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Immigration and Naturalization Legal Glossary

Click on the first letter of the word from the list above to go to the appropriate section of the glossary.
Contact us if you would like a personal injury law glossary or one of other legal glossaries for your website.

Acquired Citizenship: Citizenship conferred at birth on children born abroad to a U.S. citizen parents.

Adjustment to Immigrant Status: Procedure allowing certain aliens already in the United States to apply for immigrant status. Aliens admitted to the United States in a non-immigrant, refugee, or parolee category may have their status changed to that of lawful permanent resident if they are eligible to receive an immigrant visa and one is immediately available. In such cases, the alien is counted as an immigrant as of the date of adjustment, even though the alien may have been in the United States for an extended period of time. Beginning in October 1994, the INA allowed illegal residents who were eligible for immigrant status to remain in the United States and adjust to permanent resident status by applying at a USCIS office and paying an additional penalty fee. Prior to October 1994, most illegal residents were required to leave the United States and acquire a visa abroad from the Department of State as they are again now.

Agricultural Worker: As a non-immigrant class of admission, an alien coming temporarily to the United States to perform agricultural labor or services, as defined by the Secretary of Labor.

Alien: Any person not a citizen or national of the United States.

Application Support Centers: USCIS Offices fingerprint applicants for immigration benefits. Some USCIS applications, such as the Application for Naturalization or the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, require the USCIS to conduct a FBI fingerprint background check on the applicant. Most applicants that require a background check will be scheduled to appear at a specific Application Support Center (ASC) or Designated Law Enforcement Agency (DLEA) for fingerprinting.

Apprehension: The arrest of a removable alien by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Each apprehension of the same alien in a fiscal year is counted separately.

Asylee: An alien in the United States or at a port of entry who is found to be unable or unwilling to return to his or her country of nationality, or to seek the protection of that country because of prosecution or a well-founded fear of prosecution. Prosecution or the fear thereof must be based on the alien’s race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. For persons with no nationality, the country of nationality is considered to be the country in which the alien last habitually resided. Asylees are eligible to adjust to lawful permanent resident status after one year of continuous presence in the United States. These immigrants are limited to 10,000 adjustments per fiscal year.

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Call Us 24/7 - We Come To You
(800) 434-8399
LIVE CHAT

© 2014 Hardison & Cochran. All rights reserved.Main Office: 4800 Six Forks Rd., Suite # 220, Raleigh, NC 27609