Immigration Glossary of Terms

Asylum:
    Protection of usually political refugees from arrest by a foreign jurisdiction,
a country or embassy that affords protection. –Also termed political asylum.

Board of Immigration Appeals:
    The highest administrative tribunal for interpreting and applying
United States immigration law, especially reviewing appeal from
adverse decisions of immigration judges and district directors of the
Department of Homeland Security.

Citizenship:
The state of being a citizen. The quality of a person’s conduct as a member of the community.

Deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA):
On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status.

Deportation defense:
Defense against the removal of a person to another country; especially the expulsion or transfer of an alien from a country.

Immigration:
The act of entering a country with the intention of settling there permanently.

Immigration holds:
It refers to when an undocumented or illegal immigrant who is already in jail is held, often past the person’s scheduled release date, for transfer to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Immigration detainers:
Is the same as immigration holds.

Family based petitions:
To petition for a family member to receive a green card (permanent residence). Family relationship needs to be established.

Investors’ Visas:
USCIS administers the EB-5 Program. Under this program, entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) are eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence) if they:

  • Make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States
  • Plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers

This program is known as EB-5 for the name of the employment-based fifth preference visa that participants receive.

Job Related Visas:
The United States welcomes thousands of foreign workers in multiple occupations or employment categories every year. These include artists, researchers, cultural exchange participants, information technology specialists, religious workers, investors, scientists, athletes, nurses, agricultural workers and others. All foreign workers must obtain permission to work legally in the United States. Each employment category for admission has different requirements, conditions and authorized periods of stay. It is important that you adhere to the terms of your application or petition for admission and visa. Any violation can result in removal or denial of re-entry into the United States.

Temporary (Nonimmigrant) Worker:
A temporary worker is an individual seeking to enter the United States temporarily for a specific purpose. Nonimmigrants enter the United States for a temporary period of time, and once in the United States, are restricted to the activity or reason for which their nonimmigrant visa was issued.

Permanent (Immigrant) Worker:
A permanent worker is an individual who is authorized to live and work permanently in the United States.

Students and Exchange Visitors:
Students and exchange visitors may, under certain circumstances, be allowed to work in the United States. They must obtain permission from an authorized official at their school. The authorized official is known as a Designed School Official (DSO) for students and the Responsible Officer (RO) for exchange visitors.

Information for Employers & Employees:
Employers must verify that an individual whom they plan to employ or continue to employ in the United States is authorized to accept employment in the United States. Individuals, such as those who have been admitted as permanent residents, granted asylum or refugee status, or admitted in work-related nonimmigrant classifications, may have employment authorization as a direct result of their immigration status. Other aliens may need to apply individually for employment authorization.

Temporary Visitors for Business:
To visit the United States for business purposes you will need to obtain a visa as a temporary visitor for business (B-1 visa), unless you qualify for admission without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program. For more information on the topics above, select the category related to your situation to the left.

Lawful Permanent Residence (Green card):
A registration card evidencing a resident alien’s status as a permanent U. S. resident.

  • As a permanent resident (green card holder), you have the right to:Live permanently in the United States provided you do not commit any actions that would make you removable under immigration law.
  • Work in the United States at any legal work of your qualification and choosing. (Please note that some jobs will be limited to U.S. citizens for security reasons).
  • Be protected by all laws of the United States, your state of residence and local jurisdictions.

Motion for Bond:
When a bond is not granted by the judge or prosecutor, then a formal is requested by the defense lawyer, so he can give good reasons to grant the bond to the defendant.

Motion to Reconsider/Reopen:
A party’s request that the court allow another hearing of a case, motion, or appeal, usually to consider an alleged error of omission in the court’s judgement or opinion.

Removal proceedings:
An immigration judge shall conduct proceedings for deciding the inadmissibility or deportability of an alien.

Waivers of inadmissibility:
Is an application by an individual seeking immigrant visa, adjustment of status, certain nonimmigrant statuses or certain other immigration benefits.