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Immigration Dictionary

  • U
    .S. Consulates:
    Found under the auspice of the U.S. Department of State is the Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA). The Bureau operates offices within the United States and around the world. The U.S. consulates are responsible for issuing all passports to US citizens wishing to travel outside the country. The overseas offices of the Bureau are responsible for issuing immigrant and nonimmigrant visas according to the Immigration and Nationality Act. The consular staff is available to assist Americans in foreign countries on a number of matters including lost passports, illness while abroad, absentee voting, crime victimization, and many other issues. The Bureau also deals with matters concerning visa imposters. The Bureau of Consular Affairs is charged with protecting American citizens while overseas. There are consulate offices in a number of different countries. Unlike an embassy there is more than one US consulate office in some countries. [ more ]
  • U
    -1 Visa:
    The U-1 visa is a special nonimmigrant visa created by the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000. The visa is administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency and is used by noncitizen victims of crime. Men and women who are foreign nationals can request a visa when they have suffered mental or physical abuse as a result of a specified crime that has been committed in the United States and are willing to share important information about the criminal activity with government officials. You don't have to be married to the person committing the crime nor does the criminal have to be a citizen or hold any legal status in the U.S. But the crime has to have violated U.S law and occurred in the U.S. or on U.S. property. Once granted the U-1 visa, it is good for up to 4 years. After 3 years it is possible to apply for a permanent visa for U.S. residency. [ more ]
  • U
    -2 Visa:
    After a U-1 visa petition is issued to a foreign national crime victim then certain family members may also qualify for a U-visa. As long as the person granted the U-1 visa is over 21 years old, a spouse may also be issued a visa. The spouse is granted a U-2 visa and this derivative visa is not included in the 10,000 annual visa limit provided for in the law. It is the decision of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as to whether the spouse should qualify for the visa. Some of the factors considered include whether the spouse can assist with the criminal investigation or whether the spouse would experience undue hardship if not given the U-2 visa. The spouse cannot have participated in the crime in any way. [ more ]
  • U
    -3 Visa:
    A U-1 visa can be issued to victims of crimes including rape, torture, incest, domestic violence, slave trade and many others when the victims have information that may assist law enforcement. The idea was to encourage US non-residents or nonimmigrants to be helpful to law enforcement officials when crimes are committed. When the U-1 visa holder is over 21 years old the children of the visa holder may qualify for a U-3 visa. The U-3 visa is the Child of U-1 visa. The child cannot have participated in the crime in any way. The U-1 and U-3 holders may apply for permanent residency after 3 years of U-visa nonimmigrant status. A U-1 victim who is under 21 years old may also request their children be granted U-3 visas but the parents of the victim are also eligible. [ more ]
  • U
    -4 Visa:
    In some cases, the U-1 visa is granted to a person under the age of 21 years old. The U-1 visa is issued to nonimmigrant victims of crimes who are willing to share valuable information with law enforcement agencies. When the U-1 visa is applied for it is also possible to apply for a U-4 visa for parents. Called the Parent of U-1 If U-1 is Under 21 Years of Age visa, it issued to the parents of the minor victim. In fact, visas can be granted to the minor victim's parents, children, spouse or unmarried brothers and sisters under 18 years old. All U visa holders can then apply for permanent residency in the U.S. after 3 years. It is important to discuss the status requirements of U visa holders with an immigration attorney. [ more ]
  • U
    ndocumented Immigrant:
    An undocumented immigrant is a term that causes some people problems because they believe anyone who is here illegally cannot be cannot be considered an immigrant. Instead they refer to people in the country that are undocumented noncitizens as "illegal aliens". Both terms refers to a person who enters the U.S. without making proper application and who never obtains official authorization to live and/or work in the U.S. An undocumented immigrant is also any person who entered the U.S. with authorization and then remained in the country after the visa expired or who is not following the rules of their authorization. Though there is no way to truly know how many undocumented immigrants live in the U.S., estimates place the number as high as 12 million and growing. Undocumented aliens are subject to deportation when their status becomes known to the appropriate officials in the State Department or the Department of Homeland Security. [ more ]
  • U
    SA Citizen:
    A USA Citizen is one that holds the rights and status to live and work legally in the United States and receive all of the benefits, rights, and obligations of that status. A citizen of the United States receives such status either by birth in the country or through naturalization. If an individual wishes to gain citizenship within the United States, they must go through a very long and thorough process called naturalization to become such. Citizens of the United States enjoy freedom, a democracy, and many rights that come along with this such as voting. There are certain obligations attached to being a citizen of the United States that include paying taxes and serving jury duty if asked. [ more ]
  • U
    SA Consulate:
    A USA consulate is known as the residence or official premises of a consul, such as an office or government in a foreign country. A USA consulate offers services for United States citizens abroad, much like an embassy. There are United States consulates and embassies scattered throughout the world and they are there to assist citizens of the US with any issues that they may experience and require assistance with abroad. A United States consulate may also play a pivotal role in any citizenship or visa issues, particularly when it comes to brining over a spouse or intended spouse from another country [ more ]
  • U
    The acronym USCIS stands for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services department. This department answers to the Department of Homeland Security. The USCIS was created by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and assumed most of the administrative functions once handled by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). INS does not exist any longer. The USCIS handles all processing of immigration forms and has the decision making authority as to whether a visa will be issued. It is not an enforcement department. The USCIS grants immigrant visa petitions; handles requests for naturalization; administers immigration benefits; issues work visas (employment authorization documents); decides on petitions for nonimmigrant temporary workers; and grants permanent resident status where appropriate. Any person wishing to become a U.S. citizen must petition the USCIS. [ more ]
  • U
    SCIS Citizenship:
    United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a bureau of the United States Homeland Security that performs administrative functions that were formerly carried out by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS). The priorities of the USCIS citizenship bureau are to promote national security, to eliminate immigration case backlogs, and to improve customer services overall as they pertain to the immigration and citizenship process. Duties of the USCIS include adjudicating asylum claims, issuing employment authorization documents, administering immigration services and benefits, and granting permanent resident and citizenship status within the United States [ more ]
  • U
    SCIS Green Card:
    The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processes petitions for immigrants wishing to live in the United States under permanent resident status under two basic processes, one for immigrants coming to the U.S. through family and the other for immigrants coming to the U.S. to pursue a permanent employment opportunity. In order to qualify for immigration through family, the foreign national must be sponsored by a family member who is either a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident and submit Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative to USCIS. Immigrant visa numbers are assigned by the State Department as available based on a preference categorization which tiers the application based on the type of relationship that the foreign national and the sponsor share. In order to immigrate through employment, a foreign national must be sponsored by a U.S. employer. The employer submits a labor certification request (Form ETA 750) to the Employment and Training Administration of the Department of Labor. Once the request has been certified, the employer submits Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, to the USCIS. Immigration through employment is also prioritized by category of worker: EB-1 priority workers; EB-2 professionals with advanced degrees or persons with exceptional ability; EB-3 skilled or professional workers; and EB-4 special immigrants. [ more ]
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