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Immigration Terms and Definitions

Enclosed are some common terms and abbreviations, used in immigration law and procedure. They can be found in different materials - instructions for filing forms, guidance, books, etc.
§          DHS - Department of Homeland Security. INS' functions have been transferred to DHS
§          SSA-Social security administration - after 9/11 in nexus with INS
§          RMV - Registry of Motor Vehicle - after 9/11 in nexus with DHS
§          USC – United States Citizen (native born or naturalized)
§          LPR – Legal permanent resident (green card holder)–the dream of millions of people. However, this status can be taken away
§          DOL – Department of Labor
§          LCA-Labor Condition Application
§          SESA-State Employment Security Agency
§          DOT – Dictionary of occupational titles
§          SVP – Specific vocational preparation
§          EWI – Entered without inspection-enter illegally (crossed the Mexican border, etc.)
§          NTA – Notice to appear (in immigration court) – usually bad news. Find immigration attorney at once. Do not disregard – if you are not in court on the indicated date a removal order (order in absentia) can be issued
§          EAD – employment authorization document, also called “work permit”. It is a legal right to work, given to someone who has a pending application before INS
§          Political Asylum – relief from removal. Applicant is expected to prove that she/he suffered persecution on account of race, religion, national origin, political opinion, membership of social group and that has a credible fear of future persecution if forced to return
§          Undocumented people– people who are in US without legal permission. They either EWI or overstayed their visas
§          Petitioner – person who is either USC or LPR and petitions INS for an alien
§          Beneficiary – the alien who benefits from the petition
§          Adjustment of Status – Process by which persons with approved immigrant visa petition can obtain LPR status if they are physically present in US
§          Consular processing - Process by which persons with approved immigrant visa petition can obtain LPR at a US consulate abroad, outside the US
§          Naturalization – process by which a LPR becomes a USC
 
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