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Immigration Dictionary

  • S
    -5 Visa:
    An S-5 visa will be given to an alien who has the ability to help United States law enforcement personnel investigate and prosecute certain crimes and terrorist activities. This is a relatively new type of visa, created in 1994 by the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, as there was no previous classification that would fit those aliens who were being considered to help with this act. The United States Attorney General and the Secretary of State decides who will receive an S-5 visa. This decision is based on how much knowledge the alien possesses, how willing they are to share this knowledge with the court, and how much this knowledge and the alien him or herself can help to bring forward violent foreign nationals for prosecution when necessary. [ more ]
  • S
    -6 Visa:
    There are only a chosen total of about fifty people who are allowed to enter the United States by way of an S-6 visa each year. The S-6 visa holder is either the spouse or the dependent child of the original S visa holder. A person who is in possession of an S-6 visa is allowed to hold down a job in the United States, but they must also have an Employment Authorization Document, or EAD. The S-6 visa holder may also have been brought into the country to provide information to certain Federal and State authorities against terrorists and acts of terrorism. This information must be essential to the success of said terrorist investigation. When U.S. officials get word from others that a certain foreign national has information that the government may well be interested in, they have no qualms about bringing this person back into the United States. [ more ]
  • S
    -7 Visa:
    An S-7 visa is issued when it is deemed appropriate by the Secretary of State or the Attorney General of the United States. It is felt that by doing so, an S-6 visa holder will feel more at home, and will therefore do a better job. The S-7 visa allows husbands and wives, married and unmarried children, and parents of the witness informant with the S-6 visa to come to the United States and be with their loved one. Any of the family members who came to this country with an S-7 visa will be eligible to change their immigration status to that of permanent residency once they have been in the United States for a time and the primary S visa holder had pertinent information for authorities. [ more ]
  • S
    afe Haven:
    A safe haven is an area within a country that has been provided as a transitory sanctuary for those who are seeking such a place of safety. The United States is such a place for those who come here from another country seeking a respite from persecution and war. These immigrants know that the U.S. is a safe haven for them, and the U.S. has a responsibility to protect any person or persons who is attempting to leave another country, which upholds such treatment and behavior. The United States feel so strongly about its obligation that it regularly deports those aliens who have committed abuses of human rights in other countries. The safe haven of the United States protects people from these who entered the country with false information. [ more ]
  • S
    pecial Agricultural Workers (Saw):
    Special Agricultural Workers, or SAW, are able to get lawful resident status easily thanks to the services they perform in the United States. SAW people perform agricultural work in season, all over the United States. In order to have their temporary residence granted, the worker must prove that he or she lived in the U.S. and performed agricultural work here for at least 90 working days. The Attorney General of the United States is responsible for adjusting the status of all aliens, including those who are in SAW. This person will adjust the SAW worker's status from temporary to permanent once the requirements for the change have been met. Fast Facts Those who have worked under the rules of SAW may freely travel as well as satisfactorily hold down a job. Status adjustments as a result of Special Agricultural Workers are permanent. [ more ]
  • S
    pecial Immigrant:
    A special immigrant is in the United States for a specific reason, such as a religious worker, a physician, an armed forces member, or an employee of an international organization. A sub-class of the special immigrant category is the juvenile special immigrant. A youth under the age of 21 is considered a juvenile special immigrant when they are declared a ward of the United States courts and it is in their best interest not to be returned to their home country. Many special immigrant juveniles are exempt from being deported because of these conditions. However, if they fail to maintain their nonimmigrant status and do not follow court orders, engage in criminal activity, or work without governmental authorization they can have their status revoked. The sub-class of special immigrant juveniles has no filing fee; the fee is waived for persons 21 and younger. Immigrants older than 21 seeking special immigrant status must pay a filing fee of $375. [ more ]
  • S
    pecial Naturalization Provisions:
    Special classes of people who may not meet the general requirements for naturalization under United States law may qualify for special naturalization provisions. This provision allows for qualifying people to be naturalized without meeting the necessary benchmarks. For example, spouses of United States citizens can file for citizenship after living in the country for 3 continuous years, not the normal 5 required in most cases. A surviving spouse of a United States armed forces member has the freedom to apply for citizenship in any district, not only the one where they currently live. And, when both parents are United States citizens their children are not required to take an oath or meet all the qualifications if they are too young. Many circumstances arise where a family immigrates to the United States and the mother and father take the oath of citizenship. A young child would not be able to recite or understand this oath and this provision makes it possible for the child to become a citizen without stating the oath. [ more ]
  • S
    A sponsor is a person who agrees to support and take on the legal responsibility of an alien seeking citizenship. The majority of sponsors are family members who are current United States citizens. In some cases an employer will sponsor an employee. To begin the sponsorship process the sponsor must first sign an Affidavit of Support, a legal document stating his willingness to be responsible for the immigrant until the naturalization process is complete or the immigrant has been credited with 40 quarters of work. Sponsors must pay back any means tested public benefits the immigrant receives. Means tested benefits include food stamps, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and the State Child Health Insurance Program. If the money is not repaid by the sponsor he is at risk of being sued by the agency. Emergency Medicaid, school lunch programs, immunizations, Head Start, and several other agencies and programs are exempt from being repaid. [ more ]
  • S
    Does a person without citizenship ever require a social security number? Yes, a social security number is needed in several different situations that apply to non-citizens. For this reason the government has developed the SS-5, a social security card for people who find themselves in this special circumstance. Even with the existence of SS-5 stringent rules and regulations keep only necessary immigrants from receiving social security cards. When applying for the SS-5 the immigrant will be asked to present his immigration documents which include the I-551 and I-94, a valid visa and passport. The majority of SS-5s are issued to immigrants looking to work in the United States. A social security card is necessary when applying for a job and to receive government benefits. A social security card may also be needed to receive certain services from the government. And, immigrants might find it hard to open bank accounts and establish credit without a social security card. [ more ]
  • S
    Immigrants who speak Spanish and are not fluent in English can apply for a social security card before naturalization using the SS-5SP. This document is authorized by the United States Department of Homeland Security and is usually only provided in cases where the immigrant is seeking work. The lack of a social security card can make it impossible to gain employment in the United States and collect some governmental services and benefits. Applicants can apply for the SS-5Sp in advance. The form can be mailed to their home or it can be downloaded from the Social Security website. Or, the applicant can fill out the application when he arrives at the social security office to present his documents. There is some confusion over what a social security card is used for in the United States and why an immigrant would need one. They are not needed for driver's licenses, school registration, health insurance, or subsidized housing. However, for an immigrant to prove himself successful in his new country he may choose to work which will require a social security number [ more ]
  • S
    A stateless person is described as having no citizenship or nationality. This person may have been a member of group that was not allowed citizenship in his home country, his home country may have ceased to exist, or he may have been born in disputed territories. There are 2 categories of statelessness recognized by the United States. De facto refers to the individual who may have a legal claim to nationality in his home country but is banned from achieving citizenship due to civil unrest, cost, or fear of persecution. De jure exists in specific cases where there is no recognition of a legal meritorious claim to citizenship in any state or country. The term stateless normally is applied to refugees making exact numbers and data difficult to collect and calculate. The greatest population of stateless individuals entering the United States comes from the Dominican Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Thailand, and other countries experiencing civil disorder. [ more ]
  • S
    It is possible for individuals to change their non-immigrant status while in the United States if they meet certain conditions. In some circumstances a non-immigrant may want to change the reason for their visit. For example, a person in the United States to work for a period of time may wish to go to school in the United States. To apply for a change in status a non-immigrant must file the correct forms with the United States Citizen and Immigration Services. The forms must be submitted before the person's legal stay has ended. The non-immigrant's authorized status and expiration date can be found on form I-94. Once a change of status has been applied for the individual cannot change any current activity until approval is granted. He should not start school or work if not already authorized to do so. If a person has failed to maintain their status as a non-immigrant they will not be approved for a status change. [ more ]
  • S
    A stowaway is defined as a person who comes into the United States clandestinely on an airplane, train, or ship without having legal permission to enter the country. The stowaway can be denied entrance into the United States and may be forced to return to the country of origin by the same mode of transportation as he arrived. Stowaways are normally escaping economic, political, or immigration issues in their home countries. In many cases the trip itself can be extremely dangerous. When stowing away in a plane a person must jump up into the wheel base and remain there during the entire flight. Failed attempts to enter the United States as stowaways on a boat are frequently reported in the media. A stowaway's voyage from the West African country of Nigeria turned deadly. One person died when crushed by the boat's propeller and others had to survive on starvation rations. When they were near death they called out to the crew who rescued them and turned them into the authorities. [ more ]
  • S
    tudent Visa:
    A student visa is a specific type of visa catered to the student specifically that wishes to get education in another country. A student visa allows permission to the individual to study at an educational institution in a given country. There are varying requirements surrounding a student visa as some countries require only a passport or a temporary visa, while others force the specific student visa to be used. This is a temporary type of visa that is granted for purposes of the education specifically and therefore a time period is usually associated with the visa itself. If other purposes are intended or the time period is to be extended, then the student must go through a process to reinstate or extend their student visa. [ more ]
  • S
    uspension Of Deportation:
    A suspension of deportation may be issued to non-immigrants currently undergoing deportation proceedings. This process allows them to achieve permanent resident status. To qualify for the suspension of deportation and be considered as a candidate by the United States Department of Immigration the person must have spent 7 years in the United States. These 7 years must have been continuous. The person must also be of upstanding character. In some cases a suspension of deportation is given if deporting an individual would cause extreme hardship to his family. This only applies if his family members are United States residents. A hardship would be considered a lack of needed income or security. For example, a non-immigrant father who has a legalized child can apply for this status if he is the breadwinner in the family because his loss of income would affect the child's well-being. The suspension of deportation was implemented more frequently prior to 1995. During the Clinton administration legislation was passed that made it more difficult to receive this special status. [ more ]
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