ worker that is currently working abroad for a parent, branch, affiliate or subsidiary.

    The form filed by a petitioner (U.S. company) to hire a Canadian or Mexican citizen to work as a ‘professional’.

    The form filed by a petitioner (U.S. citizen) to establish the relationship to a fiancé(e) in order to bring that fiancé(e) and that individual’s children to the United States for marriage.

    The form filed by a petitioner (U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident) to establish the relationship to certain alien relatives who wish to immigrate to the United States.

    The form filed by an applicant with the USCIS to request issuance of an advance parole travel document to allow them to re-enter the United States after temporary travel outside the United States while an application to adjust status is pending.

    The form filed with the United States embassy or consulate and completed by an individual (usually an immediate relative) that declares that they promise to financially support an applicant that is filing for a non-immigrant visa.

    The form filed by a petitioner (U.S. company) on behalf of a foreign worker to obtain an immigrant visa number.

    The form filed by an applicant with the USCIS to adjust status to that of a permanent resident of the United States.

    The form filed by an applicant with the USCIS allowing an individual to change status from one nonimmigrant visa category to another or to extend their present status in the United States. See also: Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status

    The form number of the permanent resident card as well as a term used to describe the card (the size of a credit card) issued by the USCIS to confirm that an alien is a resident (immigrant) and can live and work in the United States. See also: ‘permanent resident card’, ‘lawful permanent resident card’, ‘residence card’, ‘alien registration receipt card’ and ‘green card’.

    The form filed by an applicant with the USCIS to request issuance of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to allow legal employment in the United States.

    The form filed with the USCIS and completed by an individual (usually an immediate relative) that declares that they promise to financially support an applicant that is filing for an immigrant visa or permanent residence (‘green card’).

    The form (form I-94) known as an Arrival-Departure Record created at the time of admission indicating the immigration classification, date and port of entry and length of admission. Form I-94 can be viewed and printed online.

    The form (form I-94W) known as an Arrival-Departure Record created at the time of admission indicating the immigration classification, date and port of entry and length of admission. If the individual is from a country designated by the United States as not requiring a visa to request permission to enter (i.e. visa waiver program) this form is issued. Form I-94W can be viewed and printed online.

    The term used to describe the means by which an alien enters the United States without being inspected by a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer. See also: ‘entry without inspection’.

    The spouse, child (unmarried person under 21 years of age) or parent (if a U.S. citizen, must be at least 21 years old) of a U.S. citizen. There is no limit on the number of immigrant visas or residence cards issued to immediate relatives.

    The form filed by a petitioner (U.S. company) on behalf of a foreign worker to obtain an immigrant visa number.

    The visa (also known as an immediate relative visa) issued by the United States embassy or consulate in the foreign relative’s home country for the purpose of allowing the spouse, child (under 21 and unmarried) or parent to legally enter as a resident and live permanently in the United States. After entry into the United States, the foreign immediate relative is issued a residence card by the USCIS valid for 10 years from the date of entry.

    The United States Congress, via immigration regulation, set an annual limit on the number of family-sponsored immigrant visas. The immigrant visa limit is referred to as ‘immigrant visa numbers’ or ‘visa numbers’. There is no limit on the number of immigrant visas or residence cards issued to immediate relatives (spouse, child (unmarried person under 21 years of age) or parent (if U.S. citizen is at least 21 years old) of a U.S. citizen.

    The Act (law) that primarily governs immigration to and citizenship in the United States.

    A term used to refer to an individual’s status in the United States. If the individual is ‘in status’ they are adhering to the requirements (including purpose, restrictions and time limitations) of the visa and form I-94 or form I-94W.

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years’ experience

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years’ experience

    A notice of filing posted by the U.S. employer at the place of employment and in any and all in-house media (printed or electronic (Intranet)) normally used to fill positions in accordance with normal procedures used for recruitment for similar positions in the organization.

    The transfer of a manager or executive or ‘specialized knowledge’ worker from a foreign company to its U.S. parent, branch, affiliate or subsidiary.

    The designation used to describe an ‘Immediate Relative’ visa or their status in the United States.

    The acronym for ‘Immigrant Visa’.

  • J

    A sponsor is an individual that declares that they promise to financially support an applicant that is filing for an immigrant visa or permanent residence (‘green card’). A joint sponsor makes the same promise, in addition to the sponsor. The promise is made by completing an Affidavit of Support (I-864).

  • K

    The designation used to describe a ‘Fiancé(e)’ visa, or their status in the United States.

    The K-1 visa (also known as a fiancé(e) visa) is issued by the United States embassy or consulate in the fiancé(e)’s home country for the purpose of allowing the fiancé(e) to legally enter the United States to marry the U.S. citizen. The K-1 visa is not designed as visitor visa to be used for a couple to become better acquainted.

    The designation used to describe the visa issued to children of a fiancé(e), or their status in the United States.

    The K-2 visa is issued by the United States embassy or consulate to any minor (under 21 and unmarried) children of the fiancé(e) allowing the children to legally enter the United States.

    The designation used to describe the visa issued to an individual whose spouse (a U.S. citizen) has filed a Petition for Alien Relative (form I-130) with the USCIS, where that individual seeks to enter the United States to await approval of the petition or their status in the United States.

    Previously, the USCIS processing times for marriage petitions were extremely lengthy resulting in the long-term separation of U.S. citizens and their spouses. Established in December, 2000, the K-3 visa was issued by the United States embassy or consulate in the spouse’s home country for the purpose of allowing the spouse to legally enter the United States to await the approval of a marriage petition filed by the U.S. citizen with the USCIS. Since early 2010, the USCIS processing times for marriage petitions were significantly shortened. As a result the USCIS has discontinued the processing of K-3 petitions.

    Previously, the USCIS processing times for marriage petitions were extremely lengthy resulting in the long-term separation of U.S. citizens and their spouses. Established in December, 2000, the K-4 visa is issued by the United States embassy or consulate in the spouse’s home country for the purpose of allowing the spouses children to legally enter the United States to await the approval of a marriage petition filed by the U.S. citizen with the USCIS. Since early 2010, the USCIS processing times for marriage petitions were significantly shortened. As a result the USCIS has discontinued the processing of K-4 petitions.

  • L

    The form that is used to collect additional information about the U.S. employer and the foreign worker. A U.S. employer seeking to classify a foreign worker in L-1A or L-1B classification must file this supplement along with the Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker (form I-129).

    The form filed by a petitioner (U.S. company) to transfer to the United States a manager or executive or ‘specialized knowledge’ worker that is currently working abroad for a parent, branch, affiliate or subsidiary.

    A nonimmigrant visa (temporary stay) issued by the United States embassy or consulate in the foreign person’s home country for the purpose of entering the United States as a manager or executive.

    A nonimmigrant visa (temporary stay) issued by the United States embassy or consulate in the foreign person’s home country for the purpose of entering the United States as a ‘specialized knowledge’ worker.

    The form filed with the USCIS (by a spouse or child of an L-1 visa holder) allowing an individual to change to L-2 status or extend one’s L-2 status. See also: Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status

    The process of proving that there are no qualified U.S. workers for the position being offered to the foreign worker.

    The form filed by the U.S. employer with the Department of Labor attesting to the following: employer will pay nonimmigrants at least the local prevailing wage or the employer’s actual wage, whichever is higher; employer will provide working conditions for nonimmigrants which will not adversely affect the working conditions of workers similarly employed; there is no strike, lockout, or work stoppage in the named occupation at the place of employment; and notice to union or to workers has been or will be provided in the named occupation at the place of employment. The LCA is filed online and is certified within 7 business days of filing.

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial/federal license

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    An individual that has immigrated to the United States, through the issuance of an immigrant visa by the United States embassy or consulate, or the approval of an adjustment of status (‘green card’) application by the USCIS, who can live and work in the United States. See also: ‘alien resident’, ‘permanent resident’ and ‘resident’.

    A term used to describe a card (the size of a credit card) issued by the USCIS to confirm that an alien is a resident (immigrant) and can live and work in the United States. See also: ‘permanent resident card’, ‘residence card’, ‘alien registration receipt card’, ‘green card’ and ‘I-551’.

    An individual that has immigrated to the United States, through the issuance of an immigrant visa by the United States embassy or consulate, or the approval of an adjustment of status (‘green card’) application by the USCIS, who can live and work in the United States. See also: ‘alien resident’, ‘permanent resident’ and ‘resident’.

    LL.B., J.D., LL.L., B.C.L. or Licenciatura Degree (five years); or membership in a state/provincial bar

    The acronym for ‘Labor Condition Application’.

    M.L.S. or B.L.S. (for which another Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree was a prerequisite)

    The term used to describe a computer-generated random-selection process conducted by the USCIS for the purpose of choosing the fiscal year’s H-1B cases to be processed.

    The acronym for ‘Lawful Permanent Resident’.

  • M

    The term used to describe a visa that contains the passport holder’s biometric information. All visas (regardless of type) are now machine-readable. The machine-readable visa is presented to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the time of admission to the United States. The CBP officer scans the visa and is able to review the passport holder’s biometric and visa information on a computer screen.

    A term used to refer to an individual’s status in the United States. If the individual ‘maintains status’, it means they are adhering to the requirements (including purpose, restrictions and time limitations) of the visa and form I-94 or I-94W.

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or equivalent professional experience as established by statement or professional credential attesting to five years’ experience as a management consultant, or five years’ experience in a field of specialty related to the consulting agreement

    The employee manages the organization, department, subdivision, function or component; supervises and controls the work of other supervisory, professional or managerial employees or manages an essential function within the organization or department or subdivision; has authority to hire and fire or recommend personnel actions, or if not direct supervision, functions at a senior level within hierarchy or as to function managed; and exercises discretion over day-to-day operations of the activity or function.

    The enterprise is considered ‘marginal’ if it does not have the present or future capacity to generate more than a minimal living for the foreign investor and his or her family.

    The slang term used to describe a form filed by a petitioner (U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident) to establish the marital relationship in order to bring a spouse who wishes to immigrate to the United States.

    The term used for a person that is legally married pursuant to the laws of the place where the marriage occurred. This may include common law and religious marriages.

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years’ experience

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    A citizen of Mexico by birth or naturalization (not an immigrant).

    The acronym for ‘Machine-Readable Visa’.

    To be considered a multinational executive or manager the foreign individual must have been employed outside the United States in the 3 years preceding the Immigrant Petition for at least 1 year by a firm or corporation or other legal entity or an affiliate or subsidiary and the foreign individual seeks to enter the United States to continue service to that firm or organization. The ‘1 of 3 year’ requirement can be met of the foreign individual is in the United States for more than 3 years if s/he is working for the same employer, affiliate or subsidiary in the United States and was employed for at least 1 of the last 3 years by the company outside the United States before entering the United States in nonimmigrant status (i.e. L-1A).

  • N

    The form filed by an applicant with the USCIS to request issuance of a certificate of naturalization evidencing U.S. citizenship.

    Normally, the EB-2 Immigrant Petition must be accompanied by a certified labor certification. The USCIS may waive the requirement for a certified labor certification if it is in the national interest of the United States. This is termed a ‘national interest waiver’.

    Once a petition is approved by the USCIS it is forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) for the second step of the K-1 visa process. The role of the NVC is to perform and complete background checks, collect immigrant visa fees and documents and processes immigrant visa applications. After processing is complete, the NVC forwards the petition, immigrant visa application, and documents to the United States embassy or consulate nearest the applicant’s foreign residence.

    What happens to an individual that has been granted United States citizenship after meeting certain requirements.

    An organization that has been doing business in the United States through as parent, branch, affiliate or subsidiary for less than one year.

    The acronym for ‘Nonimmigrant Visa’.

    The form filed by a K visa applicant with the United States embassy or consulate in the applicant’s home country for the purpose of requesting a K nonimmigrant visa allowing the applicant to legally enter the United States to marry a U.S. citizen.

    The visa issued by the United States embassy or consulate in the foreign individual’s home country for the purpose of allowing the individual to request permission to enter the United States. The visa is presented to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer who decides: whether to admit the individual into the United States, the nonimmigrant classification and the length of admission. If admitted, the CBP officer will issue the individual an Arrival-Departure Record (form I-94) that indicates the nonimmigrant classification, date and port of entry and length of admission.

    The form filed by an applicant with the United States embassy or consulate in the applicant’s home country for the purpose of requesting a nonimmigrant visa allowing the applicant to legally enter the United States.

    The form filed by an applicant online for the purpose of requesting a nonimmigrant visa allowing the applicant to legally enter the United States.

    The form (form I-797) issued by the USCIS informing the petitioner or applicant that a petition or application has been either received or approved.

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    The acronym for ‘National Visa Center’.

  • O

    Assuming that the application for naturalization (U.S. citizenship) is approved, the applicant must then publicly swear allegiance to the U.S. and renounce allegiance to other sovereigns.

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license

    The foreign worker may qualify for the employment based third preference category if s/he is either a professional, skilled worker or other worker. ‘Other Worker’ means that the unskilled labor position requires less than 2 years training or work experience.

    A term used to refer to an individual’s status in the United States. If the individual is ‘out of status’ they are not adhering to the requirements (including purpose, restrictions and time limitations) of the visa and form I-94 or form I-94W. An individual that is ‘out of status’ is in violation of the immigration regulations.

    To be considered an outstanding professor or researcher the foreign individual must be recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic area; have 3 years of teaching or research experience in the academic area; and seek entry into the United States for a tenure (or tenure track) teaching position with a university or institution of higher education or a comparable position at a university or institution of higher education to conduct research or a comparable position to conduct research with a private employer (if it employs at least 3 full time researchers and the department, division or institution has achieved documented accomplishments in an academic field). To demonstrate that the professor or researcher is recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic area the foreign individual must document at least 2 of the following: receipt of major awards or prizes for outstanding achievement; membership in an association that requires outstanding achievement; published material in professional publications written by others about the foreign individual’s work; participation as a judge evaluating the work of others in the field; evidence of original scientific research; or authorship of scholarly books or articles in the field.

    A term used to refer to an individual’s status in the United States. If the individual is an ‘overstay’ they have remained beyond the time limit indicated on form I-94 or form I-94W. An individual termed as an ‘overstay’ is in violation of the immigration regulations.

  • P

    Upon arrival to the United States, a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer decides whether to admit an individual into the United States. If admitted, the CBP officer will issue the individual an Arrival-Departure Record (form I-94 or I-94W) that indicates the immigration classification, date and port of entry and length of admission. The term ‘period of stay’ refers to the length of stay allowed in the United States. See also: ‘authorized length of stay’.

    The acronym for Program Electronic Review Management.

    The system where a U.S. employer registers the company online for the purpose of filing the Application for Permanent Employment Certification (ETA Form 9089).

    The status bestowed upon an individual that has immigrated to the United States via a family member or employment and issued an immigrant visa by the United States embassy or consulate or the approval of adjustment of status (‘green card’) application by the USCIS.

    An individual that has immigrated based upon issuance of an immigrant visa by the United States embassy or consulate or the approval of an adjustment of status (‘green card’) application by the USCIS and can live and work in the United States. See also: ‘alien resident’, ‘lawful permanent resident’ and ‘resident’.

    A term used to describe a card (the size of a credit card) issued by the USCIS to confirm that an alien is a resident (immigrant) and can live and work in the United States. See also: ‘alien registration receipt card’, ‘residence card’, ‘lawful permanent resident card’, ‘green card’ and ‘I-551’.

    The form filed by a petitioner with USCIS in order to grant an immigration benefit to a beneficiary.

    The form filed by a petitioner (U.S. citizen) to establish the relationship to a fiancé(e) in order to bring that fiancé(e), and that individual’s children, to the United States for marriage.

    The form filed by a petitioner (U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident) to establish the relationship to certain alien relatives who wish to immigrate to the United States.

    The form filed by the foreign investor’s U.S. enterprise to hire the foreign investor to develop and direct his or her enterprise. See also: ‘E-2 Petition’

    The form filed by a petitioner (U.S. company) to establish it is hiring a foreign worker to work in a ‘specialty occupation’ and the foreign worker possesses at least a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent).

    The form filed with the USCIS (by a spouse or child of an L-1 visa holder) allowing an individual to change to L-2 status or extend one’s L-2 status. See also: Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status

    The form filed by a petitioner (U.S. company) to hire a Canadian or Mexican citizen to work as a ‘professional’. See also: TN Petition

    The form filed by a petitioner (U.S. company) on behalf of a foreign worker.

    A relative or employer filing a petition with the USCIS in order to grant an immigration benefit to a beneficiary. See also: ‘sponsor’.

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    A term used to refer to an individual’s physical presence in the United States. If the individual is ‘physically present’, they are currently physically located in the United States.

    M.D. or Doctor en Medicina; or state/provincial license

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    The physical location (either in an airport, seaport or on land) where an alien requests permission of a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer to enter the United States.

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    A guideline that summarizes the minimum income required for an individual to prove that they can financially support an applicant that is filing for an immigrant visa or permanent residence (‘green card’). See also ‘federal poverty guideline’.

    A fee collected by the USCIS from the U.S. employer when the employer requests that the H-1B petition is adjudicated in 15 calendar days or less. The fee is $1225.

    A service where the U.S. employer requests that the H-1B petition be adjudicated in 15 calendar days or less. The fee is $1225.

    The wage that must paid by the U.S. employer to the foreign worker.

    A determination issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) that states the wage that must paid by the U.S. employer to the foreign worker.

    The primary individual applying for an immigration benefit from either the United States embassy or consulate or the USCIS. Typically, the primary individual’s immediate relatives (i.e. spouse and children) receive similar immigration benefits since they are considered ‘derivatives’.

    The date that the petition is properly filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
    Priority Date (Employment Based Case): The priority date for an immigrant petition that is based on employment is either: The date the petition was properly filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or the date the labor certification application was accepted for processing by the Department of Labor (when a labor certification is required).

    The U.S. employer must be engaging the foreign worker (Canadian or Mexican) to work as a ‘professional’. The foreign worker qualifies as a professional if their profession is listed in the North American Free Trade Agreement and the foreign worker possesses the credentials of the profession.

    The report drafted by the U.S. employer evidencing that it followed all applicable recruiting regulations.

    State/provincial license; or Licenciatura Degree

  • Q

    The relationship between a U.S. and foreign company (parent, branch, affiliate or subsidiary) that is required in order to file an L-1 petition.

  • R

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    An enterprise that is actually operating (i.e. not a passive or speculative investment).

    The form (form I-797C) issued by the USCIS informing the petitioner or applicant that a petition or application has been received.

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    State/provincial license; or Licenciatura Degree

    The form filed by a petitioner (U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident) to establish the relationship to certain alien relatives who wish to immigrate to the United States.

    A term used to describe a card (the size of a credit card) issued by the USCIS to confirm that an alien is a resident (immigrant) and can live and work in the United States. See also: ‘alien registration receipt card’, ‘lawful permanent resident card’, ‘green card’ and ‘I-551’.

    An individual that has immigrated based upon issuance of an immigrant visa by the United States embassy or consulate or the approval of an adjustment of status (‘green card’) application by the USCIS and can live and work in the United States. See also: ‘alien resident’, ‘permanent resident’ and ‘lawful permanent resident’.

    : Used to describe a previously issued visa that has been cancelled by the United States embassy or consulate, which cannot be used to request permission to enter the United States.

  • S

    Possession of (a) theoretical knowledge of any of the following disciplines: agricultural sciences, astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, forestry, geology, geophysics, meteorology or physics; and (b) the ability to solve practical problems in any of those disciplines, or the ability to apply principles of any of those disciplines to basic or applied research

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    The foreign worker may qualify for the employment based third preference category if s/he is either a professional, skilled worker or other worker. ‘Skilled Worker’ means that the position must require a minimum of 2 years training or work experience (relevant post-secondary education may be considered training) and the foreign worker must possess the training or work experience.

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    For immigration purposes, a male ‘child’ is termed a ‘son’ once he turns 21 years of age or marries.

    The source of the funds invested (i.e. bank account, loan, gift).

    Knowledge of a company’s product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management or other interests and its application in international markets or advanced level of knowledge of processes and procedures of a company.

    A person who has knowledge of a company’s product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management or other interests and its application in international markets or has an advanced level of knowledge of processes and procedures of the company.

    Requiring a theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation.

    An employer filing a petition with the USCIS or the Department of Labor in order to grant an immigration benefit to a beneficiary. See also: ‘petitioner’.

    An individual that declares that they promise to financially support an applicant that is filing for an immigrant visa or permanent residence (‘green card’). The promise is made by completing an Affidavit of Support (form I-864).

    A relative filing a petition with the USCIS in order to grant an immigration benefit to a beneficiary. See also: ‘petitioner’.

    An individual receiving an immigration benefit from the USCIS as the result of a petitioner filing a petition. See also: ‘beneficiary’.

    A person that is legally married, pursuant to the laws of the place where the marriage occurred. This may include common law and religious marriages.

    A job order placed by the U.S. employer with the state employment security office for the position.

    The requirement that an applicant for naturalization (U.S. citizenship) must have resided in the state where the application for naturalization (U.S. citizenship) is filed for at least 3 months.

    A person (unmarried and under age 21 years of age) whose foreign parent married a U.S. citizen when that person was under 18 years of age.

    The amount of qualifying funds invested weighed against the total cost of purchasing or creating the enterprise; the amount normally considered sufficient to ensure the foreign investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise; and a magnitude of investment to support the likelihood that the investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise are used to determine where the funds invested are considered ‘substantial’.

  • T

    The form filed with the USCIS (by a spouse or child of a TN visa holder) allowing an individual to change to TD status or extend one’s TD status. See also: Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status

    The status accorded a Canadian or Mexican professional’s spouse or child by USCIS or Customs and Border Protection.

    A nonimmigrant visa (temporary stay) issued by the Customs and Border Protection (for Canadians) or the United States embassy or consulate (for Mexicans) in Mexico for the purpose of allowing the spouse and/or child(ren) of the TN professional to enter the United States.

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years’ experience

    The term used to describe the action taken by a United States embassy or consulate with respect to a case where the immigrant visa applicant failed to respond to requests within prescribed time limits.

    The form that is used to collect additional information about the U.S. employer and the foreign worker. A U.S. employer seeking to classify a foreign worker in TN classification must file this supplement along with the Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker (form I-129).

    The form filed by a petitioner (U.S. company) to hire a Canadian or Mexican citizen to work as a ‘professional’.

    The status accorded a Canadian or Mexican professional by USCIS or Customs and Border Protection.

    A nonimmigrant visa (temporary stay) issued by the Customs and Border Protection (for Canadians) or the United States embassy or consulate (for Mexicans) in Mexico for the purpose of entering the United States as a professional.

    A document issued by the USCIS allowing a person to return to the United States after temporary travel outside the United States. The document is valid for 1 year (multiple entries) and must be issued prior to the applicant departing the United States. Typically, the document is issued to an individual that filed for permanent residence (‘green card’) allowing return to the United States while the adjustment of status application is being processed. See also: ‘advance parole’.

    In order to obtain an E-2 visa, the foreign investor must be a national of a country that is a party to a friendship, commerce or navigation treaty, bilateral investment treaty or free trade agreement with the United States. This is known as a ‘Treaty Country’.

  • U

    The government agency (part of the United States Department of Homeland Security) located in the United States that oversees lawful immigration to the United States by processing petitions and applications.

    The official mission (part of the United States Department of State) through which the United States conducts its foreign affairs in a particular foreign country and processes applications for nonimmigrant and immigrant visas.

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    The acronym for ‘United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’.

  • V

    D.V.M., D.M.V. or Doctor en Veterinaria; or state/provincial license

    A generic term for either an immigrant (permanent stay) or nonimmigrant visa (temporary stay) issued by the United States embassy or consulate in the foreign person’s home country for the purpose of entering the United States.

    The bulletin published by the United States Department of State that summarizes the availability of immigrant visa numbers for a particular month.

    The date that either the immigrant visa (permanent stay) or nonimmigrant visa (temporary) issued by the United States embassy or consulate expires. The visa holder must attempt to enter the United States prior to the expiation date of the visa.

    The United States Congress sets an annual limit on the number of employment-sponsored immigrant visas. This immigrant visa limit is referred to as the ‘immigrant visa numbers’ or ‘visa numbers’.

    The United States Congress sets an annual limit on the number of family-sponsored immigrant visas. This immigrant visa limit is referred to as the ‘immigrant visa numbers’ or ‘visa numbers’. There is no limit on the number of immigrant visas or residence cards issued to immediate relatives (spouse, child or parents of a U.S. citizen).

    When a priority date is current one month and is no longer current the following month. This occurs when more foreign relatives or employees apply for an immigrant visa in a particular preference category than there are immigrant visas available for that month.

    The period of time that the holder may use the visa in order to request permission to enter the United States. The ‘visa validity’ period begins on the issuance date and ends on the expiration date. The visa holder must attempt to enter the United States prior to the expiration date of the visa.

    The program allowing citizens of designated countries to request permission to enter the United States as a visitor for pleasure (tourist) or business without obtaining a nonimmigrant visa issued by the United States embassy of consulate. If admitted, the visitor may remain in the United States for 90 days. The period of stay cannot be extended.

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

    The acronym for ‘Visa Waiver Program’.

  • W

    A term used to refer to the work permit issued by the USCIS allowing an alien to work legally in the United States. The technical term is ‘Employment Authorization Document’(EAD) and is issued to individuals who meet certain eligibility criteria.

  • X
  • Y
  • Z

    Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

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