Glossary of Immigration Terms
Impermanent protection granted to refugees or asylees who have run away from their countries of origin to request help, safety or respite from persecution or other hardships. The protection is usually granted until they can safely go back to their country or, if needed, until they can get permanent relief from the conditions they are running away from.
Abbreviation for Special Agricultural Worker.
There are four service offices in the United States that are responsible for filing, data entry, and arbitration of some applications for immigration services and benefits. Service Centers are not staffed to receive walk-in applications or questions, so all applications have to be mailed.
SEVIS stands for “The Student Exchange Visitor Information System”. This particular system is used by the federal government to monitor student visas in the United States.
Special Agricultural Workers (SAW)
Foreigners who worked in perishable agricultural commodities for a specified period of time and were allowed to enter the United States for short-term and then became permanent residents under a provision of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.
Some classes of immigrants who were exempt from numerical restrictions before fiscal year 1992 and subject to control under the employment-based fourth preference. Special immigrants include persons who lost citizenship by marriage and persons who lost citizenship by serving in foreign armed forces.
Special Naturalization Provisions
Such special provisions permit special classes of persons to become U.S. citizens despite the fact that they do not meet all the common requirements for naturalization:
- Wives or husbands of U.S. citizens are allowed to file for naturalization after three years of legal permanent residence instead of the general five years period
- Surviving spouses of a U.S. citizen who worked in the armed forces are allowed to file for naturalization in any district instead of where he/she resides
- Children of U.S. citizens can become citizens without meeting certain requirements or taking the oath if they are too young to comprehend the meaning
- Other categories of persons who may qualify for special consideration include previous U.S. citizens, servicemen, seamen, and employees of organizations supporting U.S. interests overseas.
To sponsor a foreigner means to bring to the United States or petition for that foreigner in the immigration sense. A "sponsor" is also a person who completes Form I-864, Affidavit of Support under Section 213A of the Act.
An immigrant who has a sponsor that executed an affidavit of support. The affidavit of support includes any spouse or child who will accompany the beneficiary of an immigrant visa petition filed by a sponsor.
A person who is not a national of any country.
A foreigner who comes secretly to the United States by hiding in an airplane or ship without being officially authorized to enter. Such a person will be denied admission and will be returned to the point of embarkation by the transporter.
A nonimmigrant foreigner who comes to the United States temporarily to study in an approved program in either an academic arena such as college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or language training program; a vocational or other recognized nonacademic organization.
Offices established in some Districts so as to provide many services and enforcement functions and to increase convenience to customers.
Subject to the Numerical Limit
The classes of legal immigrants subject to numerical limitations under the provisions of the flexible numerical limit of 675,000 set by the Immigration Act of 1990. The largest classes are the family-sponsored preferences, employment-based preferences, and diversity immigrants.
Suspension of Deportation
A remedy in deportation proceedings which must be initiated before removal proceedings begin under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 [IIRAIRA] . This became enacted on April 1, 1997, and involves certain individuals who have been in the U.S. for 7 or 10 years and who met other criteria as set forth in former INA Section 244(a).
Abbreviation for State Workforce Agency.
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