EB-5 Investment Green Card

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EB-5 Eligibility and Filing

The EB-5 category requires an investment of $500,000 to $1,000,000 in a new commercial enterprise that will benefit the US economy and produce ten full time jobs for workers unrelated to the EB-5 petitioner. (In certain circumstances the purchase or expansion of an existing business may qualify.) Under section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. § 1153(b)(5), 10,000 immigrant visas per year are available to qualified individuals seeking permanent resident status on the basis of their engagement in a new commercial enterprise.

Immigrant Investor Regional Centers

Of the 10,000 investor visas available annually, 5,000 are set aside for those who apply under a pilot program involving an CIS-designated “Regional Center.”  

A "Regional Center"

    1. Is an entity, organization or agency that has been approved as such by the Service;
    2. Focuses on a specific geographic area within the United States; and
    3. Seeks to promote economic growth through increased export sales, improved regional productivity, creation of new jobs, and increased domestic capital investment.

    "Alien investors" must

    • Demonstrate that a "qualified investment" (see below) is being made in a new commercial enterprise located within an approved Regional Center; and,
    • Show, using reasonable methodologies, that 10 or more jobs are actually created either directly or indirectly by the new commercial enterprise through revenues generated from increased exports, improved regional productivity, job creation, or increased domestic capital investment resulting from the pilot program.

    Once the EB-5 petition is approved, the investor becomes a conditional resident for two years and once the conditions are removed, a permanent resident.

    Click here for a list of current EB-5 (Immigrant Investor) Regional Centers by state.

    The list is updated periodically.  Please note that USCIS approval of an EB-5 Regional Center application does not in any way:

    • Constitute USCIS endorsement of the activities of that Regional Center;
    • Guarantee compliance with U.S. securities laws; or
    • Minimize or eliminate risk to the investor.

    Potential investors are encouraged to seek professional advice when making any investment decisions.

    Eligibility

    Permanent resident status based on EB-5 eligibility is available to investors, either alone or coming with their family (spouse and/or unmarried children). Eligible aliens are those who have invested OR are actively in the process of investing,  the required amount of capital into a new commercial enterprise that they have established. The applicants must further demonstrate that this investment will benefit the United States economy and create the requisite number of full-time jobs for qualified persons within the United States.   In general, "eligible individuals" include those:

    1. Who establish a new commercial enterprise by:
      • creating an original business;
      • purchasing an existing business and simultaneously or subsequently restructuring or reorganizing the business such that a new commercial enterprise results; or
      • expanding an existing business by 140 percent of the pre-investment number of jobs or net worth, or retaining all existing jobs in a troubled business that has lost 20 percent of its net worth over the past 12 to 24 months; and
    2. Who have invested -- or who are actively in the process of investing -- in a new commercial enterprise:
      • at least $1,000,000, or
      • at least $500,000 where the investment is being made in a "targeted employment area," which is an area that has experienced unemployment of at least 150 per cent of the national average rate or a rural area as designated by OMB; and
    3. Whose engagement in a new commercial enterprise will benefit the United States economy and:
      • create full-time employment for not fewer than 10 qualified individuals; or
      • maintain the number of existing employees at no less than the pre-investment level for a period of at least two years, where the capital investment is being made in a "troubled business," which is a business that has been in existence for at least two years and that has lost 20 percent of its net worth over the past 12 to 24 months.

    To Obtain Status as an Immigrant Investor

    In order to seek status as an immigrant investor, you must file CIS Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur. The Form I-526 must be filed with supporting documentation that clearly demonstrates the individual’s investment meets all requirements, such as:

    • establishing a new commercial enterprise,
    • investing the requisite capital amount,
    • proving the investment comes from a lawful source of funds,
    • creating the requisite number of jobs,
    • demonstrating that the investor is actively participating in the business; and, where applicable,
    • relating employment within a targeted employment area.

    To Obtain Status as a Conditional Resident

    Once the Form I-526 is approved, immigrant investors may obtain status as a conditional resident by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, if residing within the United States (please see our site on I-485); 

    To Become A Permanent Resident Based on Investment

    In order to become a lawful permanent resident, eligible investors must file a Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions. Form I-829 must be filed within 90 days before the second anniversary of an Alien Investor’s admission to the United States as a conditional resident.

    New Commercial Enterprise

    USCIS published a new EB-5 clarification memo on May 30.  Amongst other things, this memo clarifies the definition of ‘new commercial enterprise’ and job creation requirement:

    2. “New” Defined

    In its effort to spur job creation through a wide variety of businesses and projects, the EB-5 Program has presented a broad definition of what constitutes a “new” commercial enterprise into which the immigrant investor can invest the required amount of capital and help create jobs.

    The EB-5 Program defines “new” as “established after November 29, 1990.” 8 C.F.R. § 204.6(e). The immigrant investor can invest the required amount of capital in a commercial enterprise that was established after November 29, 1990 to qualify for the EB-5 Program, provided the other eligibility criteria are met.

    In addition, in the EB-5 Program a “new” commercial enterprise also means a commercial enterprise that was established before November 29, 1990 if the enterprise will be restructured or expanded through the immigrant investor’s investment of capital:

    a. The Purchase of an Existing Business That is Restructured or Reorganized

    The immigrant investor can invest in an existing business, regardless of when that business was first created, provided that the existing business is simultaneously or subsequently restructured or reorganized such that a new commercial enterprise results. 8 C.F.R. § 204.6(h)(2). The facts of Matter of Soffici—where an investor purchased a Howard Johnson hotel and continued to run it as a Howard Johnson hotel—were not sufficient to establish a qualifying restructuring or reorganization. 22 I&N Dec. 158, 166 (Assoc. Comm’r 1998) (“A few cosmetic changes to the decor and a new marketing strategy for success do not constitute the kind of restructuring contemplated by the regulations, nor does a simple change in ownership.”). On the other hand, examples that could qualify as restructurings or reorganizations include a plan that converts a restaurant into a nightclub, or a plan that adds substantial crop production to an existing livestock farm.

    b. The Expansion of An Existing Business

    The immigrant investor can invest in an existing business, regardless of when that business was first created, provided that a substantial change in the net worth or number of employees results from the investment of capital. 8 C.F.R. § 204.6(h)(3).

     “Substantial change” is defined as follows:

    [A] 40 percent increase either in the net worth, or in the number of employees, so that the new net worth, or number of employees amounts to at least 140 percent of the pre-expansion net worth or number of employees.

    8 C.F.R. § 204.6(h)(3)

    Investment in a new commercial enterprise in this manner does not exempt the immigrant investor from meeting the requirements relating to the amount of capital that must be invested and the number of jobs that must be created. 8 C.F.R. § 204.6(h)(3).

    Commencement of Job Creation

    8 C.F.R. § 204.6(j)(4)(i).

    For purposes of the Form I-526 adjudication and the job creation requirements, the two-year period described in 8 C.F.R. § 204.6(j)(4)(i)(B) is deemed to commence six months after the adjudication of the Form I-526. The business plan filed with the Form I-526 should reasonably demonstrate that the requisite number of jobs will be created by the end of this two-year period.

    To see the entire May 30, 2013 USCIS memo, click here

    This content is tagged for employers and Human Resources professionals responsible for hiring foreign professionals/workers in USA

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    To qualify for an A-1 (or A-2 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government.  The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

    To qualify for an A-2 (or A-1 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government. The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

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    These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

    These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

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    “Priority Date” determines your place in the queue for waiting for green card in the categories where there is a wait. When the govt. has reached your PD, it is said to be “current.” For family-based green cards, PD is the date your I-130 was filed; for PERM-based cases, the date your PERM was filed; for employment-based cases other than through PERM (like EB-1 cases), PD is the date your I-140 was filed. DOS publishes the movement of the PD queue every month in the Visa Bulletin: http://www.immigration.com/visa-bulletin

    A publication of the US State Department that keeps track of the green card backlogs and informs us which "Priority Dates" are current so the applicants can expect to get through the last step of their green card processing. This is published every month around the 14th and tells us the availability for the following month. Note that certain categories of applicants ("immediate relatives") such as spouse of a US citizen are not shown in the visa bulletin because they are entitled to have their applications considered without any wait.

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    AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

    AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

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    The process though which a person within USA obtains a change in their status to green card holder. This is usually the last step for (most not all) green card process.

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    Labor Condition Application. This is a part of some nonimmigrant visa applications process including H-1 visas. Not to be confused with "Labor Certification" also known as PERM, which is a part of the green card process. An LCA, or Labor Condition Application, is required to be submitted to and certified by the U.S. Department of Labor as a part of an H-1B application. The LCA serves to ensure that U.S. wages will not be depressed by the hiring of the H-1B employee and that the H-1B worker will not be exploited. In the LCA, the employer guarantees that it will pay the H-1B worker the required wage, which is the greater of the prevailing wage or the actual wage paid to other employees in the same position; that the H-1B employee will not displace a U.S. worker; and that the employment will not adversely affect the working conditions of workers similarly employed in the area of intended employment.

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    PERM audits typically involve questions from the USDOL regarding the PERM filing.

    Used mostly in the context of the last step in green card processing (Adjustment of Status), preadjudication means USCIS is proceeding to make decision on the file even though priority date is not yet current. The idea is that way when the PD gets current, all they need to do is send approval notice and then the green card. So if the AOS is preadjudicated, you still need to wait for the PD to become current.

    Petition for a conditional resident who obtained status through marriage to apply to remove the conditions on his or her residence.

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    Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) is one of the three adjudicative bodies within the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). It has jurisdiction over three types of civil penalty cases: employer sanctions (INA § 274A - 8 USC § 1324a), unfair immigration-related employment practices (INA § 274B - 8 USC § 1324b), and immigration-related document fraud (INA § 274C - 8 USC § 1324c).

    Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals is an adjudicative agency that decides in appeal PERM and wage disputes.

    Certifying Officer is the highest Department of Labor officer for a region. They are charged, amongst other things, with the responsibility to adjudicate PERM and LCA cases.

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    N-470 helps you preserve your stay abroad for naturalization under certain circumstances. So, even though you are living outside USA, you can accumulate that time for naturalization.

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    Congressional Research Service. A "think tank" that provides reports to members of Congress on a variety of topics relevant to current political events.

    Missouri Service Center (MSC) was transitioned into the National Benefits Center (NBC). The NBC was established to serve as the hub and conduit for USCIS local field offices by completing all pre-interview processing of Forms generally requiring an interview. This pre-processing includes conducting background security checks, performing initial evidence reviews, adjudication of associated I-765 and I-131 applications (filed with the I-485 or separately), denial of adjustment of status cases for applicants who are statutorily ineligible, and forwarding scheduled cases to the USCIS local office for adjudication. In employment based cases, transfer to NBC usually means an interview can be expected. This can occur even if PD is retrogressed.

    Online Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application can only be used by visa applicants applying at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate which has converted to the new electronic fully online form and process. For more information visit travel.state.gov DS-160 informational webpage for a listing of embassy locations using Form DS-160. Next, visit one of the U.S. Embassy websites using the Form DS-160 and where you will apply, to review detailed nonimmigrant visa how-to-apply instructions, in addition to these FAQs.

    1. Where can I find the DS-160?
    You can access the DS-160 from the Consular Electronic Application Center website or from the link on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website.

    The mission of the Employment and Training Administration is to contribute to the more efficient functioning of the U.S. labor market by providing high quality job training, employment, labor market information, and income maintenance services primarily through state and local workforce development systems.

    A form issued by school for applicants to obtain a Student Visa.

    A form issued by school or sponsor for applicants to obtain a J Visa.

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    In April of 1994, the Department of State opened a permanent Immigrant Visa processing facility at the National Visa Center (NVC) in Portsmouth, NH. The NVC processes all approved immigrant visa petitions after they are received from Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security (CIS) and retains them until the cases are ready for adjudication by a consular officer abroad.

    Every month, the Visa Office (VO) establishes Qualifying Dates that determine if a petition will be eligible for processing. Qualifying Dates are the latest priority dates that can be processed for certain visa categories. An immigrant visa petition can only become ready for further processing when the Qualifying Date in the appropriate visa category has advanced up to the priority date of the petition. Petitions may remain at NVC for several months or for many years depending on the visa category and country of birth of the visa applicant.

    NVC’s Role

    The NVC is responsible for the collection of visa application fees and visa application documentation. When an applicant's priority date meets the most recent Qualifying Date, the NVC will contact the applicant and petitioner with instructions for submitting the appropriate processing fees. After the appropriate processing fees are paid, the NVC will again contact the applicant and petitioner to request that the necessary immigrant visa documentation be submitted to the NVC.

    The U.S. Department of State's official site for U.S. visa information

    InfoPass is an Internet-based system that enables the public to go online to schedule appointments with immigration information officers at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices. If you have a complex immigration question or need that is best addressed by a trained USCIS officer in person, InfoPass offers a convenient alternative to waiting in line for assistance. InfoPass is a secure Internet site.

    8 C.F.R. ง 214.3(l)(1)(ii):

    (l) Designated official.

    (1) Meaning of term Designated Official. As used in งง 214.1(b), 214.2(b),
    214.2(f), 214.2(m), and 214.4, a Designated Official, Designated School
    Official (DSO), or Principal Designated School Official (PDSO), means a
    regularly employed member of the school administration whose office is
    located at the school and whose compensation does not come from commissions
    for recruitment of foreign students. An individual whose principal
    obligation to the school is to recruit foreign students for compensation
    does not qualify as a designated official. The PDSO and any other DSO must
    be named by the president, owner, or head of a school or school system. The
    PDSO and DSO may not delegate this designation to any other person.

    (i) A PDSO and DSO must be either a citizen or lawful permanent resident of
    the United States.

    (ii) Each campus must have one PDSO. The PDSO is responsible for updating
    SEVIS to reflect the addition or deletion of any DSO on his or her
    associated campus. SEVP will use the PDSO as the point of contact on any
    issues that relate to the school's compliance with the regulations, as well
    as any system alerts generated by SEVIS. SEVP may also designate certain
    functions in SEVIS for use by the PDSO only. The PDSO of the main campus is
    the only DSO authorized to submit a Form I-17 for recertification. The PDSO
    and DSO will share the same responsibilities in all other respects.

    (iii) Each school may have up to 10 designated officials at any one time,
    including the PDSO. In a multi-campus school, each campus may have up to 10
    designated officials at any one time including a required PDSO. In a private
    elementary or public or private secondary school system, however, the entire
    school system is limited to 10 designated officials at any one time
    including the PDSO.

    The DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, is a fully integrated online application form that is used to collect the necessary application information from a person seeking a nonimmigrant visa for temporary travel to the United States.

    OFLC processes labor certification applications for employers seeking to bring foreign workers into the United States and grants certifications in those cases where employers can demonstrate that there are not sufficient U.S. workers available, willing and qualified to perform the work at wages that meet or exceed the prevailing wage paid for the occupation in the area of intended employment.

    Designated School Official is a school officer designated to work with students and act as a representative of USCIS/ICE in certain matters.

    Student and Exchange Visitor Information System www.ice.gov/sevis.

    SEVIS is an Internet-based system that maintains accurate and current information on non-immigrant students (F and M visa), exchange visitors (J visa), and their dependents (F-2, M-2, and J-2). SEVIS enables schools and program sponsors to transmit electronic information and event notifications via the Internet, to the ICE and Department of State (DOS) throughout a student or exchange visitor’s stay in the United States. The system will reflect international student or exchange visitor status changes, such as admission at Port of Entry (POE), change of address, change in program of study, and other details. SEVIS will also provide system alerts, event notifications, and basic reports to the end-user schools, programs, and Immigration related field offices.

    SEVP acts as the bridge for government organizations that have an interest in information on foreign students. SEVP helps the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State monitor school and exchange programs and F, M and J category visitors. SEVP administers the F and M visa categories, while the Department of State manages the J exchange visitor program.
    SEVP uses the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a web-based solution, to track and monitor schools and programs, students, exchange visitors and their dependents while approved to participate in the U.S. education system.
    SEVP collects, maintains and provides the information so that only legitimate foreign students or exchange visitors gain entry to the United States. The result is an easily accessible information system that provides timely information to the Department of State, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
    For more details, please visit the link, http://www.ice.gov/sevis/

    Introduction:

    VIBE is a web-based adjudication tool used by USCIS to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ alien workers. VIBE uses commercially available data from an independent information provider (IIP) to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ certain alien workers. Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) is the current IIP for this program.

    This service is available to US based, privately held companies only. It is free of charge, and petitioning employers may access this process via D&B’s iUpdate for U.S. government customers -- a free, password-protected and encrypted online service tool offered by D&B.

    Please note that USCIS does not expect or require petitioners to contact D&B or pay any fees associated with creating or updating an existing record. Employers who wish to update their information through D&B directly may be subject to direct marketing by the organization or encounter D&B representatives who may suggest a purchase of the firm’s products and services.

    Purpose of VIBE:

    The purpose behind VIBE is to increase the efficiency of the visa petitioning process by reducing the amount of documents employers have to submit with each petition in order to prove eligibility. Furthermore, USCIS will also be able to reduce the number of RFEs issued to otherwise eligible petitioners.

    An important point to note is that USCIS will not deny a petition based solely on information from VIBE without at least first giving the petitioner an opportunity to respond to the RFEs or NOIDs issued by USCIS.

    Please note that whether or not you choose to create a record or update your record with D&B, you must respond to any RFE or NOID received from USCIS. Failure to respond could result in the denial of your petition. Furthermore, it is necessary to resolve relevant inconsistencies in the information provided by the employer, on one hand, and information available on VIBE, on the other.

    Employment Authorization Document. This is evidence that a person is authorized to work in USA. People undergoing Adjustment of Status (AOS or I-485 process) are entitled to an EAD.

    Specific information related to our team and this site.

    Deferred Action is consent by the Government not to deport (remove) an otherwise deport-able individual. Usually it is given for humanitarian reasons and work authorization is also provided. Unlawful presence is stopped during deferred action, but any unlawful presence already accrued does not get wiped away. Deferred action is not a visa or a full legal status.

    Automatic Visa Revalidation - Definition from Travel.state.gov

    Re-entering the U.S. with a Valid I-94 Form & Expired Visa is Limited
    What Is Automatic Revalidation?

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has the authority and the responsibility over the admission of travelers to the U.S. Under the automatic revalidation provision of immigration law, certain temporary visitors holding expired nonimmigrant visas who seek to return to the U.S. may be admitted at a U.S. port of entry by CBP, if they meet certain requirements, including, but not limited to the following:

    Nonimmigrants who departed the U.S. for brief travel to Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island (for F and J nonimmigrants) for thirty days or less;
    Nonimmigrants with a valid (unexpired) Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, endorsed by DHS.

    More Information about Automatic Revalidation

    For more information about automatic revalidation provisions and reentry to the U.S., visit the International Visitors webpage and the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. Students and Exchange Visitors should review additional important information about travel outside the U.S. and reentry procedures on the DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website.

    Automatic revalidation is not the same as applying for a new visa. If you apply for a new nonimmigrant visa, you cannot take advantage of automatic revalidation.
    Who Must Reapply for and Be Reissued a Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate?

    This webpage explains which travelers must reapply and be reissued visas when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, in order to gain admission to reenter the U.S.

    Many nonimmigrants will need to reapply and be reissued visas to reenter the U.S. when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, because automatic revalidation applies to limited categories of travelers. Refer to the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. The following temporary visitors whose nonimmigrant visas have expired, but who have valid I-94 forms, must reapply for and be issued nonimmigrant visas prior to their reentry to the U.S., if one or more of the following situations exists (this is not a complete listing):

    The nonimmigrant traveler with an expired nonimmigrant visa (but valid Form I-94):

    Applied for a new visa which has not yet been issued;
    Applied for a new visa and was denied;
    Has been outside of the United States for more than thirty days;
    Has traveled to a country other than Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island which is not included in the automatic revalidation provisions;
    Is a national of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designated country, including Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Sudan. Review more about State Sponsors of Terrorism and FAQs on this website;
    Is in possession of an F student visa or J exchange visitor visa and has traveled to Cuba;
    Is in possession of an M student visa and has traveled to a location outside the U.S., other than Canada and Mexico.

    Additional Resources – Laws

    The automatic revalidation provision of U.S. immigration law is described in both 8 CFR 214.1(b) and 22 CFR 112(d).
    We Want You to Know

    Visa News
    Adoption Alerts
    Diversity Visa
    Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
    Iraqis & Afghans-SIV
    Business Visa Center
    Customer Service Statement to Visa Applicants
    Fraud Warning

    Visa denial based upon immigrant intent defined in Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

    Immigrant intent becomes an issue when an applicant outside or inside USA seeks a benefit (such as a visa, when outside USA, or a change of status, when within USA) that does not allow an applicant to possess the intention of residing permanently in USA ("immigrant intent"). For example, an applicant for a visitor's visa must not have the intention to reside in USA permanently. Their visa can be refused if they have immigrant intent.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it intends to revoke (cancel) approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a pending case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it plans to remove approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it plans to remove approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The term often refers to the Designated Degree program requiring a degree in one of these fields of study. STEM programs, in recognition of their importance to US interests, are awarded special consideration in certain areas under US immigration laws.

    A Returning Resident Permit, or SB-1 Visa, is what a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or Green Card holder) can get to return to the United States after being out of the country for more than one year. When an LPR leaves the United States, they must return within a year. If they stay more than a year, they must obtain a Returning Resident Permit in order to return. This also applies to those who remain outside of the country longer than is allowed by their reentry permit.
    You apply for a returning residence visa through the consulate in your home country. There, you have to explain in quite some detail the genuine reason for your inability to return to USA within one year. It is discretionary upon the consulate whether they are convinced by the genuineness of your response or not.
    For more information, see this State Department’s webpage: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1333.html

    A Returning Resident Permit, or SB-1 Visa, is what a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or Green Card holder) can get to return to the United States after being out of the country for more than one year. When an LPR leaves the United States, they must return within a year. If they stay more than a year, they must obtain a Returning Resident Permit in order to return. This also applies to those who remain outside of the country longer than is allowed by their reentry permit.
    You apply for a returning residence visa through the consulate in your home country. There, you have to explain in quite some detail the genuine reason for your inability to return to USA within one year. It is discretionary upon the consulate whether they are convinced by the genuineness of your response or not.
    For more information, see this State Department’s webpage: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1333.html

    U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. Consists of two houses: Senate and the House of Representatives.

    One of the two houses of U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. The other is the House of Representatives.

    One of the two houses of U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. The other is the Senate.

    Default Web Links group

    We host free calls for the community every other Thursday at 12:30 pm Eastern Standard Time.  All are welcome to call in phone 202-800-8394 and ask their questions.

    This content is tagged for employers and Human Resources professionals responsible for hiring foreign professionals/workers in USA

    US Department of Labor is charged with protecting the labor market and investigation and enforcement activities related to that.

    Immigration and Custom Enforcement. This agency used to be a part of old INS. When DHS was formed, enforcement personnel of US Customs Service and INS were combined to form ICE, which is now responsible for a large part of immigration enforcement activity.

    Department of State (State Department) is responsible for issuing visas, which are a permission to travel to USA.

    A method to obtain green card used to avoid the need for PERM based labor certification.

    Customs and Border Protection. This agency was spun off from old INS. CBP is responsible for inspecting people when they land at airports, docks and land borders.

    To qualify for an A-1 (or A-2 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government.  The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

    To qualify for an A-2 (or A-1 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government. The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

    Consulates all over the world issue visas - a permission to enter USA for a specific purpose. Consulates are a part of the State Department (DOS - Department of State).

    Bangladesh Immigration

    Indonesia Immigration

    I-94 aka Arrival Departure Record is what governs your status in the USA. An expired I-94 can lead to bar from entering USA for 3 to 10 years.See details on "Unlawful Presence".

    When used in relation to immigration, this is another name for being LEGALLY present in the USA

    This is a complicated term. Very simply (there is a lot more to it), you could have your status expire and still be authorized to stay in USA awaiting the outcome of a legally filed petition. This is something less than "Status" but much better than "Unlawful Presence."

    This is another complicated concept with some very serious consequences. Briefly, if you have been unlawfully present in USA for more than 180 days, you cannot come back to USA for 3 years and if unlawfully present for a year or more, you cannot come back for 10 years. Very generally speaking unlawful presence begins after expiration of the I-94 or after having been asked by the govt. to leave USA.

    These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

    These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

    Adjustment of Status

    Includes topics of loss of physical green card papers or the card itself as well as loss of green card through abandonment and criminal activity.

    When used in relation to immigration, this is another name for extending your status.

    Employees working in USA

    Personal employees, attendants and servants of A-1 and A-2 visa holders.

    EB4 category is for religious workers.

    “Priority Date” determines your place in the queue for waiting for green card in the categories where there is a wait. When the govt. has reached your PD, it is said to be “current.” For family-based green cards, PD is the date your I-130 was filed; for PERM-based cases, the date your PERM was filed; for employment-based cases other than through PERM (like EB-1 cases), PD is the date your I-140 was filed. DOS publishes the movement of the PD queue every month in the Visa Bulletin: http://www.immigration.com/visa-bulletin

    A publication of the US State Department that keeps track of the green card backlogs and informs us which "Priority Dates" are current so the applicants can expect to get through the last step of their green card processing. This is published every month around the 14th and tells us the availability for the following month. Note that certain categories of applicants ("immediate relatives") such as spouse of a US citizen are not shown in the visa bulletin because they are entitled to have their applications considered without any wait.

    Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (now USCIS)

    Central Intelligence Agency

    Department of Homeland Security

    Department of Justice

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Immigration and Naturalization Service (now reconstituted into USCIS)

    Internal Revenue Service

    Office of Management and Budget

    Social Security Administration

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Earlier known as INS. USCIS is responsible for providing immigration benefits to applicants. Homepage http://wwww.uscis.gov

    American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998.

    Approval Date (When your application was approved)

    Alien Documentation, Identification & Telecommunications System

    Assistant Field Office Director

    Abbreviation for American Immigration Lawyers Association.

    Adjudications Officer

    Administrative Review

    Application Support Center: offers biometric services including fingerprinting services

    Birth Certificate

    Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (now USCIS)

    Board of Immigrant Appeals

    Biometrics (include Digital photo, index finger print and your digital signature). This is needed for the production of Green Card.

    Customs and Border Protection

    Central Intelligence Agency

    Citizenship and Immigration Services

    Consulate Officer

    Consular Processing

    Conditional Permanent Resident

    Curricular Practical Training

    Central Regional Office

    California Service Center

    Cancelled Without Prejudice

    Deputy Field Office Director

    Department of Homeland Security

    Drivers License

    Department of Motor Vehicles

    Department of Justice

    Department of Labor

    Dallas Office Rapid Adjustment of Status

    Department of State

    Detention and Removal Operations

    Diversity Visa (a.k.a. Green Card Lottery)

    Eastern Application Center

    Employment Authorization Document (I-765, approval to work while waiting for Adjustment of Status - AOS Approval)

    Electronic Data Systems

    Executive Office of Immigration Review

    Expedited Removal

    Eastern Regional Office

    Entered Without Inspection

    Foreign Affairs Manual

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Field Office Director

    Finger Print

    File Transfer Request

    Green Card

    Immigration Judge

    International Marriage Brokers Act

    Immigration and Nationality Act

    Is an online appointment so you can go to your DO if you have a doubt or want to know something about your case in person or to request your interim EAD

    Immigration and Naturalization Service (now called USCIS)

    Immigration officer / Interviewing officer

    Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

    Internal Revenue Service

    Internet Service Provider

    Immigrant Visa

    Immigrant Visa Applicant Control System

    John F. Kennedy International Airport

    Kentucky Consular Center

    Labor Condition Application

    Lawful Permanent Resident

    Lawful Permanent Resident Alien

    Last Update Date on your on-line portfolio at USCIS website. It is the date when they last took action on your application, could be anything.

    Machine Readable Data

    Machine Readable Passport

    Machine Readable Visa

    Missouri Service Center

    Notice Date (When USCIS notified you that they received your application)

    National Data Entry Center

    Non Immigrant Visa

    Notice of Action is your receipt/letter that you received after you filed your forms (indicates I-797C)

    Notice of Proposed Rule Making

    Notice To Appear

    Nebraska Service Center

    National Visa Center

    New York District Office

    Office of Management and Budget

    Optional Practical Training

    Other Than Mexican

    Police Clearance Certificate

    Priority Date

    Port of Entry

    Permanent Resident (Also LPR - Legal Permanent Resident)

    Quality Assurance

    Receipt Date (When USCIS received your application)

    Remote Adjudications Center

    Request for Evidence

    Request for Initial Evidence

    Service Center (this is used with a prefix, eg CSC - California Service Center; MSC - Missouri Service Center, that is the address from where you will received your NOA (Notice of Action))

    Supervisory Detention & Deportation Officer

    Student Exchange Visitor Information System

    Student and Exchange Visitor Program

    Social Security Administration

    Social Security Number

    State Workforce Agency

    When the UCSIS "Touches" your petition or file it means that an action was taken which required your file to be physically touched or moved. Example: Your file is touched when it is given to an adjudicator to process.

    Temporary Protected Status

    Texas Service Center

    Transit Without Visa

    US Citizen

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

    System in airports that captures biometrics of people entering the country

    Voluntary Return

    Vermont Service Center

    Visa Waiver Program

    Western Application Center

    Western Regional Office

    Alien's Change of Address Form

    NAFTA Professional visa

    NAFTA Professional Dependant visa

    Pre-Flight Inspection

    PERM Processing: Program Electronic Review Management

    Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

    Interim EAD

    Application to Replace Permanent Residence Card

    Employment Eligibility Verification

    Affidavit of Support

    Application for Employment Authorization

    Green Card

    Application To Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

    Welcome Notice

    Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

    Affidavit of Support

    Application for Travel Document

    Advance Parole or AP (Form I-131): The authorization to travel outside the US while your adjustment of status is pending. Note, Form I-131 is also used for Reentry Permit, an application by a US green card holder to be away from USA for over one year.

    Administrative Appeals Office

    Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. Under the prior rules, an F-1 student could be authorized to receive up to a total of 12 months of practical training either before (pre-) and/or after (post-) completion of studies.

    This is an abbreviation for test_term and can be deleted

    AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

    AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

    American Immigration Lawyers Association

    Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

    The process though which a person within USA obtains a change in their status to green card holder. This is usually the last step for (most not all) green card process.

    Includes Zoologists, Botanists

    Includes occupations in biochemistry, cytology, genetics, physiology

    Fashion Models

    Hotel management and related professions

    An alternative to obtaining the last step in the green card through the consulates outside USA. This is an alternative to adjustment of status.

    DOD (Department of Defense) project visas.

    Includes CPA's CA's and all other accountants and auditors

    Violence Against Women Act

    Child Status Protection Act

    Labor Condition Application. This is a part of some nonimmigrant visa applications process including H-1 visas. Not to be confused with "Labor Certification" also known as PERM, which is a part of the green card process. An LCA, or Labor Condition Application, is required to be submitted to and certified by the U.S. Department of Labor as a part of an H-1B application. The LCA serves to ensure that U.S. wages will not be depressed by the hiring of the H-1B employee and that the H-1B worker will not be exploited. In the LCA, the employer guarantees that it will pay the H-1B worker the required wage, which is the greater of the prevailing wage or the actual wage paid to other employees in the same position; that the H-1B employee will not displace a U.S. worker; and that the employment will not adversely affect the working conditions of workers similarly employed in the area of intended employment.

    Also known as CIS Ombudsman, this office provides recommendations for resolving individual and employer problems with the USCIS. As mandated by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 § 452, CIS Ombudsman is an independent office that reports directly to the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security. http://www.dhs.gov/xabout/structure/editorial_0482.shtm

    PERM audits typically involve questions from the USDOL regarding the PERM filing.

    Used mostly in the context of the last step in green card processing (Adjustment of Status), preadjudication means USCIS is proceeding to make decision on the file even though priority date is not yet current. The idea is that way when the PD gets current, all they need to do is send approval notice and then the green card. So if the AOS is preadjudicated, you still need to wait for the PD to become current.

    Petition for a conditional resident who obtained status through marriage to apply to remove the conditions on his or her residence.

    Vermont Service Center

    California Service Center

    Nebraska Service Center

    Texas Service Center

    Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) is one of the three adjudicative bodies within the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). It has jurisdiction over three types of civil penalty cases: employer sanctions (INA § 274A - 8 USC § 1324a), unfair immigration-related employment practices (INA § 274B - 8 USC § 1324b), and immigration-related document fraud (INA § 274C - 8 USC § 1324c).

    Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals is an adjudicative agency that decides in appeal PERM and wage disputes.

    Certifying Officer is the highest Department of Labor officer for a region. They are charged, amongst other things, with the responsibility to adjudicate PERM and LCA cases.

    Fraud Detection and National Security. FDNS was created to strengthen the ability of the U.S. Citizenship and
    Immigration Services (USCIS) to provide the right benefit to the right person at the right time, and no benefit to the wrong person.

    Citizenship in USA can be obtained through naturalization or through birth in USA.

    The process through which a person becomes a US Citizen.

    N-470 helps you preserve your stay abroad for naturalization under certain circumstances. So, even though you are living outside USA, you can accumulate that time for naturalization.

    Electronic System for Travel Authorization

    Congressional Research Service. A "think tank" that provides reports to members of Congress on a variety of topics relevant to current political events.

    Missouri Service Center (MSC) was transitioned into the National Benefits Center (NBC). The NBC was established to serve as the hub and conduit for USCIS local field offices by completing all pre-interview processing of Forms generally requiring an interview. This pre-processing includes conducting background security checks, performing initial evidence reviews, adjudication of associated I-765 and I-131 applications (filed with the I-485 or separately), denial of adjustment of status cases for applicants who are statutorily ineligible, and forwarding scheduled cases to the USCIS local office for adjudication. In employment based cases, transfer to NBC usually means an interview can be expected. This can occur even if PD is retrogressed.

    Online Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application can only be used by visa applicants applying at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate which has converted to the new electronic fully online form and process. For more information visit travel.state.gov DS-160 informational webpage for a listing of embassy locations using Form DS-160. Next, visit one of the U.S. Embassy websites using the Form DS-160 and where you will apply, to review detailed nonimmigrant visa how-to-apply instructions, in addition to these FAQs.

    1. Where can I find the DS-160?
    You can access the DS-160 from the Consular Electronic Application Center website or from the link on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website.

    The mission of the Employment and Training Administration is to contribute to the more efficient functioning of the U.S. labor market by providing high quality job training, employment, labor market information, and income maintenance services primarily through state and local workforce development systems.

    A form issued by school for applicants to obtain a Student Visa.

    A form issued by school or sponsor for applicants to obtain a J Visa.

    United Kingdom

    Cyprus Immigration

    Japan

    France

    Germany

    Ireland

    Kuwait Immigration

    Saudi Arabia Immigration

    United Arab Emirates Immigration

    Singapore Immigration

    Chile Immigration

    China Immigration new

    Egypt Immigration

    France Immigration

    Malaysia Immigration

    Maldives Immigration

    Malta Immigration

    Mauritius Immigration

    Nepal Immigration

    Norway Immigration

    New Zealand Immigration

    Romania Immigration

    South Africa Immigration

    South Korea Immigration

    Sweden Immigration

    Switzerland immigration

    Trinidad immigration

    In April of 1994, the Department of State opened a permanent Immigrant Visa processing facility at the National Visa Center (NVC) in Portsmouth, NH. The NVC processes all approved immigrant visa petitions after they are received from Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security (CIS) and retains them until the cases are ready for adjudication by a consular officer abroad.

    Every month, the Visa Office (VO) establishes Qualifying Dates that determine if a petition will be eligible for processing. Qualifying Dates are the latest priority dates that can be processed for certain visa categories. An immigrant visa petition can only become ready for further processing when the Qualifying Date in the appropriate visa category has advanced up to the priority date of the petition. Petitions may remain at NVC for several months or for many years depending on the visa category and country of birth of the visa applicant.

    NVC’s Role

    The NVC is responsible for the collection of visa application fees and visa application documentation. When an applicant's priority date meets the most recent Qualifying Date, the NVC will contact the applicant and petitioner with instructions for submitting the appropriate processing fees. After the appropriate processing fees are paid, the NVC will again contact the applicant and petitioner to request that the necessary immigrant visa documentation be submitted to the NVC.

    The U.S. Department of State's official site for U.S. visa information

    InfoPass is an Internet-based system that enables the public to go online to schedule appointments with immigration information officers at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices. If you have a complex immigration question or need that is best addressed by a trained USCIS officer in person, InfoPass offers a convenient alternative to waiting in line for assistance. InfoPass is a secure Internet site.

    8 C.F.R. ง 214.3(l)(1)(ii):

    (l) Designated official.

    (1) Meaning of term Designated Official. As used in งง 214.1(b), 214.2(b),
    214.2(f), 214.2(m), and 214.4, a Designated Official, Designated School
    Official (DSO), or Principal Designated School Official (PDSO), means a
    regularly employed member of the school administration whose office is
    located at the school and whose compensation does not come from commissions
    for recruitment of foreign students. An individual whose principal
    obligation to the school is to recruit foreign students for compensation
    does not qualify as a designated official. The PDSO and any other DSO must
    be named by the president, owner, or head of a school or school system. The
    PDSO and DSO may not delegate this designation to any other person.

    (i) A PDSO and DSO must be either a citizen or lawful permanent resident of
    the United States.

    (ii) Each campus must have one PDSO. The PDSO is responsible for updating
    SEVIS to reflect the addition or deletion of any DSO on his or her
    associated campus. SEVP will use the PDSO as the point of contact on any
    issues that relate to the school's compliance with the regulations, as well
    as any system alerts generated by SEVIS. SEVP may also designate certain
    functions in SEVIS for use by the PDSO only. The PDSO of the main campus is
    the only DSO authorized to submit a Form I-17 for recertification. The PDSO
    and DSO will share the same responsibilities in all other respects.

    (iii) Each school may have up to 10 designated officials at any one time,
    including the PDSO. In a multi-campus school, each campus may have up to 10
    designated officials at any one time including a required PDSO. In a private
    elementary or public or private secondary school system, however, the entire
    school system is limited to 10 designated officials at any one time
    including the PDSO.

    The DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, is a fully integrated online application form that is used to collect the necessary application information from a person seeking a nonimmigrant visa for temporary travel to the United States.

    OFLC processes labor certification applications for employers seeking to bring foreign workers into the United States and grants certifications in those cases where employers can demonstrate that there are not sufficient U.S. workers available, willing and qualified to perform the work at wages that meet or exceed the prevailing wage paid for the occupation in the area of intended employment.

    Designated School Official is a school officer designated to work with students and act as a representative of USCIS/ICE in certain matters.

    Student and Exchange Visitor Information System www.ice.gov/sevis.

    SEVIS is an Internet-based system that maintains accurate and current information on non-immigrant students (F and M visa), exchange visitors (J visa), and their dependents (F-2, M-2, and J-2). SEVIS enables schools and program sponsors to transmit electronic information and event notifications via the Internet, to the ICE and Department of State (DOS) throughout a student or exchange visitor’s stay in the United States. The system will reflect international student or exchange visitor status changes, such as admission at Port of Entry (POE), change of address, change in program of study, and other details. SEVIS will also provide system alerts, event notifications, and basic reports to the end-user schools, programs, and Immigration related field offices.

    SEVP acts as the bridge for government organizations that have an interest in information on foreign students. SEVP helps the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State monitor school and exchange programs and F, M and J category visitors. SEVP administers the F and M visa categories, while the Department of State manages the J exchange visitor program.
    SEVP uses the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a web-based solution, to track and monitor schools and programs, students, exchange visitors and their dependents while approved to participate in the U.S. education system.
    SEVP collects, maintains and provides the information so that only legitimate foreign students or exchange visitors gain entry to the United States. The result is an easily accessible information system that provides timely information to the Department of State, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
    For more details, please visit the link, http://www.ice.gov/sevis/

    Introduction:

    VIBE is a web-based adjudication tool used by USCIS to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ alien workers. VIBE uses commercially available data from an independent information provider (IIP) to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ certain alien workers. Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) is the current IIP for this program.

    This service is available to US based, privately held companies only. It is free of charge, and petitioning employers may access this process via D&B’s iUpdate for U.S. government customers -- a free, password-protected and encrypted online service tool offered by D&B.

    Please note that USCIS does not expect or require petitioners to contact D&B or pay any fees associated with creating or updating an existing record. Employers who wish to update their information through D&B directly may be subject to direct marketing by the organization or encounter D&B representatives who may suggest a purchase of the firm’s products and services.

    Purpose of VIBE:

    The purpose behind VIBE is to increase the efficiency of the visa petitioning process by reducing the amount of documents employers have to submit with each petition in order to prove eligibility. Furthermore, USCIS will also be able to reduce the number of RFEs issued to otherwise eligible petitioners.

    An important point to note is that USCIS will not deny a petition based solely on information from VIBE without at least first giving the petitioner an opportunity to respond to the RFEs or NOIDs issued by USCIS.

    Please note that whether or not you choose to create a record or update your record with D&B, you must respond to any RFE or NOID received from USCIS. Failure to respond could result in the denial of your petition. Furthermore, it is necessary to resolve relevant inconsistencies in the information provided by the employer, on one hand, and information available on VIBE, on the other.

    Employment Authorization Document. This is evidence that a person is authorized to work in USA. People undergoing Adjustment of Status (AOS or I-485 process) are entitled to an EAD.

    Specific information related to our team and this site.

    Deferred Action is consent by the Government not to deport (remove) an otherwise deport-able individual. Usually it is given for humanitarian reasons and work authorization is also provided. Unlawful presence is stopped during deferred action, but any unlawful presence already accrued does not get wiped away. Deferred action is not a visa or a full legal status.

    Automatic Visa Revalidation - Definition from Travel.state.gov

    Re-entering the U.S. with a Valid I-94 Form & Expired Visa is Limited
    What Is Automatic Revalidation?

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has the authority and the responsibility over the admission of travelers to the U.S. Under the automatic revalidation provision of immigration law, certain temporary visitors holding expired nonimmigrant visas who seek to return to the U.S. may be admitted at a U.S. port of entry by CBP, if they meet certain requirements, including, but not limited to the following:

    Nonimmigrants who departed the U.S. for brief travel to Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island (for F and J nonimmigrants) for thirty days or less;
    Nonimmigrants with a valid (unexpired) Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, endorsed by DHS.

    More Information about Automatic Revalidation

    For more information about automatic revalidation provisions and reentry to the U.S., visit the International Visitors webpage and the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. Students and Exchange Visitors should review additional important information about travel outside the U.S. and reentry procedures on the DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website.

    Automatic revalidation is not the same as applying for a new visa. If you apply for a new nonimmigrant visa, you cannot take advantage of automatic revalidation.
    Who Must Reapply for and Be Reissued a Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate?

    This webpage explains which travelers must reapply and be reissued visas when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, in order to gain admission to reenter the U.S.

    Many nonimmigrants will need to reapply and be reissued visas to reenter the U.S. when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, because automatic revalidation applies to limited categories of travelers. Refer to the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. The following temporary visitors whose nonimmigrant visas have expired, but who have valid I-94 forms, must reapply for and be issued nonimmigrant visas prior to their reentry to the U.S., if one or more of the following situations exists (this is not a complete listing):

    The nonimmigrant traveler with an expired nonimmigrant visa (but valid Form I-94):

    Applied for a new visa which has not yet been issued;
    Applied for a new visa and was denied;
    Has been outside of the United States for more than thirty days;
    Has traveled to a country other than Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island which is not included in the automatic revalidation provisions;
    Is a national of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designated country, including Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Sudan. Review more about State Sponsors of Terrorism and FAQs on this website;
    Is in possession of an F student visa or J exchange visitor visa and has traveled to Cuba;
    Is in possession of an M student visa and has traveled to a location outside the U.S., other than Canada and Mexico.

    Additional Resources – Laws

    The automatic revalidation provision of U.S. immigration law is described in both 8 CFR 214.1(b) and 22 CFR 112(d).
    We Want You to Know

    Visa News
    Adoption Alerts
    Diversity Visa
    Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
    Iraqis & Afghans-SIV
    Business Visa Center
    Customer Service Statement to Visa Applicants
    Fraud Warning

    Visa denial based upon immigrant intent defined in Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

    Immigrant intent becomes an issue when an applicant outside or inside USA seeks a benefit (such as a visa, when outside USA, or a change of status, when within USA) that does not allow an applicant to possess the intention of residing permanently in USA ("immigrant intent"). For example, an applicant for a visitor's visa must not have the intention to reside in USA permanently. Their visa can be refused if they have immigrant intent.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it intends to revoke (cancel) approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a pending case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it plans to remove approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it plans to remove approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The term often refers to the Designated Degree program requiring a degree in one of these fields of study. STEM programs, in recognition of their importance to US interests, are awarded special consideration in certain areas under US immigration laws.

    A Returning Resident Permit, or SB-1 Visa, is what a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or Green Card holder) can get to return to the United States after being out of the country for more than one year. When an LPR leaves the United States, they must return within a year. If they stay more than a year, they must obtain a Returning Resident Permit in order to return. This also applies to those who remain outside of the country longer than is allowed by their reentry permit.
    You apply for a returning residence visa through the consulate in your home country. There, you have to explain in quite some detail the genuine reason for your inability to return to USA within one year. It is discretionary upon the consulate whether they are convinced by the genuineness of your response or not.
    For more information, see this State Department’s webpage: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1333.html

    A Returning Resident Permit, or SB-1 Visa, is what a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or Green Card holder) can get to return to the United States after being out of the country for more than one year. When an LPR leaves the United States, they must return within a year. If they stay more than a year, they must obtain a Returning Resident Permit in order to return. This also applies to those who remain outside of the country longer than is allowed by their reentry permit.
    You apply for a returning residence visa through the consulate in your home country. There, you have to explain in quite some detail the genuine reason for your inability to return to USA within one year. It is discretionary upon the consulate whether they are convinced by the genuineness of your response or not.
    For more information, see this State Department’s webpage: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1333.html

    U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. Consists of two houses: Senate and the House of Representatives.

    One of the two houses of U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. The other is the House of Representatives.

    One of the two houses of U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. The other is the Senate.

    Default Web Links group

    Immigration.com Client Testimonials

    This content is tagged for employers and Human Resources professionals responsible for hiring foreign professionals/workers in USA

    US Department of Labor is charged with protecting the labor market and investigation and enforcement activities related to that.

    Immigration and Custom Enforcement. This agency used to be a part of old INS. When DHS was formed, enforcement personnel of US Customs Service and INS were combined to form ICE, which is now responsible for a large part of immigration enforcement activity.

    Department of State (State Department) is responsible for issuing visas, which are a permission to travel to USA.

    A method to obtain green card used to avoid the need for PERM based labor certification.

    Customs and Border Protection. This agency was spun off from old INS. CBP is responsible for inspecting people when they land at airports, docks and land borders.

    To qualify for an A-1 (or A-2 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government.  The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

    To qualify for an A-2 (or A-1 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government. The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

    Consulates all over the world issue visas - a permission to enter USA for a specific purpose. Consulates are a part of the State Department (DOS - Department of State).

    Bangladesh Immigration

    Indonesia Immigration

    I-94 aka Arrival Departure Record is what governs your status in the USA. An expired I-94 can lead to bar from entering USA for 3 to 10 years.See details on "Unlawful Presence".

    When used in relation to immigration, this is another name for being LEGALLY present in the USA

    This is a complicated term. Very simply (there is a lot more to it), you could have your status expire and still be authorized to stay in USA awaiting the outcome of a legally filed petition. This is something less than "Status" but much better than "Unlawful Presence."

    This is another complicated concept with some very serious consequences. Briefly, if you have been unlawfully present in USA for more than 180 days, you cannot come back to USA for 3 years and if unlawfully present for a year or more, you cannot come back for 10 years. Very generally speaking unlawful presence begins after expiration of the I-94 or after having been asked by the govt. to leave USA.

    These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

    These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

    Adjustment of Status

    Includes topics of loss of physical green card papers or the card itself as well as loss of green card through abandonment and criminal activity.

    When used in relation to immigration, this is another name for extending your status.

    Employees working in USA

    Personal employees, attendants and servants of A-1 and A-2 visa holders.

    EB4 category is for religious workers.

    “Priority Date” determines your place in the queue for waiting for green card in the categories where there is a wait. When the govt. has reached your PD, it is said to be “current.” For family-based green cards, PD is the date your I-130 was filed; for PERM-based cases, the date your PERM was filed; for employment-based cases other than through PERM (like EB-1 cases), PD is the date your I-140 was filed. DOS publishes the movement of the PD queue every month in the Visa Bulletin: http://www.immigration.com/visa-bulletin

    A publication of the US State Department that keeps track of the green card backlogs and informs us which "Priority Dates" are current so the applicants can expect to get through the last step of their green card processing. This is published every month around the 14th and tells us the availability for the following month. Note that certain categories of applicants ("immediate relatives") such as spouse of a US citizen are not shown in the visa bulletin because they are entitled to have their applications considered without any wait.

    Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (now USCIS)

    Central Intelligence Agency

    Department of Homeland Security

    Department of Justice

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Immigration and Naturalization Service (now reconstituted into USCIS)

    Internal Revenue Service

    Office of Management and Budget

    Social Security Administration

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Earlier known as INS. USCIS is responsible for providing immigration benefits to applicants. Homepage http://wwww.uscis.gov

    American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998.

    Approval Date (When your application was approved)

    Alien Documentation, Identification & Telecommunications System

    Assistant Field Office Director

    Abbreviation for American Immigration Lawyers Association.

    Adjudications Officer

    Administrative Review

    Application Support Center: offers biometric services including fingerprinting services

    Birth Certificate

    Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (now USCIS)

    Board of Immigrant Appeals

    Biometrics (include Digital photo, index finger print and your digital signature). This is needed for the production of Green Card.

    Customs and Border Protection

    Central Intelligence Agency

    Citizenship and Immigration Services

    Consulate Officer

    Consular Processing

    Conditional Permanent Resident

    Curricular Practical Training

    Central Regional Office

    California Service Center

    Cancelled Without Prejudice

    Deputy Field Office Director

    Department of Homeland Security

    Drivers License

    Department of Motor Vehicles

    Department of Justice

    Department of Labor

    Dallas Office Rapid Adjustment of Status

    Department of State

    Detention and Removal Operations

    Diversity Visa (a.k.a. Green Card Lottery)

    Eastern Application Center

    Employment Authorization Document (I-765, approval to work while waiting for Adjustment of Status - AOS Approval)

    Electronic Data Systems

    Executive Office of Immigration Review

    Expedited Removal

    Eastern Regional Office

    Entered Without Inspection

    Foreign Affairs Manual

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Field Office Director

    Finger Print

    File Transfer Request

    Green Card

    Immigration Judge

    International Marriage Brokers Act

    Immigration and Nationality Act

    Is an online appointment so you can go to your DO if you have a doubt or want to know something about your case in person or to request your interim EAD

    Immigration and Naturalization Service (now called USCIS)

    Immigration officer / Interviewing officer

    Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

    Internal Revenue Service

    Internet Service Provider

    Immigrant Visa

    Immigrant Visa Applicant Control System

    John F. Kennedy International Airport

    Kentucky Consular Center

    Labor Condition Application

    Lawful Permanent Resident

    Lawful Permanent Resident Alien

    Last Update Date on your on-line portfolio at USCIS website. It is the date when they last took action on your application, could be anything.

    Machine Readable Data

    Machine Readable Passport

    Machine Readable Visa

    Missouri Service Center

    Notice Date (When USCIS notified you that they received your application)

    National Data Entry Center

    Non Immigrant Visa

    Notice of Action is your receipt/letter that you received after you filed your forms (indicates I-797C)

    Notice of Proposed Rule Making

    Notice To Appear

    Nebraska Service Center

    National Visa Center

    New York District Office

    Office of Management and Budget

    Optional Practical Training

    Other Than Mexican

    Police Clearance Certificate

    Priority Date

    Port of Entry

    Permanent Resident (Also LPR - Legal Permanent Resident)

    Quality Assurance

    Receipt Date (When USCIS received your application)

    Remote Adjudications Center

    Request for Evidence

    Request for Initial Evidence

    Service Center (this is used with a prefix, eg CSC - California Service Center; MSC - Missouri Service Center, that is the address from where you will received your NOA (Notice of Action))

    Supervisory Detention & Deportation Officer

    Student Exchange Visitor Information System

    Student and Exchange Visitor Program

    Social Security Administration

    Social Security Number

    State Workforce Agency

    When the UCSIS "Touches" your petition or file it means that an action was taken which required your file to be physically touched or moved. Example: Your file is touched when it is given to an adjudicator to process.

    Temporary Protected Status

    Texas Service Center

    Transit Without Visa

    US Citizen

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

    System in airports that captures biometrics of people entering the country

    Voluntary Return

    Vermont Service Center

    Visa Waiver Program

    Western Application Center

    Western Regional Office

    Alien's Change of Address Form

    NAFTA Professional visa

    NAFTA Professional Dependant visa

    Pre-Flight Inspection

    PERM Processing: Program Electronic Review Management

    Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

    Interim EAD

    Application to Replace Permanent Residence Card

    Employment Eligibility Verification

    Affidavit of Support

    Application for Employment Authorization

    Green Card

    Application To Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

    Welcome Notice

    Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

    Affidavit of Support

    Application for Travel Document

    Advance Parole or AP (Form I-131): The authorization to travel outside the US while your adjustment of status is pending. Note, Form I-131 is also used for Reentry Permit, an application by a US green card holder to be away from USA for over one year.

    Administrative Appeals Office

    Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. Under the prior rules, an F-1 student could be authorized to receive up to a total of 12 months of practical training either before (pre-) and/or after (post-) completion of studies.

    This is an abbreviation for test_term and can be deleted

    AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

    AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

    American Immigration Lawyers Association

    Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

    The process though which a person within USA obtains a change in their status to green card holder. This is usually the last step for (most not all) green card process.

    Includes Zoologists, Botanists

    Includes occupations in biochemistry, cytology, genetics, physiology

    Fashion Models

    Hotel management and related professions

    An alternative to obtaining the last step in the green card through the consulates outside USA. This is an alternative to adjustment of status.

    DOD (Department of Defense) project visas.

    Includes CPA's CA's and all other accountants and auditors

    Violence Against Women Act

    Child Status Protection Act

    Labor Condition Application. This is a part of some nonimmigrant visa applications process including H-1 visas. Not to be confused with "Labor Certification" also known as PERM, which is a part of the green card process. An LCA, or Labor Condition Application, is required to be submitted to and certified by the U.S. Department of Labor as a part of an H-1B application. The LCA serves to ensure that U.S. wages will not be depressed by the hiring of the H-1B employee and that the H-1B worker will not be exploited. In the LCA, the employer guarantees that it will pay the H-1B worker the required wage, which is the greater of the prevailing wage or the actual wage paid to other employees in the same position; that the H-1B employee will not displace a U.S. worker; and that the employment will not adversely affect the working conditions of workers similarly employed in the area of intended employment.

    Also known as CIS Ombudsman, this office provides recommendations for resolving individual and employer problems with the USCIS. As mandated by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 § 452, CIS Ombudsman is an independent office that reports directly to the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security. http://www.dhs.gov/xabout/structure/editorial_0482.shtm

    PERM audits typically involve questions from the USDOL regarding the PERM filing.

    Used mostly in the context of the last step in green card processing (Adjustment of Status), preadjudication means USCIS is proceeding to make decision on the file even though priority date is not yet current. The idea is that way when the PD gets current, all they need to do is send approval notice and then the green card. So if the AOS is preadjudicated, you still need to wait for the PD to become current.

    Petition for a conditional resident who obtained status through marriage to apply to remove the conditions on his or her residence.

    Vermont Service Center

    California Service Center

    Nebraska Service Center

    Texas Service Center

    Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) is one of the three adjudicative bodies within the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). It has jurisdiction over three types of civil penalty cases: employer sanctions (INA § 274A - 8 USC § 1324a), unfair immigration-related employment practices (INA § 274B - 8 USC § 1324b), and immigration-related document fraud (INA § 274C - 8 USC § 1324c).

    Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals is an adjudicative agency that decides in appeal PERM and wage disputes.

    Certifying Officer is the highest Department of Labor officer for a region. They are charged, amongst other things, with the responsibility to adjudicate PERM and LCA cases.

    Fraud Detection and National Security. FDNS was created to strengthen the ability of the U.S. Citizenship and
    Immigration Services (USCIS) to provide the right benefit to the right person at the right time, and no benefit to the wrong person.

    Citizenship in USA can be obtained through naturalization or through birth in USA.

    The process through which a person becomes a US Citizen.

    N-470 helps you preserve your stay abroad for naturalization under certain circumstances. So, even though you are living outside USA, you can accumulate that time for naturalization.

    Electronic System for Travel Authorization

    Congressional Research Service. A "think tank" that provides reports to members of Congress on a variety of topics relevant to current political events.

    Missouri Service Center (MSC) was transitioned into the National Benefits Center (NBC). The NBC was established to serve as the hub and conduit for USCIS local field offices by completing all pre-interview processing of Forms generally requiring an interview. This pre-processing includes conducting background security checks, performing initial evidence reviews, adjudication of associated I-765 and I-131 applications (filed with the I-485 or separately), denial of adjustment of status cases for applicants who are statutorily ineligible, and forwarding scheduled cases to the USCIS local office for adjudication. In employment based cases, transfer to NBC usually means an interview can be expected. This can occur even if PD is retrogressed.

    Online Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application can only be used by visa applicants applying at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate which has converted to the new electronic fully online form and process. For more information visit travel.state.gov DS-160 informational webpage for a listing of embassy locations using Form DS-160. Next, visit one of the U.S. Embassy websites using the Form DS-160 and where you will apply, to review detailed nonimmigrant visa how-to-apply instructions, in addition to these FAQs.

    1. Where can I find the DS-160?
    You can access the DS-160 from the Consular Electronic Application Center website or from the link on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website.

    The mission of the Employment and Training Administration is to contribute to the more efficient functioning of the U.S. labor market by providing high quality job training, employment, labor market information, and income maintenance services primarily through state and local workforce development systems.

    A form issued by school for applicants to obtain a Student Visa.

    A form issued by school or sponsor for applicants to obtain a J Visa.

    United Kingdom

    Cyprus Immigration

    Japan

    France

    Germany

    Ireland

    Kuwait Immigration

    Saudi Arabia Immigration

    United Arab Emirates Immigration

    Singapore Immigration

    Chile Immigration

    China Immigration new

    Egypt Immigration

    France Immigration

    Malaysia Immigration

    Maldives Immigration

    Malta Immigration

    Mauritius Immigration

    Nepal Immigration

    Norway Immigration

    New Zealand Immigration

    Romania Immigration

    South Africa Immigration

    South Korea Immigration

    Sweden Immigration

    Switzerland immigration

    Trinidad immigration

    In April of 1994, the Department of State opened a permanent Immigrant Visa processing facility at the National Visa Center (NVC) in Portsmouth, NH. The NVC processes all approved immigrant visa petitions after they are received from Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security (CIS) and retains them until the cases are ready for adjudication by a consular officer abroad.

    Every month, the Visa Office (VO) establishes Qualifying Dates that determine if a petition will be eligible for processing. Qualifying Dates are the latest priority dates that can be processed for certain visa categories. An immigrant visa petition can only become ready for further processing when the Qualifying Date in the appropriate visa category has advanced up to the priority date of the petition. Petitions may remain at NVC for several months or for many years depending on the visa category and country of birth of the visa applicant.

    NVC’s Role

    The NVC is responsible for the collection of visa application fees and visa application documentation. When an applicant's priority date meets the most recent Qualifying Date, the NVC will contact the applicant and petitioner with instructions for submitting the appropriate processing fees. After the appropriate processing fees are paid, the NVC will again contact the applicant and petitioner to request that the necessary immigrant visa documentation be submitted to the NVC.

    The U.S. Department of State's official site for U.S. visa information

    InfoPass is an Internet-based system that enables the public to go online to schedule appointments with immigration information officers at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices. If you have a complex immigration question or need that is best addressed by a trained USCIS officer in person, InfoPass offers a convenient alternative to waiting in line for assistance. InfoPass is a secure Internet site.

    8 C.F.R. ง 214.3(l)(1)(ii):

    (l) Designated official.

    (1) Meaning of term Designated Official. As used in งง 214.1(b), 214.2(b),
    214.2(f), 214.2(m), and 214.4, a Designated Official, Designated School
    Official (DSO), or Principal Designated School Official (PDSO), means a
    regularly employed member of the school administration whose office is
    located at the school and whose compensation does not come from commissions
    for recruitment of foreign students. An individual whose principal
    obligation to the school is to recruit foreign students for compensation
    does not qualify as a designated official. The PDSO and any other DSO must
    be named by the president, owner, or head of a school or school system. The
    PDSO and DSO may not delegate this designation to any other person.

    (i) A PDSO and DSO must be either a citizen or lawful permanent resident of
    the United States.

    (ii) Each campus must have one PDSO. The PDSO is responsible for updating
    SEVIS to reflect the addition or deletion of any DSO on his or her
    associated campus. SEVP will use the PDSO as the point of contact on any
    issues that relate to the school's compliance with the regulations, as well
    as any system alerts generated by SEVIS. SEVP may also designate certain
    functions in SEVIS for use by the PDSO only. The PDSO of the main campus is
    the only DSO authorized to submit a Form I-17 for recertification. The PDSO
    and DSO will share the same responsibilities in all other respects.

    (iii) Each school may have up to 10 designated officials at any one time,
    including the PDSO. In a multi-campus school, each campus may have up to 10
    designated officials at any one time including a required PDSO. In a private
    elementary or public or private secondary school system, however, the entire
    school system is limited to 10 designated officials at any one time
    including the PDSO.

    The DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, is a fully integrated online application form that is used to collect the necessary application information from a person seeking a nonimmigrant visa for temporary travel to the United States.

    OFLC processes labor certification applications for employers seeking to bring foreign workers into the United States and grants certifications in those cases where employers can demonstrate that there are not sufficient U.S. workers available, willing and qualified to perform the work at wages that meet or exceed the prevailing wage paid for the occupation in the area of intended employment.

    Designated School Official is a school officer designated to work with students and act as a representative of USCIS/ICE in certain matters.

    Student and Exchange Visitor Information System www.ice.gov/sevis.

    SEVIS is an Internet-based system that maintains accurate and current information on non-immigrant students (F and M visa), exchange visitors (J visa), and their dependents (F-2, M-2, and J-2). SEVIS enables schools and program sponsors to transmit electronic information and event notifications via the Internet, to the ICE and Department of State (DOS) throughout a student or exchange visitor’s stay in the United States. The system will reflect international student or exchange visitor status changes, such as admission at Port of Entry (POE), change of address, change in program of study, and other details. SEVIS will also provide system alerts, event notifications, and basic reports to the end-user schools, programs, and Immigration related field offices.

    SEVP acts as the bridge for government organizations that have an interest in information on foreign students. SEVP helps the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State monitor school and exchange programs and F, M and J category visitors. SEVP administers the F and M visa categories, while the Department of State manages the J exchange visitor program.
    SEVP uses the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a web-based solution, to track and monitor schools and programs, students, exchange visitors and their dependents while approved to participate in the U.S. education system.
    SEVP collects, maintains and provides the information so that only legitimate foreign students or exchange visitors gain entry to the United States. The result is an easily accessible information system that provides timely information to the Department of State, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
    For more details, please visit the link, http://www.ice.gov/sevis/

    Introduction:

    VIBE is a web-based adjudication tool used by USCIS to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ alien workers. VIBE uses commercially available data from an independent information provider (IIP) to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ certain alien workers. Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) is the current IIP for this program.

    This service is available to US based, privately held companies only. It is free of charge, and petitioning employers may access this process via D&B’s iUpdate for U.S. government customers -- a free, password-protected and encrypted online service tool offered by D&B.

    Please note that USCIS does not expect or require petitioners to contact D&B or pay any fees associated with creating or updating an existing record. Employers who wish to update their information through D&B directly may be subject to direct marketing by the organization or encounter D&B representatives who may suggest a purchase of the firm’s products and services.

    Purpose of VIBE:

    The purpose behind VIBE is to increase the efficiency of the visa petitioning process by reducing the amount of documents employers have to submit with each petition in order to prove eligibility. Furthermore, USCIS will also be able to reduce the number of RFEs issued to otherwise eligible petitioners.

    An important point to note is that USCIS will not deny a petition based solely on information from VIBE without at least first giving the petitioner an opportunity to respond to the RFEs or NOIDs issued by USCIS.

    Please note that whether or not you choose to create a record or update your record with D&B, you must respond to any RFE or NOID received from USCIS. Failure to respond could result in the denial of your petition. Furthermore, it is necessary to resolve relevant inconsistencies in the information provided by the employer, on one hand, and information available on VIBE, on the other.

    Employment Authorization Document. This is evidence that a person is authorized to work in USA. People undergoing Adjustment of Status (AOS or I-485 process) are entitled to an EAD.

    Specific information related to our team and this site.

    Deferred Action is consent by the Government not to deport (remove) an otherwise deport-able individual. Usually it is given for humanitarian reasons and work authorization is also provided. Unlawful presence is stopped during deferred action, but any unlawful presence already accrued does not get wiped away. Deferred action is not a visa or a full legal status.

    Automatic Visa Revalidation - Definition from Travel.state.gov

    Re-entering the U.S. with a Valid I-94 Form & Expired Visa is Limited
    What Is Automatic Revalidation?

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has the authority and the responsibility over the admission of travelers to the U.S. Under the automatic revalidation provision of immigration law, certain temporary visitors holding expired nonimmigrant visas who seek to return to the U.S. may be admitted at a U.S. port of entry by CBP, if they meet certain requirements, including, but not limited to the following:

    Nonimmigrants who departed the U.S. for brief travel to Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island (for F and J nonimmigrants) for thirty days or less;
    Nonimmigrants with a valid (unexpired) Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, endorsed by DHS.

    More Information about Automatic Revalidation

    For more information about automatic revalidation provisions and reentry to the U.S., visit the International Visitors webpage and the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. Students and Exchange Visitors should review additional important information about travel outside the U.S. and reentry procedures on the DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website.

    Automatic revalidation is not the same as applying for a new visa. If you apply for a new nonimmigrant visa, you cannot take advantage of automatic revalidation.
    Who Must Reapply for and Be Reissued a Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate?

    This webpage explains which travelers must reapply and be reissued visas when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, in order to gain admission to reenter the U.S.

    Many nonimmigrants will need to reapply and be reissued visas to reenter the U.S. when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, because automatic revalidation applies to limited categories of travelers. Refer to the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. The following temporary visitors whose nonimmigrant visas have expired, but who have valid I-94 forms, must reapply for and be issued nonimmigrant visas prior to their reentry to the U.S., if one or more of the following situations exists (this is not a complete listing):

    The nonimmigrant traveler with an expired nonimmigrant visa (but valid Form I-94):

    Applied for a new visa which has not yet been issued;
    Applied for a new visa and was denied;
    Has been outside of the United States for more than thirty days;
    Has traveled to a country other than Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island which is not included in the automatic revalidation provisions;
    Is a national of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designated country, including Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Sudan. Review more about State Sponsors of Terrorism and FAQs on this website;
    Is in possession of an F student visa or J exchange visitor visa and has traveled to Cuba;
    Is in possession of an M student visa and has traveled to a location outside the U.S., other than Canada and Mexico.

    Additional Resources – Laws

    The automatic revalidation provision of U.S. immigration law is described in both 8 CFR 214.1(b) and 22 CFR 112(d).
    We Want You to Know

    Visa News
    Adoption Alerts
    Diversity Visa
    Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
    Iraqis & Afghans-SIV
    Business Visa Center
    Customer Service Statement to Visa Applicants
    Fraud Warning

    Visa denial based upon immigrant intent defined in Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

    Immigrant intent becomes an issue when an applicant outside or inside USA seeks a benefit (such as a visa, when outside USA, or a change of status, when within USA) that does not allow an applicant to possess the intention of residing permanently in USA ("immigrant intent"). For example, an applicant for a visitor's visa must not have the intention to reside in USA permanently. Their visa can be refused if they have immigrant intent.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it intends to revoke (cancel) approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a pending case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it plans to remove approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it plans to remove approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The term often refers to the Designated Degree program requiring a degree in one of these fields of study. STEM programs, in recognition of their importance to US interests, are awarded special consideration in certain areas under US immigration laws.

    A Returning Resident Permit, or SB-1 Visa, is what a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or Green Card holder) can get to return to the United States after being out of the country for more than one year. When an LPR leaves the United States, they must return within a year. If they stay more than a year, they must obtain a Returning Resident Permit in order to return. This also applies to those who remain outside of the country longer than is allowed by their reentry permit.
    You apply for a returning residence visa through the consulate in your home country. There, you have to explain in quite some detail the genuine reason for your inability to return to USA within one year. It is discretionary upon the consulate whether they are convinced by the genuineness of your response or not.
    For more information, see this State Department’s webpage: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1333.html

    A Returning Resident Permit, or SB-1 Visa, is what a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or Green Card holder) can get to return to the United States after being out of the country for more than one year. When an LPR leaves the United States, they must return within a year. If they stay more than a year, they must obtain a Returning Resident Permit in order to return. This also applies to those who remain outside of the country longer than is allowed by their reentry permit.
    You apply for a returning residence visa through the consulate in your home country. There, you have to explain in quite some detail the genuine reason for your inability to return to USA within one year. It is discretionary upon the consulate whether they are convinced by the genuineness of your response or not.
    For more information, see this State Department’s webpage: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1333.html

    U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. Consists of two houses: Senate and the House of Representatives.

    One of the two houses of U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. The other is the House of Representatives.

    One of the two houses of U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. The other is the Senate.

    Default Web Links group

    We host free calls for the community every other Thursday at 12:30 pm Eastern Standard Time.  All are welcome to call in phone 202-800-8394 and ask their questions.

    This content is tagged for employers and Human Resources professionals responsible for hiring foreign professionals/workers in USA

    US Department of Labor is charged with protecting the labor market and investigation and enforcement activities related to that.

    Immigration and Custom Enforcement. This agency used to be a part of old INS. When DHS was formed, enforcement personnel of US Customs Service and INS were combined to form ICE, which is now responsible for a large part of immigration enforcement activity.

    Department of State (State Department) is responsible for issuing visas, which are a permission to travel to USA.

    A method to obtain green card used to avoid the need for PERM based labor certification.

    Customs and Border Protection. This agency was spun off from old INS. CBP is responsible for inspecting people when they land at airports, docks and land borders.

    To qualify for an A-1 (or A-2 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government.  The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

    To qualify for an A-2 (or A-1 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government. The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

    Consulates all over the world issue visas - a permission to enter USA for a specific purpose. Consulates are a part of the State Department (DOS - Department of State).

    Bangladesh Immigration

    Indonesia Immigration

    I-94 aka Arrival Departure Record is what governs your status in the USA. An expired I-94 can lead to bar from entering USA for 3 to 10 years.See details on "Unlawful Presence".

    When used in relation to immigration, this is another name for being LEGALLY present in the USA

    This is a complicated term. Very simply (there is a lot more to it), you could have your status expire and still be authorized to stay in USA awaiting the outcome of a legally filed petition. This is something less than "Status" but much better than "Unlawful Presence."

    This is another complicated concept with some very serious consequences. Briefly, if you have been unlawfully present in USA for more than 180 days, you cannot come back to USA for 3 years and if unlawfully present for a year or more, you cannot come back for 10 years. Very generally speaking unlawful presence begins after expiration of the I-94 or after having been asked by the govt. to leave USA.

    These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

    These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

    Adjustment of Status

    Includes topics of loss of physical green card papers or the card itself as well as loss of green card through abandonment and criminal activity.

    When used in relation to immigration, this is another name for extending your status.

    Employees working in USA

    Personal employees, attendants and servants of A-1 and A-2 visa holders.

    EB4 category is for religious workers.

    “Priority Date” determines your place in the queue for waiting for green card in the categories where there is a wait. When the govt. has reached your PD, it is said to be “current.” For family-based green cards, PD is the date your I-130 was filed; for PERM-based cases, the date your PERM was filed; for employment-based cases other than through PERM (like EB-1 cases), PD is the date your I-140 was filed. DOS publishes the movement of the PD queue every month in the Visa Bulletin: http://www.immigration.com/visa-bulletin

    A publication of the US State Department that keeps track of the green card backlogs and informs us which "Priority Dates" are current so the applicants can expect to get through the last step of their green card processing. This is published every month around the 14th and tells us the availability for the following month. Note that certain categories of applicants ("immediate relatives") such as spouse of a US citizen are not shown in the visa bulletin because they are entitled to have their applications considered without any wait.

    Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (now USCIS)

    Central Intelligence Agency

    Department of Homeland Security

    Department of Justice

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Immigration and Naturalization Service (now reconstituted into USCIS)

    Internal Revenue Service

    Office of Management and Budget

    Social Security Administration

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Earlier known as INS. USCIS is responsible for providing immigration benefits to applicants. Homepage http://wwww.uscis.gov

    American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998.

    Approval Date (When your application was approved)

    Alien Documentation, Identification & Telecommunications System

    Assistant Field Office Director

    Abbreviation for American Immigration Lawyers Association.

    Adjudications Officer

    Administrative Review

    Application Support Center: offers biometric services including fingerprinting services

    Birth Certificate

    Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (now USCIS)

    Board of Immigrant Appeals

    Biometrics (include Digital photo, index finger print and your digital signature). This is needed for the production of Green Card.

    Customs and Border Protection

    Central Intelligence Agency

    Citizenship and Immigration Services

    Consulate Officer

    Consular Processing

    Conditional Permanent Resident

    Curricular Practical Training

    Central Regional Office

    California Service Center

    Cancelled Without Prejudice

    Deputy Field Office Director

    Department of Homeland Security

    Drivers License

    Department of Motor Vehicles

    Department of Justice

    Department of Labor

    Dallas Office Rapid Adjustment of Status

    Department of State

    Detention and Removal Operations

    Diversity Visa (a.k.a. Green Card Lottery)

    Eastern Application Center

    Employment Authorization Document (I-765, approval to work while waiting for Adjustment of Status - AOS Approval)

    Electronic Data Systems

    Executive Office of Immigration Review

    Expedited Removal

    Eastern Regional Office

    Entered Without Inspection

    Foreign Affairs Manual

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Field Office Director

    Finger Print

    File Transfer Request

    Green Card

    Immigration Judge

    International Marriage Brokers Act

    Immigration and Nationality Act

    Is an online appointment so you can go to your DO if you have a doubt or want to know something about your case in person or to request your interim EAD

    Immigration and Naturalization Service (now called USCIS)

    Immigration officer / Interviewing officer

    Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

    Internal Revenue Service

    Internet Service Provider

    Immigrant Visa

    Immigrant Visa Applicant Control System

    John F. Kennedy International Airport

    Kentucky Consular Center

    Labor Condition Application

    Lawful Permanent Resident

    Lawful Permanent Resident Alien

    Last Update Date on your on-line portfolio at USCIS website. It is the date when they last took action on your application, could be anything.

    Machine Readable Data

    Machine Readable Passport

    Machine Readable Visa

    Missouri Service Center

    Notice Date (When USCIS notified you that they received your application)

    National Data Entry Center

    Non Immigrant Visa

    Notice of Action is your receipt/letter that you received after you filed your forms (indicates I-797C)

    Notice of Proposed Rule Making

    Notice To Appear

    Nebraska Service Center

    National Visa Center

    New York District Office

    Office of Management and Budget

    Optional Practical Training

    Other Than Mexican

    Police Clearance Certificate

    Priority Date

    Port of Entry

    Permanent Resident (Also LPR - Legal Permanent Resident)

    Quality Assurance

    Receipt Date (When USCIS received your application)

    Remote Adjudications Center

    Request for Evidence

    Request for Initial Evidence

    Service Center (this is used with a prefix, eg CSC - California Service Center; MSC - Missouri Service Center, that is the address from where you will received your NOA (Notice of Action))

    Supervisory Detention & Deportation Officer

    Student Exchange Visitor Information System

    Student and Exchange Visitor Program

    Social Security Administration

    Social Security Number

    State Workforce Agency

    When the UCSIS "Touches" your petition or file it means that an action was taken which required your file to be physically touched or moved. Example: Your file is touched when it is given to an adjudicator to process.

    Temporary Protected Status

    Texas Service Center

    Transit Without Visa

    US Citizen

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

    System in airports that captures biometrics of people entering the country

    Voluntary Return

    Vermont Service Center

    Visa Waiver Program

    Western Application Center

    Western Regional Office

    Alien's Change of Address Form

    NAFTA Professional visa

    NAFTA Professional Dependant visa

    Pre-Flight Inspection

    PERM Processing: Program Electronic Review Management

    Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

    Interim EAD

    Application to Replace Permanent Residence Card

    Employment Eligibility Verification

    Affidavit of Support

    Application for Employment Authorization

    Green Card

    Application To Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

    Welcome Notice

    Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

    Affidavit of Support

    Application for Travel Document

    Advance Parole or AP (Form I-131): The authorization to travel outside the US while your adjustment of status is pending. Note, Form I-131 is also used for Reentry Permit, an application by a US green card holder to be away from USA for over one year.

    Administrative Appeals Office

    Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. Under the prior rules, an F-1 student could be authorized to receive up to a total of 12 months of practical training either before (pre-) and/or after (post-) completion of studies.

    This is an abbreviation for test_term and can be deleted

    AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

    AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

    American Immigration Lawyers Association

    Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

    The process though which a person within USA obtains a change in their status to green card holder. This is usually the last step for (most not all) green card process.

    Includes Zoologists, Botanists

    Includes occupations in biochemistry, cytology, genetics, physiology

    Fashion Models

    Hotel management and related professions

    An alternative to obtaining the last step in the green card through the consulates outside USA. This is an alternative to adjustment of status.

    DOD (Department of Defense) project visas.

    Includes CPA's CA's and all other accountants and auditors

    Violence Against Women Act

    Child Status Protection Act

    Labor Condition Application. This is a part of some nonimmigrant visa applications process including H-1 visas. Not to be confused with "Labor Certification" also known as PERM, which is a part of the green card process. An LCA, or Labor Condition Application, is required to be submitted to and certified by the U.S. Department of Labor as a part of an H-1B application. The LCA serves to ensure that U.S. wages will not be depressed by the hiring of the H-1B employee and that the H-1B worker will not be exploited. In the LCA, the employer guarantees that it will pay the H-1B worker the required wage, which is the greater of the prevailing wage or the actual wage paid to other employees in the same position; that the H-1B employee will not displace a U.S. worker; and that the employment will not adversely affect the working conditions of workers similarly employed in the area of intended employment.

    Also known as CIS Ombudsman, this office provides recommendations for resolving individual and employer problems with the USCIS. As mandated by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 § 452, CIS Ombudsman is an independent office that reports directly to the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security. http://www.dhs.gov/xabout/structure/editorial_0482.shtm

    PERM audits typically involve questions from the USDOL regarding the PERM filing.

    Used mostly in the context of the last step in green card processing (Adjustment of Status), preadjudication means USCIS is proceeding to make decision on the file even though priority date is not yet current. The idea is that way when the PD gets current, all they need to do is send approval notice and then the green card. So if the AOS is preadjudicated, you still need to wait for the PD to become current.

    Petition for a conditional resident who obtained status through marriage to apply to remove the conditions on his or her residence.

    Vermont Service Center

    California Service Center

    Nebraska Service Center

    Texas Service Center

    Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) is one of the three adjudicative bodies within the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). It has jurisdiction over three types of civil penalty cases: employer sanctions (INA § 274A - 8 USC § 1324a), unfair immigration-related employment practices (INA § 274B - 8 USC § 1324b), and immigration-related document fraud (INA § 274C - 8 USC § 1324c).

    Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals is an adjudicative agency that decides in appeal PERM and wage disputes.

    Certifying Officer is the highest Department of Labor officer for a region. They are charged, amongst other things, with the responsibility to adjudicate PERM and LCA cases.

    Fraud Detection and National Security. FDNS was created to strengthen the ability of the U.S. Citizenship and
    Immigration Services (USCIS) to provide the right benefit to the right person at the right time, and no benefit to the wrong person.

    Citizenship in USA can be obtained through naturalization or through birth in USA.

    The process through which a person becomes a US Citizen.

    N-470 helps you preserve your stay abroad for naturalization under certain circumstances. So, even though you are living outside USA, you can accumulate that time for naturalization.

    Electronic System for Travel Authorization

    Congressional Research Service. A "think tank" that provides reports to members of Congress on a variety of topics relevant to current political events.

    Missouri Service Center (MSC) was transitioned into the National Benefits Center (NBC). The NBC was established to serve as the hub and conduit for USCIS local field offices by completing all pre-interview processing of Forms generally requiring an interview. This pre-processing includes conducting background security checks, performing initial evidence reviews, adjudication of associated I-765 and I-131 applications (filed with the I-485 or separately), denial of adjustment of status cases for applicants who are statutorily ineligible, and forwarding scheduled cases to the USCIS local office for adjudication. In employment based cases, transfer to NBC usually means an interview can be expected. This can occur even if PD is retrogressed.

    Online Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application can only be used by visa applicants applying at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate which has converted to the new electronic fully online form and process. For more information visit travel.state.gov DS-160 informational webpage for a listing of embassy locations using Form DS-160. Next, visit one of the U.S. Embassy websites using the Form DS-160 and where you will apply, to review detailed nonimmigrant visa how-to-apply instructions, in addition to these FAQs.

    1. Where can I find the DS-160?
    You can access the DS-160 from the Consular Electronic Application Center website or from the link on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website.

    The mission of the Employment and Training Administration is to contribute to the more efficient functioning of the U.S. labor market by providing high quality job training, employment, labor market information, and income maintenance services primarily through state and local workforce development systems.

    A form issued by school for applicants to obtain a Student Visa.

    A form issued by school or sponsor for applicants to obtain a J Visa.

    United Kingdom

    Cyprus Immigration

    Japan

    France

    Germany

    Ireland

    Kuwait Immigration

    Saudi Arabia Immigration

    United Arab Emirates Immigration

    Singapore Immigration

    Chile Immigration

    China Immigration new

    Egypt Immigration

    France Immigration

    Malaysia Immigration

    Maldives Immigration

    Malta Immigration

    Mauritius Immigration

    Nepal Immigration

    Norway Immigration

    New Zealand Immigration

    Romania Immigration

    South Africa Immigration

    South Korea Immigration

    Sweden Immigration

    Switzerland immigration

    Trinidad immigration

    In April of 1994, the Department of State opened a permanent Immigrant Visa processing facility at the National Visa Center (NVC) in Portsmouth, NH. The NVC processes all approved immigrant visa petitions after they are received from Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security (CIS) and retains them until the cases are ready for adjudication by a consular officer abroad.

    Every month, the Visa Office (VO) establishes Qualifying Dates that determine if a petition will be eligible for processing. Qualifying Dates are the latest priority dates that can be processed for certain visa categories. An immigrant visa petition can only become ready for further processing when the Qualifying Date in the appropriate visa category has advanced up to the priority date of the petition. Petitions may remain at NVC for several months or for many years depending on the visa category and country of birth of the visa applicant.

    NVC’s Role

    The NVC is responsible for the collection of visa application fees and visa application documentation. When an applicant's priority date meets the most recent Qualifying Date, the NVC will contact the applicant and petitioner with instructions for submitting the appropriate processing fees. After the appropriate processing fees are paid, the NVC will again contact the applicant and petitioner to request that the necessary immigrant visa documentation be submitted to the NVC.

    The U.S. Department of State's official site for U.S. visa information

    InfoPass is an Internet-based system that enables the public to go online to schedule appointments with immigration information officers at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices. If you have a complex immigration question or need that is best addressed by a trained USCIS officer in person, InfoPass offers a convenient alternative to waiting in line for assistance. InfoPass is a secure Internet site.

    8 C.F.R. ง 214.3(l)(1)(ii):

    (l) Designated official.

    (1) Meaning of term Designated Official. As used in งง 214.1(b), 214.2(b),
    214.2(f), 214.2(m), and 214.4, a Designated Official, Designated School
    Official (DSO), or Principal Designated School Official (PDSO), means a
    regularly employed member of the school administration whose office is
    located at the school and whose compensation does not come from commissions
    for recruitment of foreign students. An individual whose principal
    obligation to the school is to recruit foreign students for compensation
    does not qualify as a designated official. The PDSO and any other DSO must
    be named by the president, owner, or head of a school or school system. The
    PDSO and DSO may not delegate this designation to any other person.

    (i) A PDSO and DSO must be either a citizen or lawful permanent resident of
    the United States.

    (ii) Each campus must have one PDSO. The PDSO is responsible for updating
    SEVIS to reflect the addition or deletion of any DSO on his or her
    associated campus. SEVP will use the PDSO as the point of contact on any
    issues that relate to the school's compliance with the regulations, as well
    as any system alerts generated by SEVIS. SEVP may also designate certain
    functions in SEVIS for use by the PDSO only. The PDSO of the main campus is
    the only DSO authorized to submit a Form I-17 for recertification. The PDSO
    and DSO will share the same responsibilities in all other respects.

    (iii) Each school may have up to 10 designated officials at any one time,
    including the PDSO. In a multi-campus school, each campus may have up to 10
    designated officials at any one time including a required PDSO. In a private
    elementary or public or private secondary school system, however, the entire
    school system is limited to 10 designated officials at any one time
    including the PDSO.

    The DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, is a fully integrated online application form that is used to collect the necessary application information from a person seeking a nonimmigrant visa for temporary travel to the United States.

    OFLC processes labor certification applications for employers seeking to bring foreign workers into the United States and grants certifications in those cases where employers can demonstrate that there are not sufficient U.S. workers available, willing and qualified to perform the work at wages that meet or exceed the prevailing wage paid for the occupation in the area of intended employment.

    Designated School Official is a school officer designated to work with students and act as a representative of USCIS/ICE in certain matters.

    Student and Exchange Visitor Information System www.ice.gov/sevis.

    SEVIS is an Internet-based system that maintains accurate and current information on non-immigrant students (F and M visa), exchange visitors (J visa), and their dependents (F-2, M-2, and J-2). SEVIS enables schools and program sponsors to transmit electronic information and event notifications via the Internet, to the ICE and Department of State (DOS) throughout a student or exchange visitor’s stay in the United States. The system will reflect international student or exchange visitor status changes, such as admission at Port of Entry (POE), change of address, change in program of study, and other details. SEVIS will also provide system alerts, event notifications, and basic reports to the end-user schools, programs, and Immigration related field offices.

    SEVP acts as the bridge for government organizations that have an interest in information on foreign students. SEVP helps the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State monitor school and exchange programs and F, M and J category visitors. SEVP administers the F and M visa categories, while the Department of State manages the J exchange visitor program.
    SEVP uses the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a web-based solution, to track and monitor schools and programs, students, exchange visitors and their dependents while approved to participate in the U.S. education system.
    SEVP collects, maintains and provides the information so that only legitimate foreign students or exchange visitors gain entry to the United States. The result is an easily accessible information system that provides timely information to the Department of State, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
    For more details, please visit the link, http://www.ice.gov/sevis/

    Introduction:

    VIBE is a web-based adjudication tool used by USCIS to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ alien workers. VIBE uses commercially available data from an independent information provider (IIP) to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ certain alien workers. Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) is the current IIP for this program.

    This service is available to US based, privately held companies only. It is free of charge, and petitioning employers may access this process via D&B’s iUpdate for U.S. government customers -- a free, password-protected and encrypted online service tool offered by D&B.

    Please note that USCIS does not expect or require petitioners to contact D&B or pay any fees associated with creating or updating an existing record. Employers who wish to update their information through D&B directly may be subject to direct marketing by the organization or encounter D&B representatives who may suggest a purchase of the firm’s products and services.

    Purpose of VIBE:

    The purpose behind VIBE is to increase the efficiency of the visa petitioning process by reducing the amount of documents employers have to submit with each petition in order to prove eligibility. Furthermore, USCIS will also be able to reduce the number of RFEs issued to otherwise eligible petitioners.

    An important point to note is that USCIS will not deny a petition based solely on information from VIBE without at least first giving the petitioner an opportunity to respond to the RFEs or NOIDs issued by USCIS.

    Please note that whether or not you choose to create a record or update your record with D&B, you must respond to any RFE or NOID received from USCIS. Failure to respond could result in the denial of your petition. Furthermore, it is necessary to resolve relevant inconsistencies in the information provided by the employer, on one hand, and information available on VIBE, on the other.

    Employment Authorization Document. This is evidence that a person is authorized to work in USA. People undergoing Adjustment of Status (AOS or I-485 process) are entitled to an EAD.

    Specific information related to our team and this site.

    Deferred Action is consent by the Government not to deport (remove) an otherwise deport-able individual. Usually it is given for humanitarian reasons and work authorization is also provided. Unlawful presence is stopped during deferred action, but any unlawful presence already accrued does not get wiped away. Deferred action is not a visa or a full legal status.

    Automatic Visa Revalidation - Definition from Travel.state.gov

    Re-entering the U.S. with a Valid I-94 Form & Expired Visa is Limited
    What Is Automatic Revalidation?

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has the authority and the responsibility over the admission of travelers to the U.S. Under the automatic revalidation provision of immigration law, certain temporary visitors holding expired nonimmigrant visas who seek to return to the U.S. may be admitted at a U.S. port of entry by CBP, if they meet certain requirements, including, but not limited to the following:

    Nonimmigrants who departed the U.S. for brief travel to Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island (for F and J nonimmigrants) for thirty days or less;
    Nonimmigrants with a valid (unexpired) Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, endorsed by DHS.

    More Information about Automatic Revalidation

    For more information about automatic revalidation provisions and reentry to the U.S., visit the International Visitors webpage and the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. Students and Exchange Visitors should review additional important information about travel outside the U.S. and reentry procedures on the DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website.

    Automatic revalidation is not the same as applying for a new visa. If you apply for a new nonimmigrant visa, you cannot take advantage of automatic revalidation.
    Who Must Reapply for and Be Reissued a Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate?

    This webpage explains which travelers must reapply and be reissued visas when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, in order to gain admission to reenter the U.S.

    Many nonimmigrants will need to reapply and be reissued visas to reenter the U.S. when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, because automatic revalidation applies to limited categories of travelers. Refer to the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. The following temporary visitors whose nonimmigrant visas have expired, but who have valid I-94 forms, must reapply for and be issued nonimmigrant visas prior to their reentry to the U.S., if one or more of the following situations exists (this is not a complete listing):

    The nonimmigrant traveler with an expired nonimmigrant visa (but valid Form I-94):

    Applied for a new visa which has not yet been issued;
    Applied for a new visa and was denied;
    Has been outside of the United States for more than thirty days;
    Has traveled to a country other than Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island which is not included in the automatic revalidation provisions;
    Is a national of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designated country, including Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Sudan. Review more about State Sponsors of Terrorism and FAQs on this website;
    Is in possession of an F student visa or J exchange visitor visa and has traveled to Cuba;
    Is in possession of an M student visa and has traveled to a location outside the U.S., other than Canada and Mexico.

    Additional Resources – Laws

    The automatic revalidation provision of U.S. immigration law is described in both 8 CFR 214.1(b) and 22 CFR 112(d).
    We Want You to Know

    Visa News
    Adoption Alerts
    Diversity Visa
    Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
    Iraqis & Afghans-SIV
    Business Visa Center
    Customer Service Statement to Visa Applicants
    Fraud Warning

    Visa denial based upon immigrant intent defined in Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

    Immigrant intent becomes an issue when an applicant outside or inside USA seeks a benefit (such as a visa, when outside USA, or a change of status, when within USA) that does not allow an applicant to possess the intention of residing permanently in USA ("immigrant intent"). For example, an applicant for a visitor's visa must not have the intention to reside in USA permanently. Their visa can be refused if they have immigrant intent.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it intends to revoke (cancel) approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a pending case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it plans to remove approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it plans to remove approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The term often refers to the Designated Degree program requiring a degree in one of these fields of study. STEM programs, in recognition of their importance to US interests, are awarded special consideration in certain areas under US immigration laws.

    A Returning Resident Permit, or SB-1 Visa, is what a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or Green Card holder) can get to return to the United States after being out of the country for more than one year. When an LPR leaves the United States, they must return within a year. If they stay more than a year, they must obtain a Returning Resident Permit in order to return. This also applies to those who remain outside of the country longer than is allowed by their reentry permit.
    You apply for a returning residence visa through the consulate in your home country. There, you have to explain in quite some detail the genuine reason for your inability to return to USA within one year. It is discretionary upon the consulate whether they are convinced by the genuineness of your response or not.
    For more information, see this State Department’s webpage: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1333.html

    A Returning Resident Permit, or SB-1 Visa, is what a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or Green Card holder) can get to return to the United States after being out of the country for more than one year. When an LPR leaves the United States, they must return within a year. If they stay more than a year, they must obtain a Returning Resident Permit in order to return. This also applies to those who remain outside of the country longer than is allowed by their reentry permit.
    You apply for a returning residence visa through the consulate in your home country. There, you have to explain in quite some detail the genuine reason for your inability to return to USA within one year. It is discretionary upon the consulate whether they are convinced by the genuineness of your response or not.
    For more information, see this State Department’s webpage: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1333.html

    U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. Consists of two houses: Senate and the House of Representatives.

    One of the two houses of U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. The other is the House of Representatives.

    One of the two houses of U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. The other is the Senate.

    Default Web Links group

    Green Card: 

    Comments

    Mr. Khanna, can we use our commercial buildings in India as part of the investment?

    This content is tagged for employers and Human Resources professionals responsible for hiring foreign professionals/workers in USA

    US Department of Labor is charged with protecting the labor market and investigation and enforcement activities related to that.

    Immigration and Custom Enforcement. This agency used to be a part of old INS. When DHS was formed, enforcement personnel of US Customs Service and INS were combined to form ICE, which is now responsible for a large part of immigration enforcement activity.

    Department of State (State Department) is responsible for issuing visas, which are a permission to travel to USA.

    A method to obtain green card used to avoid the need for PERM based labor certification.

    Customs and Border Protection. This agency was spun off from old INS. CBP is responsible for inspecting people when they land at airports, docks and land borders.

    To qualify for an A-1 (or A-2 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government.  The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

    To qualify for an A-2 (or A-1 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government. The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

    Consulates all over the world issue visas - a permission to enter USA for a specific purpose. Consulates are a part of the State Department (DOS - Department of State).

    Bangladesh Immigration

    Indonesia Immigration

    I-94 aka Arrival Departure Record is what governs your status in the USA. An expired I-94 can lead to bar from entering USA for 3 to 10 years.See details on "Unlawful Presence".

    When used in relation to immigration, this is another name for being LEGALLY present in the USA

    This is a complicated term. Very simply (there is a lot more to it), you could have your status expire and still be authorized to stay in USA awaiting the outcome of a legally filed petition. This is something less than "Status" but much better than "Unlawful Presence."

    This is another complicated concept with some very serious consequences. Briefly, if you have been unlawfully present in USA for more than 180 days, you cannot come back to USA for 3 years and if unlawfully present for a year or more, you cannot come back for 10 years. Very generally speaking unlawful presence begins after expiration of the I-94 or after having been asked by the govt. to leave USA.

    These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

    These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

    Adjustment of Status

    Includes topics of loss of physical green card papers or the card itself as well as loss of green card through abandonment and criminal activity.

    When used in relation to immigration, this is another name for extending your status.

    Employees working in USA

    Personal employees, attendants and servants of A-1 and A-2 visa holders.

    EB4 category is for religious workers.

    “Priority Date” determines your place in the queue for waiting for green card in the categories where there is a wait. When the govt. has reached your PD, it is said to be “current.” For family-based green cards, PD is the date your I-130 was filed; for PERM-based cases, the date your PERM was filed; for employment-based cases other than through PERM (like EB-1 cases), PD is the date your I-140 was filed. DOS publishes the movement of the PD queue every month in the Visa Bulletin: http://www.immigration.com/visa-bulletin

    A publication of the US State Department that keeps track of the green card backlogs and informs us which "Priority Dates" are current so the applicants can expect to get through the last step of their green card processing. This is published every month around the 14th and tells us the availability for the following month. Note that certain categories of applicants ("immediate relatives") such as spouse of a US citizen are not shown in the visa bulletin because they are entitled to have their applications considered without any wait.

    Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (now USCIS)

    Central Intelligence Agency

    Department of Homeland Security

    Department of Justice

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Immigration and Naturalization Service (now reconstituted into USCIS)

    Internal Revenue Service

    Office of Management and Budget

    Social Security Administration

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Earlier known as INS. USCIS is responsible for providing immigration benefits to applicants. Homepage http://wwww.uscis.gov

    American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998.

    Approval Date (When your application was approved)

    Alien Documentation, Identification & Telecommunications System

    Assistant Field Office Director

    Abbreviation for American Immigration Lawyers Association.

    Adjudications Officer

    Administrative Review

    Application Support Center: offers biometric services including fingerprinting services

    Birth Certificate

    Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (now USCIS)

    Board of Immigrant Appeals

    Biometrics (include Digital photo, index finger print and your digital signature). This is needed for the production of Green Card.

    Customs and Border Protection

    Central Intelligence Agency

    Citizenship and Immigration Services

    Consulate Officer

    Consular Processing

    Conditional Permanent Resident

    Curricular Practical Training

    Central Regional Office

    California Service Center

    Cancelled Without Prejudice

    Deputy Field Office Director

    Department of Homeland Security

    Drivers License

    Department of Motor Vehicles

    Department of Justice

    Department of Labor

    Dallas Office Rapid Adjustment of Status

    Department of State

    Detention and Removal Operations

    Diversity Visa (a.k.a. Green Card Lottery)

    Eastern Application Center

    Employment Authorization Document (I-765, approval to work while waiting for Adjustment of Status - AOS Approval)

    Electronic Data Systems

    Executive Office of Immigration Review

    Expedited Removal

    Eastern Regional Office

    Entered Without Inspection

    Foreign Affairs Manual

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Field Office Director

    Finger Print

    File Transfer Request

    Green Card

    Immigration Judge

    International Marriage Brokers Act

    Immigration and Nationality Act

    Is an online appointment so you can go to your DO if you have a doubt or want to know something about your case in person or to request your interim EAD

    Immigration and Naturalization Service (now called USCIS)

    Immigration officer / Interviewing officer

    Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

    Internal Revenue Service

    Internet Service Provider

    Immigrant Visa

    Immigrant Visa Applicant Control System

    John F. Kennedy International Airport

    Kentucky Consular Center

    Labor Condition Application

    Lawful Permanent Resident

    Lawful Permanent Resident Alien

    Last Update Date on your on-line portfolio at USCIS website. It is the date when they last took action on your application, could be anything.

    Machine Readable Data

    Machine Readable Passport

    Machine Readable Visa

    Missouri Service Center

    Notice Date (When USCIS notified you that they received your application)

    National Data Entry Center

    Non Immigrant Visa

    Notice of Action is your receipt/letter that you received after you filed your forms (indicates I-797C)

    Notice of Proposed Rule Making

    Notice To Appear

    Nebraska Service Center

    National Visa Center

    New York District Office

    Office of Management and Budget

    Optional Practical Training

    Other Than Mexican

    Police Clearance Certificate

    Priority Date

    Port of Entry

    Permanent Resident (Also LPR - Legal Permanent Resident)

    Quality Assurance

    Receipt Date (When USCIS received your application)

    Remote Adjudications Center

    Request for Evidence

    Request for Initial Evidence

    Service Center (this is used with a prefix, eg CSC - California Service Center; MSC - Missouri Service Center, that is the address from where you will received your NOA (Notice of Action))

    Supervisory Detention & Deportation Officer

    Student Exchange Visitor Information System

    Student and Exchange Visitor Program

    Social Security Administration

    Social Security Number

    State Workforce Agency

    When the UCSIS "Touches" your petition or file it means that an action was taken which required your file to be physically touched or moved. Example: Your file is touched when it is given to an adjudicator to process.

    Temporary Protected Status

    Texas Service Center

    Transit Without Visa

    US Citizen

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

    System in airports that captures biometrics of people entering the country

    Voluntary Return

    Vermont Service Center

    Visa Waiver Program

    Western Application Center

    Western Regional Office

    Alien's Change of Address Form

    NAFTA Professional visa

    NAFTA Professional Dependant visa

    Pre-Flight Inspection

    PERM Processing: Program Electronic Review Management

    Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

    Interim EAD

    Application to Replace Permanent Residence Card

    Employment Eligibility Verification

    Affidavit of Support

    Application for Employment Authorization

    Green Card

    Application To Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

    Welcome Notice

    Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

    Affidavit of Support

    Application for Travel Document

    Advance Parole or AP (Form I-131): The authorization to travel outside the US while your adjustment of status is pending. Note, Form I-131 is also used for Reentry Permit, an application by a US green card holder to be away from USA for over one year.

    Administrative Appeals Office

    Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. Under the prior rules, an F-1 student could be authorized to receive up to a total of 12 months of practical training either before (pre-) and/or after (post-) completion of studies.

    This is an abbreviation for test_term and can be deleted

    AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

    AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

    American Immigration Lawyers Association

    Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

    The process though which a person within USA obtains a change in their status to green card holder. This is usually the last step for (most not all) green card process.

    Includes Zoologists, Botanists

    Includes occupations in biochemistry, cytology, genetics, physiology

    Fashion Models

    Hotel management and related professions

    An alternative to obtaining the last step in the green card through the consulates outside USA. This is an alternative to adjustment of status.

    DOD (Department of Defense) project visas.

    Includes CPA's CA's and all other accountants and auditors

    Violence Against Women Act

    Child Status Protection Act

    Labor Condition Application. This is a part of some nonimmigrant visa applications process including H-1 visas. Not to be confused with "Labor Certification" also known as PERM, which is a part of the green card process. An LCA, or Labor Condition Application, is required to be submitted to and certified by the U.S. Department of Labor as a part of an H-1B application. The LCA serves to ensure that U.S. wages will not be depressed by the hiring of the H-1B employee and that the H-1B worker will not be exploited. In the LCA, the employer guarantees that it will pay the H-1B worker the required wage, which is the greater of the prevailing wage or the actual wage paid to other employees in the same position; that the H-1B employee will not displace a U.S. worker; and that the employment will not adversely affect the working conditions of workers similarly employed in the area of intended employment.

    Also known as CIS Ombudsman, this office provides recommendations for resolving individual and employer problems with the USCIS. As mandated by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 § 452, CIS Ombudsman is an independent office that reports directly to the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security. http://www.dhs.gov/xabout/structure/editorial_0482.shtm

    PERM audits typically involve questions from the USDOL regarding the PERM filing.

    Used mostly in the context of the last step in green card processing (Adjustment of Status), preadjudication means USCIS is proceeding to make decision on the file even though priority date is not yet current. The idea is that way when the PD gets current, all they need to do is send approval notice and then the green card. So if the AOS is preadjudicated, you still need to wait for the PD to become current.

    Petition for a conditional resident who obtained status through marriage to apply to remove the conditions on his or her residence.

    Vermont Service Center

    California Service Center

    Nebraska Service Center

    Texas Service Center

    Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) is one of the three adjudicative bodies within the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). It has jurisdiction over three types of civil penalty cases: employer sanctions (INA § 274A - 8 USC § 1324a), unfair immigration-related employment practices (INA § 274B - 8 USC § 1324b), and immigration-related document fraud (INA § 274C - 8 USC § 1324c).

    Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals is an adjudicative agency that decides in appeal PERM and wage disputes.

    Certifying Officer is the highest Department of Labor officer for a region. They are charged, amongst other things, with the responsibility to adjudicate PERM and LCA cases.

    Fraud Detection and National Security. FDNS was created to strengthen the ability of the U.S. Citizenship and
    Immigration Services (USCIS) to provide the right benefit to the right person at the right time, and no benefit to the wrong person.

    Citizenship in USA can be obtained through naturalization or through birth in USA.

    The process through which a person becomes a US Citizen.

    N-470 helps you preserve your stay abroad for naturalization under certain circumstances. So, even though you are living outside USA, you can accumulate that time for naturalization.

    Electronic System for Travel Authorization

    Congressional Research Service. A "think tank" that provides reports to members of Congress on a variety of topics relevant to current political events.

    Missouri Service Center (MSC) was transitioned into the National Benefits Center (NBC). The NBC was established to serve as the hub and conduit for USCIS local field offices by completing all pre-interview processing of Forms generally requiring an interview. This pre-processing includes conducting background security checks, performing initial evidence reviews, adjudication of associated I-765 and I-131 applications (filed with the I-485 or separately), denial of adjustment of status cases for applicants who are statutorily ineligible, and forwarding scheduled cases to the USCIS local office for adjudication. In employment based cases, transfer to NBC usually means an interview can be expected. This can occur even if PD is retrogressed.

    Online Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application can only be used by visa applicants applying at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate which has converted to the new electronic fully online form and process. For more information visit travel.state.gov DS-160 informational webpage for a listing of embassy locations using Form DS-160. Next, visit one of the U.S. Embassy websites using the Form DS-160 and where you will apply, to review detailed nonimmigrant visa how-to-apply instructions, in addition to these FAQs.

    1. Where can I find the DS-160?
    You can access the DS-160 from the Consular Electronic Application Center website or from the link on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website.

    The mission of the Employment and Training Administration is to contribute to the more efficient functioning of the U.S. labor market by providing high quality job training, employment, labor market information, and income maintenance services primarily through state and local workforce development systems.

    A form issued by school for applicants to obtain a Student Visa.

    A form issued by school or sponsor for applicants to obtain a J Visa.

    United Kingdom

    Cyprus Immigration

    Japan

    France

    Germany

    Ireland

    Kuwait Immigration

    Saudi Arabia Immigration

    United Arab Emirates Immigration

    Singapore Immigration

    Chile Immigration

    China Immigration new

    Egypt Immigration

    France Immigration

    Malaysia Immigration

    Maldives Immigration

    Malta Immigration

    Mauritius Immigration

    Nepal Immigration

    Norway Immigration

    New Zealand Immigration

    Romania Immigration

    South Africa Immigration

    South Korea Immigration

    Sweden Immigration

    Switzerland immigration

    Trinidad immigration

    In April of 1994, the Department of State opened a permanent Immigrant Visa processing facility at the National Visa Center (NVC) in Portsmouth, NH. The NVC processes all approved immigrant visa petitions after they are received from Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security (CIS) and retains them until the cases are ready for adjudication by a consular officer abroad.

    Every month, the Visa Office (VO) establishes Qualifying Dates that determine if a petition will be eligible for processing. Qualifying Dates are the latest priority dates that can be processed for certain visa categories. An immigrant visa petition can only become ready for further processing when the Qualifying Date in the appropriate visa category has advanced up to the priority date of the petition. Petitions may remain at NVC for several months or for many years depending on the visa category and country of birth of the visa applicant.

    NVC’s Role

    The NVC is responsible for the collection of visa application fees and visa application documentation. When an applicant's priority date meets the most recent Qualifying Date, the NVC will contact the applicant and petitioner with instructions for submitting the appropriate processing fees. After the appropriate processing fees are paid, the NVC will again contact the applicant and petitioner to request that the necessary immigrant visa documentation be submitted to the NVC.

    The U.S. Department of State's official site for U.S. visa information

    InfoPass is an Internet-based system that enables the public to go online to schedule appointments with immigration information officers at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices. If you have a complex immigration question or need that is best addressed by a trained USCIS officer in person, InfoPass offers a convenient alternative to waiting in line for assistance. InfoPass is a secure Internet site.

    8 C.F.R. ง 214.3(l)(1)(ii):

    (l) Designated official.

    (1) Meaning of term Designated Official. As used in งง 214.1(b), 214.2(b),
    214.2(f), 214.2(m), and 214.4, a Designated Official, Designated School
    Official (DSO), or Principal Designated School Official (PDSO), means a
    regularly employed member of the school administration whose office is
    located at the school and whose compensation does not come from commissions
    for recruitment of foreign students. An individual whose principal
    obligation to the school is to recruit foreign students for compensation
    does not qualify as a designated official. The PDSO and any other DSO must
    be named by the president, owner, or head of a school or school system. The
    PDSO and DSO may not delegate this designation to any other person.

    (i) A PDSO and DSO must be either a citizen or lawful permanent resident of
    the United States.

    (ii) Each campus must have one PDSO. The PDSO is responsible for updating
    SEVIS to reflect the addition or deletion of any DSO on his or her
    associated campus. SEVP will use the PDSO as the point of contact on any
    issues that relate to the school's compliance with the regulations, as well
    as any system alerts generated by SEVIS. SEVP may also designate certain
    functions in SEVIS for use by the PDSO only. The PDSO of the main campus is
    the only DSO authorized to submit a Form I-17 for recertification. The PDSO
    and DSO will share the same responsibilities in all other respects.

    (iii) Each school may have up to 10 designated officials at any one time,
    including the PDSO. In a multi-campus school, each campus may have up to 10
    designated officials at any one time including a required PDSO. In a private
    elementary or public or private secondary school system, however, the entire
    school system is limited to 10 designated officials at any one time
    including the PDSO.

    The DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, is a fully integrated online application form that is used to collect the necessary application information from a person seeking a nonimmigrant visa for temporary travel to the United States.

    OFLC processes labor certification applications for employers seeking to bring foreign workers into the United States and grants certifications in those cases where employers can demonstrate that there are not sufficient U.S. workers available, willing and qualified to perform the work at wages that meet or exceed the prevailing wage paid for the occupation in the area of intended employment.

    Designated School Official is a school officer designated to work with students and act as a representative of USCIS/ICE in certain matters.

    Student and Exchange Visitor Information System www.ice.gov/sevis.

    SEVIS is an Internet-based system that maintains accurate and current information on non-immigrant students (F and M visa), exchange visitors (J visa), and their dependents (F-2, M-2, and J-2). SEVIS enables schools and program sponsors to transmit electronic information and event notifications via the Internet, to the ICE and Department of State (DOS) throughout a student or exchange visitor’s stay in the United States. The system will reflect international student or exchange visitor status changes, such as admission at Port of Entry (POE), change of address, change in program of study, and other details. SEVIS will also provide system alerts, event notifications, and basic reports to the end-user schools, programs, and Immigration related field offices.

    SEVP acts as the bridge for government organizations that have an interest in information on foreign students. SEVP helps the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State monitor school and exchange programs and F, M and J category visitors. SEVP administers the F and M visa categories, while the Department of State manages the J exchange visitor program.
    SEVP uses the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a web-based solution, to track and monitor schools and programs, students, exchange visitors and their dependents while approved to participate in the U.S. education system.
    SEVP collects, maintains and provides the information so that only legitimate foreign students or exchange visitors gain entry to the United States. The result is an easily accessible information system that provides timely information to the Department of State, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
    For more details, please visit the link, http://www.ice.gov/sevis/

    Introduction:

    VIBE is a web-based adjudication tool used by USCIS to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ alien workers. VIBE uses commercially available data from an independent information provider (IIP) to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ certain alien workers. Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) is the current IIP for this program.

    This service is available to US based, privately held companies only. It is free of charge, and petitioning employers may access this process via D&B’s iUpdate for U.S. government customers -- a free, password-protected and encrypted online service tool offered by D&B.

    Please note that USCIS does not expect or require petitioners to contact D&B or pay any fees associated with creating or updating an existing record. Employers who wish to update their information through D&B directly may be subject to direct marketing by the organization or encounter D&B representatives who may suggest a purchase of the firm’s products and services.

    Purpose of VIBE:

    The purpose behind VIBE is to increase the efficiency of the visa petitioning process by reducing the amount of documents employers have to submit with each petition in order to prove eligibility. Furthermore, USCIS will also be able to reduce the number of RFEs issued to otherwise eligible petitioners.

    An important point to note is that USCIS will not deny a petition based solely on information from VIBE without at least first giving the petitioner an opportunity to respond to the RFEs or NOIDs issued by USCIS.

    Please note that whether or not you choose to create a record or update your record with D&B, you must respond to any RFE or NOID received from USCIS. Failure to respond could result in the denial of your petition. Furthermore, it is necessary to resolve relevant inconsistencies in the information provided by the employer, on one hand, and information available on VIBE, on the other.

    Employment Authorization Document. This is evidence that a person is authorized to work in USA. People undergoing Adjustment of Status (AOS or I-485 process) are entitled to an EAD.

    Specific information related to our team and this site.

    Deferred Action is consent by the Government not to deport (remove) an otherwise deport-able individual. Usually it is given for humanitarian reasons and work authorization is also provided. Unlawful presence is stopped during deferred action, but any unlawful presence already accrued does not get wiped away. Deferred action is not a visa or a full legal status.

    Automatic Visa Revalidation - Definition from Travel.state.gov

    Re-entering the U.S. with a Valid I-94 Form & Expired Visa is Limited
    What Is Automatic Revalidation?

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has the authority and the responsibility over the admission of travelers to the U.S. Under the automatic revalidation provision of immigration law, certain temporary visitors holding expired nonimmigrant visas who seek to return to the U.S. may be admitted at a U.S. port of entry by CBP, if they meet certain requirements, including, but not limited to the following:

    Nonimmigrants who departed the U.S. for brief travel to Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island (for F and J nonimmigrants) for thirty days or less;
    Nonimmigrants with a valid (unexpired) Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, endorsed by DHS.

    More Information about Automatic Revalidation

    For more information about automatic revalidation provisions and reentry to the U.S., visit the International Visitors webpage and the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. Students and Exchange Visitors should review additional important information about travel outside the U.S. and reentry procedures on the DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website.

    Automatic revalidation is not the same as applying for a new visa. If you apply for a new nonimmigrant visa, you cannot take advantage of automatic revalidation.
    Who Must Reapply for and Be Reissued a Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate?

    This webpage explains which travelers must reapply and be reissued visas when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, in order to gain admission to reenter the U.S.

    Many nonimmigrants will need to reapply and be reissued visas to reenter the U.S. when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, because automatic revalidation applies to limited categories of travelers. Refer to the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. The following temporary visitors whose nonimmigrant visas have expired, but who have valid I-94 forms, must reapply for and be issued nonimmigrant visas prior to their reentry to the U.S., if one or more of the following situations exists (this is not a complete listing):

    The nonimmigrant traveler with an expired nonimmigrant visa (but valid Form I-94):

    Applied for a new visa which has not yet been issued;
    Applied for a new visa and was denied;
    Has been outside of the United States for more than thirty days;
    Has traveled to a country other than Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island which is not included in the automatic revalidation provisions;
    Is a national of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designated country, including Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Sudan. Review more about State Sponsors of Terrorism and FAQs on this website;
    Is in possession of an F student visa or J exchange visitor visa and has traveled to Cuba;
    Is in possession of an M student visa and has traveled to a location outside the U.S., other than Canada and Mexico.

    Additional Resources – Laws

    The automatic revalidation provision of U.S. immigration law is described in both 8 CFR 214.1(b) and 22 CFR 112(d).
    We Want You to Know

    Visa News
    Adoption Alerts
    Diversity Visa
    Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
    Iraqis & Afghans-SIV
    Business Visa Center
    Customer Service Statement to Visa Applicants
    Fraud Warning

    Visa denial based upon immigrant intent defined in Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

    Immigrant intent becomes an issue when an applicant outside or inside USA seeks a benefit (such as a visa, when outside USA, or a change of status, when within USA) that does not allow an applicant to possess the intention of residing permanently in USA ("immigrant intent"). For example, an applicant for a visitor's visa must not have the intention to reside in USA permanently. Their visa can be refused if they have immigrant intent.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it intends to revoke (cancel) approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a pending case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it plans to remove approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it plans to remove approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The term often refers to the Designated Degree program requiring a degree in one of these fields of study. STEM programs, in recognition of their importance to US interests, are awarded special consideration in certain areas under US immigration laws.

    A Returning Resident Permit, or SB-1 Visa, is what a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or Green Card holder) can get to return to the United States after being out of the country for more than one year. When an LPR leaves the United States, they must return within a year. If they stay more than a year, they must obtain a Returning Resident Permit in order to return. This also applies to those who remain outside of the country longer than is allowed by their reentry permit.
    You apply for a returning residence visa through the consulate in your home country. There, you have to explain in quite some detail the genuine reason for your inability to return to USA within one year. It is discretionary upon the consulate whether they are convinced by the genuineness of your response or not.
    For more information, see this State Department’s webpage: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1333.html

    A Returning Resident Permit, or SB-1 Visa, is what a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or Green Card holder) can get to return to the United States after being out of the country for more than one year. When an LPR leaves the United States, they must return within a year. If they stay more than a year, they must obtain a Returning Resident Permit in order to return. This also applies to those who remain outside of the country longer than is allowed by their reentry permit.
    You apply for a returning residence visa through the consulate in your home country. There, you have to explain in quite some detail the genuine reason for your inability to return to USA within one year. It is discretionary upon the consulate whether they are convinced by the genuineness of your response or not.
    For more information, see this State Department’s webpage: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1333.html

    U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. Consists of two houses: Senate and the House of Representatives.

    One of the two houses of U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. The other is the House of Representatives.

    One of the two houses of U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. The other is the Senate.

    Default Web Links group

    We host free calls for the community every other Thursday at 12:30 pm Eastern Standard Time.  All are welcome to call in phone 202-800-8394 and ask their questions.

    This content is tagged for employers and Human Resources professionals responsible for hiring foreign professionals/workers in USA

    US Department of Labor is charged with protecting the labor market and investigation and enforcement activities related to that.

    Immigration and Custom Enforcement. This agency used to be a part of old INS. When DHS was formed, enforcement personnel of US Customs Service and INS were combined to form ICE, which is now responsible for a large part of immigration enforcement activity.

    Department of State (State Department) is responsible for issuing visas, which are a permission to travel to USA.

    A method to obtain green card used to avoid the need for PERM based labor certification.

    Customs and Border Protection. This agency was spun off from old INS. CBP is responsible for inspecting people when they land at airports, docks and land borders.

    To qualify for an A-1 (or A-2 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government.  The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

    To qualify for an A-2 (or A-1 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government. The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

    Consulates all over the world issue visas - a permission to enter USA for a specific purpose. Consulates are a part of the State Department (DOS - Department of State).

    Bangladesh Immigration

    Indonesia Immigration

    I-94 aka Arrival Departure Record is what governs your status in the USA. An expired I-94 can lead to bar from entering USA for 3 to 10 years.See details on "Unlawful Presence".

    When used in relation to immigration, this is another name for being LEGALLY present in the USA

    This is a complicated term. Very simply (there is a lot more to it), you could have your status expire and still be authorized to stay in USA awaiting the outcome of a legally filed petition. This is something less than "Status" but much better than "Unlawful Presence."

    This is another complicated concept with some very serious consequences. Briefly, if you have been unlawfully present in USA for more than 180 days, you cannot come back to USA for 3 years and if unlawfully present for a year or more, you cannot come back for 10 years. Very generally speaking unlawful presence begins after expiration of the I-94 or after having been asked by the govt. to leave USA.

    These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

    These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

    Adjustment of Status

    Includes topics of loss of physical green card papers or the card itself as well as loss of green card through abandonment and criminal activity.

    When used in relation to immigration, this is another name for extending your status.

    Employees working in USA

    Personal employees, attendants and servants of A-1 and A-2 visa holders.

    EB4 category is for religious workers.

    “Priority Date” determines your place in the queue for waiting for green card in the categories where there is a wait. When the govt. has reached your PD, it is said to be “current.” For family-based green cards, PD is the date your I-130 was filed; for PERM-based cases, the date your PERM was filed; for employment-based cases other than through PERM (like EB-1 cases), PD is the date your I-140 was filed. DOS publishes the movement of the PD queue every month in the Visa Bulletin: http://www.immigration.com/visa-bulletin

    A publication of the US State Department that keeps track of the green card backlogs and informs us which "Priority Dates" are current so the applicants can expect to get through the last step of their green card processing. This is published every month around the 14th and tells us the availability for the following month. Note that certain categories of applicants ("immediate relatives") such as spouse of a US citizen are not shown in the visa bulletin because they are entitled to have their applications considered without any wait.

    Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (now USCIS)

    Central Intelligence Agency

    Department of Homeland Security

    Department of Justice

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Immigration and Naturalization Service (now reconstituted into USCIS)

    Internal Revenue Service

    Office of Management and Budget

    Social Security Administration

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Earlier known as INS. USCIS is responsible for providing immigration benefits to applicants. Homepage http://wwww.uscis.gov

    American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998.

    Approval Date (When your application was approved)

    Alien Documentation, Identification & Telecommunications System

    Assistant Field Office Director

    Abbreviation for American Immigration Lawyers Association.

    Adjudications Officer

    Administrative Review

    Application Support Center: offers biometric services including fingerprinting services

    Birth Certificate

    Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (now USCIS)

    Board of Immigrant Appeals

    Biometrics (include Digital photo, index finger print and your digital signature). This is needed for the production of Green Card.

    Customs and Border Protection

    Central Intelligence Agency

    Citizenship and Immigration Services

    Consulate Officer

    Consular Processing

    Conditional Permanent Resident

    Curricular Practical Training

    Central Regional Office

    California Service Center

    Cancelled Without Prejudice

    Deputy Field Office Director

    Department of Homeland Security

    Drivers License

    Department of Motor Vehicles

    Department of Justice

    Department of Labor

    Dallas Office Rapid Adjustment of Status

    Department of State

    Detention and Removal Operations

    Diversity Visa (a.k.a. Green Card Lottery)

    Eastern Application Center

    Employment Authorization Document (I-765, approval to work while waiting for Adjustment of Status - AOS Approval)

    Electronic Data Systems

    Executive Office of Immigration Review

    Expedited Removal

    Eastern Regional Office

    Entered Without Inspection

    Foreign Affairs Manual

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Field Office Director

    Finger Print

    File Transfer Request

    Green Card

    Immigration Judge

    International Marriage Brokers Act

    Immigration and Nationality Act

    Is an online appointment so you can go to your DO if you have a doubt or want to know something about your case in person or to request your interim EAD

    Immigration and Naturalization Service (now called USCIS)

    Immigration officer / Interviewing officer

    Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

    Internal Revenue Service

    Internet Service Provider

    Immigrant Visa

    Immigrant Visa Applicant Control System

    John F. Kennedy International Airport

    Kentucky Consular Center

    Labor Condition Application

    Lawful Permanent Resident

    Lawful Permanent Resident Alien

    Last Update Date on your on-line portfolio at USCIS website. It is the date when they last took action on your application, could be anything.

    Machine Readable Data

    Machine Readable Passport

    Machine Readable Visa

    Missouri Service Center

    Notice Date (When USCIS notified you that they received your application)

    National Data Entry Center

    Non Immigrant Visa

    Notice of Action is your receipt/letter that you received after you filed your forms (indicates I-797C)

    Notice of Proposed Rule Making

    Notice To Appear

    Nebraska Service Center

    National Visa Center

    New York District Office

    Office of Management and Budget

    Optional Practical Training

    Other Than Mexican

    Police Clearance Certificate

    Priority Date

    Port of Entry

    Permanent Resident (Also LPR - Legal Permanent Resident)

    Quality Assurance

    Receipt Date (When USCIS received your application)

    Remote Adjudications Center

    Request for Evidence

    Request for Initial Evidence

    Service Center (this is used with a prefix, eg CSC - California Service Center; MSC - Missouri Service Center, that is the address from where you will received your NOA (Notice of Action))

    Supervisory Detention & Deportation Officer

    Student Exchange Visitor Information System

    Student and Exchange Visitor Program

    Social Security Administration

    Social Security Number

    State Workforce Agency

    When the UCSIS "Touches" your petition or file it means that an action was taken which required your file to be physically touched or moved. Example: Your file is touched when it is given to an adjudicator to process.

    Temporary Protected Status

    Texas Service Center

    Transit Without Visa

    US Citizen

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

    System in airports that captures biometrics of people entering the country

    Voluntary Return

    Vermont Service Center

    Visa Waiver Program

    Western Application Center

    Western Regional Office

    Alien's Change of Address Form

    NAFTA Professional visa

    NAFTA Professional Dependant visa

    Pre-Flight Inspection

    PERM Processing: Program Electronic Review Management

    Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

    Interim EAD

    Application to Replace Permanent Residence Card

    Employment Eligibility Verification

    Affidavit of Support

    Application for Employment Authorization

    Green Card

    Application To Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

    Welcome Notice

    Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

    Affidavit of Support

    Application for Travel Document

    Advance Parole or AP (Form I-131): The authorization to travel outside the US while your adjustment of status is pending. Note, Form I-131 is also used for Reentry Permit, an application by a US green card holder to be away from USA for over one year.

    Administrative Appeals Office

    Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. Under the prior rules, an F-1 student could be authorized to receive up to a total of 12 months of practical training either before (pre-) and/or after (post-) completion of studies.

    This is an abbreviation for test_term and can be deleted

    AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

    AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

    American Immigration Lawyers Association

    Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

    The process though which a person within USA obtains a change in their status to green card holder. This is usually the last step for (most not all) green card process.

    Includes Zoologists, Botanists

    Includes occupations in biochemistry, cytology, genetics, physiology

    Fashion Models

    Hotel management and related professions

    An alternative to obtaining the last step in the green card through the consulates outside USA. This is an alternative to adjustment of status.

    DOD (Department of Defense) project visas.

    Includes CPA's CA's and all other accountants and auditors

    Violence Against Women Act

    Child Status Protection Act

    Labor Condition Application. This is a part of some nonimmigrant visa applications process including H-1 visas. Not to be confused with "Labor Certification" also known as PERM, which is a part of the green card process. An LCA, or Labor Condition Application, is required to be submitted to and certified by the U.S. Department of Labor as a part of an H-1B application. The LCA serves to ensure that U.S. wages will not be depressed by the hiring of the H-1B employee and that the H-1B worker will not be exploited. In the LCA, the employer guarantees that it will pay the H-1B worker the required wage, which is the greater of the prevailing wage or the actual wage paid to other employees in the same position; that the H-1B employee will not displace a U.S. worker; and that the employment will not adversely affect the working conditions of workers similarly employed in the area of intended employment.

    Also known as CIS Ombudsman, this office provides recommendations for resolving individual and employer problems with the USCIS. As mandated by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 § 452, CIS Ombudsman is an independent office that reports directly to the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security. http://www.dhs.gov/xabout/structure/editorial_0482.shtm

    PERM audits typically involve questions from the USDOL regarding the PERM filing.

    Used mostly in the context of the last step in green card processing (Adjustment of Status), preadjudication means USCIS is proceeding to make decision on the file even though priority date is not yet current. The idea is that way when the PD gets current, all they need to do is send approval notice and then the green card. So if the AOS is preadjudicated, you still need to wait for the PD to become current.

    Petition for a conditional resident who obtained status through marriage to apply to remove the conditions on his or her residence.

    Vermont Service Center

    California Service Center

    Nebraska Service Center

    Texas Service Center

    Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) is one of the three adjudicative bodies within the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). It has jurisdiction over three types of civil penalty cases: employer sanctions (INA § 274A - 8 USC § 1324a), unfair immigration-related employment practices (INA § 274B - 8 USC § 1324b), and immigration-related document fraud (INA § 274C - 8 USC § 1324c).

    Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals is an adjudicative agency that decides in appeal PERM and wage disputes.

    Certifying Officer is the highest Department of Labor officer for a region. They are charged, amongst other things, with the responsibility to adjudicate PERM and LCA cases.

    Fraud Detection and National Security. FDNS was created to strengthen the ability of the U.S. Citizenship and
    Immigration Services (USCIS) to provide the right benefit to the right person at the right time, and no benefit to the wrong person.

    Citizenship in USA can be obtained through naturalization or through birth in USA.

    The process through which a person becomes a US Citizen.

    N-470 helps you preserve your stay abroad for naturalization under certain circumstances. So, even though you are living outside USA, you can accumulate that time for naturalization.

    Electronic System for Travel Authorization

    Congressional Research Service. A "think tank" that provides reports to members of Congress on a variety of topics relevant to current political events.

    Missouri Service Center (MSC) was transitioned into the National Benefits Center (NBC). The NBC was established to serve as the hub and conduit for USCIS local field offices by completing all pre-interview processing of Forms generally requiring an interview. This pre-processing includes conducting background security checks, performing initial evidence reviews, adjudication of associated I-765 and I-131 applications (filed with the I-485 or separately), denial of adjustment of status cases for applicants who are statutorily ineligible, and forwarding scheduled cases to the USCIS local office for adjudication. In employment based cases, transfer to NBC usually means an interview can be expected. This can occur even if PD is retrogressed.

    Online Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application can only be used by visa applicants applying at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate which has converted to the new electronic fully online form and process. For more information visit travel.state.gov DS-160 informational webpage for a listing of embassy locations using Form DS-160. Next, visit one of the U.S. Embassy websites using the Form DS-160 and where you will apply, to review detailed nonimmigrant visa how-to-apply instructions, in addition to these FAQs.

    1. Where can I find the DS-160?
    You can access the DS-160 from the Consular Electronic Application Center website or from the link on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website.

    The mission of the Employment and Training Administration is to contribute to the more efficient functioning of the U.S. labor market by providing high quality job training, employment, labor market information, and income maintenance services primarily through state and local workforce development systems.

    A form issued by school for applicants to obtain a Student Visa.

    A form issued by school or sponsor for applicants to obtain a J Visa.

    United Kingdom

    Cyprus Immigration

    Japan

    France

    Germany

    Ireland

    Kuwait Immigration

    Saudi Arabia Immigration

    United Arab Emirates Immigration

    Singapore Immigration

    Chile Immigration

    China Immigration new

    Egypt Immigration

    France Immigration

    Malaysia Immigration

    Maldives Immigration

    Malta Immigration

    Mauritius Immigration

    Nepal Immigration

    Norway Immigration

    New Zealand Immigration

    Romania Immigration

    South Africa Immigration

    South Korea Immigration

    Sweden Immigration

    Switzerland immigration

    Trinidad immigration

    In April of 1994, the Department of State opened a permanent Immigrant Visa processing facility at the National Visa Center (NVC) in Portsmouth, NH. The NVC processes all approved immigrant visa petitions after they are received from Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security (CIS) and retains them until the cases are ready for adjudication by a consular officer abroad.

    Every month, the Visa Office (VO) establishes Qualifying Dates that determine if a petition will be eligible for processing. Qualifying Dates are the latest priority dates that can be processed for certain visa categories. An immigrant visa petition can only become ready for further processing when the Qualifying Date in the appropriate visa category has advanced up to the priority date of the petition. Petitions may remain at NVC for several months or for many years depending on the visa category and country of birth of the visa applicant.

    NVC’s Role

    The NVC is responsible for the collection of visa application fees and visa application documentation. When an applicant's priority date meets the most recent Qualifying Date, the NVC will contact the applicant and petitioner with instructions for submitting the appropriate processing fees. After the appropriate processing fees are paid, the NVC will again contact the applicant and petitioner to request that the necessary immigrant visa documentation be submitted to the NVC.

    The U.S. Department of State's official site for U.S. visa information

    InfoPass is an Internet-based system that enables the public to go online to schedule appointments with immigration information officers at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices. If you have a complex immigration question or need that is best addressed by a trained USCIS officer in person, InfoPass offers a convenient alternative to waiting in line for assistance. InfoPass is a secure Internet site.

    8 C.F.R. ง 214.3(l)(1)(ii):

    (l) Designated official.

    (1) Meaning of term Designated Official. As used in งง 214.1(b), 214.2(b),
    214.2(f), 214.2(m), and 214.4, a Designated Official, Designated School
    Official (DSO), or Principal Designated School Official (PDSO), means a
    regularly employed member of the school administration whose office is
    located at the school and whose compensation does not come from commissions
    for recruitment of foreign students. An individual whose principal
    obligation to the school is to recruit foreign students for compensation
    does not qualify as a designated official. The PDSO and any other DSO must
    be named by the president, owner, or head of a school or school system. The
    PDSO and DSO may not delegate this designation to any other person.

    (i) A PDSO and DSO must be either a citizen or lawful permanent resident of
    the United States.

    (ii) Each campus must have one PDSO. The PDSO is responsible for updating
    SEVIS to reflect the addition or deletion of any DSO on his or her
    associated campus. SEVP will use the PDSO as the point of contact on any
    issues that relate to the school's compliance with the regulations, as well
    as any system alerts generated by SEVIS. SEVP may also designate certain
    functions in SEVIS for use by the PDSO only. The PDSO of the main campus is
    the only DSO authorized to submit a Form I-17 for recertification. The PDSO
    and DSO will share the same responsibilities in all other respects.

    (iii) Each school may have up to 10 designated officials at any one time,
    including the PDSO. In a multi-campus school, each campus may have up to 10
    designated officials at any one time including a required PDSO. In a private
    elementary or public or private secondary school system, however, the entire
    school system is limited to 10 designated officials at any one time
    including the PDSO.

    The DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, is a fully integrated online application form that is used to collect the necessary application information from a person seeking a nonimmigrant visa for temporary travel to the United States.

    OFLC processes labor certification applications for employers seeking to bring foreign workers into the United States and grants certifications in those cases where employers can demonstrate that there are not sufficient U.S. workers available, willing and qualified to perform the work at wages that meet or exceed the prevailing wage paid for the occupation in the area of intended employment.

    Designated School Official is a school officer designated to work with students and act as a representative of USCIS/ICE in certain matters.

    Student and Exchange Visitor Information System www.ice.gov/sevis.

    SEVIS is an Internet-based system that maintains accurate and current information on non-immigrant students (F and M visa), exchange visitors (J visa), and their dependents (F-2, M-2, and J-2). SEVIS enables schools and program sponsors to transmit electronic information and event notifications via the Internet, to the ICE and Department of State (DOS) throughout a student or exchange visitor’s stay in the United States. The system will reflect international student or exchange visitor status changes, such as admission at Port of Entry (POE), change of address, change in program of study, and other details. SEVIS will also provide system alerts, event notifications, and basic reports to the end-user schools, programs, and Immigration related field offices.

    SEVP acts as the bridge for government organizations that have an interest in information on foreign students. SEVP helps the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State monitor school and exchange programs and F, M and J category visitors. SEVP administers the F and M visa categories, while the Department of State manages the J exchange visitor program.
    SEVP uses the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a web-based solution, to track and monitor schools and programs, students, exchange visitors and their dependents while approved to participate in the U.S. education system.
    SEVP collects, maintains and provides the information so that only legitimate foreign students or exchange visitors gain entry to the United States. The result is an easily accessible information system that provides timely information to the Department of State, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
    For more details, please visit the link, http://www.ice.gov/sevis/

    Introduction:

    VIBE is a web-based adjudication tool used by USCIS to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ alien workers. VIBE uses commercially available data from an independent information provider (IIP) to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ certain alien workers. Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) is the current IIP for this program.

    This service is available to US based, privately held companies only. It is free of charge, and petitioning employers may access this process via D&B’s iUpdate for U.S. government customers -- a free, password-protected and encrypted online service tool offered by D&B.

    Please note that USCIS does not expect or require petitioners to contact D&B or pay any fees associated with creating or updating an existing record. Employers who wish to update their information through D&B directly may be subject to direct marketing by the organization or encounter D&B representatives who may suggest a purchase of the firm’s products and services.

    Purpose of VIBE:

    The purpose behind VIBE is to increase the efficiency of the visa petitioning process by reducing the amount of documents employers have to submit with each petition in order to prove eligibility. Furthermore, USCIS will also be able to reduce the number of RFEs issued to otherwise eligible petitioners.

    An important point to note is that USCIS will not deny a petition based solely on information from VIBE without at least first giving the petitioner an opportunity to respond to the RFEs or NOIDs issued by USCIS.

    Please note that whether or not you choose to create a record or update your record with D&B, you must respond to any RFE or NOID received from USCIS. Failure to respond could result in the denial of your petition. Furthermore, it is necessary to resolve relevant inconsistencies in the information provided by the employer, on one hand, and information available on VIBE, on the other.

    Employment Authorization Document. This is evidence that a person is authorized to work in USA. People undergoing Adjustment of Status (AOS or I-485 process) are entitled to an EAD.

    Specific information related to our team and this site.

    Deferred Action is consent by the Government not to deport (remove) an otherwise deport-able individual. Usually it is given for humanitarian reasons and work authorization is also provided. Unlawful presence is stopped during deferred action, but any unlawful presence already accrued does not get wiped away. Deferred action is not a visa or a full legal status.

    Automatic Visa Revalidation - Definition from Travel.state.gov

    Re-entering the U.S. with a Valid I-94 Form & Expired Visa is Limited
    What Is Automatic Revalidation?

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has the authority and the responsibility over the admission of travelers to the U.S. Under the automatic revalidation provision of immigration law, certain temporary visitors holding expired nonimmigrant visas who seek to return to the U.S. may be admitted at a U.S. port of entry by CBP, if they meet certain requirements, including, but not limited to the following:

    Nonimmigrants who departed the U.S. for brief travel to Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island (for F and J nonimmigrants) for thirty days or less;
    Nonimmigrants with a valid (unexpired) Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, endorsed by DHS.

    More Information about Automatic Revalidation

    For more information about automatic revalidation provisions and reentry to the U.S., visit the International Visitors webpage and the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. Students and Exchange Visitors should review additional important information about travel outside the U.S. and reentry procedures on the DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website.

    Automatic revalidation is not the same as applying for a new visa. If you apply for a new nonimmigrant visa, you cannot take advantage of automatic revalidation.
    Who Must Reapply for and Be Reissued a Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate?

    This webpage explains which travelers must reapply and be reissued visas when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, in order to gain admission to reenter the U.S.

    Many nonimmigrants will need to reapply and be reissued visas to reenter the U.S. when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, because automatic revalidation applies to limited categories of travelers. Refer to the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. The following temporary visitors whose nonimmigrant visas have expired, but who have valid I-94 forms, must reapply for and be issued nonimmigrant visas prior to their reentry to the U.S., if one or more of the following situations exists (this is not a complete listing):

    The nonimmigrant traveler with an expired nonimmigrant visa (but valid Form I-94):

    Applied for a new visa which has not yet been issued;
    Applied for a new visa and was denied;
    Has been outside of the United States for more than thirty days;
    Has traveled to a country other than Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island which is not included in the automatic revalidation provisions;
    Is a national of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designated country, including Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Sudan. Review more about State Sponsors of Terrorism and FAQs on this website;
    Is in possession of an F student visa or J exchange visitor visa and has traveled to Cuba;
    Is in possession of an M student visa and has traveled to a location outside the U.S., other than Canada and Mexico.

    Additional Resources – Laws

    The automatic revalidation provision of U.S. immigration law is described in both 8 CFR 214.1(b) and 22 CFR 112(d).
    We Want You to Know

    Visa News
    Adoption Alerts
    Diversity Visa
    Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
    Iraqis & Afghans-SIV
    Business Visa Center
    Customer Service Statement to Visa Applicants
    Fraud Warning

    Visa denial based upon immigrant intent defined in Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

    Immigrant intent becomes an issue when an applicant outside or inside USA seeks a benefit (such as a visa, when outside USA, or a change of status, when within USA) that does not allow an applicant to possess the intention of residing permanently in USA ("immigrant intent"). For example, an applicant for a visitor's visa must not have the intention to reside in USA permanently. Their visa can be refused if they have immigrant intent.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it intends to revoke (cancel) approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a pending case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it plans to remove approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it plans to remove approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The term often refers to the Designated Degree program requiring a degree in one of these fields of study. STEM programs, in recognition of their importance to US interests, are awarded special consideration in certain areas under US immigration laws.

    A Returning Resident Permit, or SB-1 Visa, is what a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or Green Card holder) can get to return to the United States after being out of the country for more than one year. When an LPR leaves the United States, they must return within a year. If they stay more than a year, they must obtain a Returning Resident Permit in order to return. This also applies to those who remain outside of the country longer than is allowed by their reentry permit.
    You apply for a returning residence visa through the consulate in your home country. There, you have to explain in quite some detail the genuine reason for your inability to return to USA within one year. It is discretionary upon the consulate whether they are convinced by the genuineness of your response or not.
    For more information, see this State Department’s webpage: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1333.html

    A Returning Resident Permit, or SB-1 Visa, is what a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or Green Card holder) can get to return to the United States after being out of the country for more than one year. When an LPR leaves the United States, they must return within a year. If they stay more than a year, they must obtain a Returning Resident Permit in order to return. This also applies to those who remain outside of the country longer than is allowed by their reentry permit.
    You apply for a returning residence visa through the consulate in your home country. There, you have to explain in quite some detail the genuine reason for your inability to return to USA within one year. It is discretionary upon the consulate whether they are convinced by the genuineness of your response or not.
    For more information, see this State Department’s webpage: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1333.html

    U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. Consists of two houses: Senate and the House of Representatives.

    One of the two houses of U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. The other is the House of Representatives.

    One of the two houses of U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. The other is the Senate.

    Default Web Links group

    Immigration.com Client Testimonials

    This content is tagged for employers and Human Resources professionals responsible for hiring foreign professionals/workers in USA

    US Department of Labor is charged with protecting the labor market and investigation and enforcement activities related to that.

    Immigration and Custom Enforcement. This agency used to be a part of old INS. When DHS was formed, enforcement personnel of US Customs Service and INS were combined to form ICE, which is now responsible for a large part of immigration enforcement activity.

    Department of State (State Department) is responsible for issuing visas, which are a permission to travel to USA.

    A method to obtain green card used to avoid the need for PERM based labor certification.

    Customs and Border Protection. This agency was spun off from old INS. CBP is responsible for inspecting people when they land at airports, docks and land borders.

    To qualify for an A-1 (or A-2 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government.  The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

    To qualify for an A-2 (or A-1 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government. The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

    Consulates all over the world issue visas - a permission to enter USA for a specific purpose. Consulates are a part of the State Department (DOS - Department of State).

    Bangladesh Immigration

    Indonesia Immigration

    I-94 aka Arrival Departure Record is what governs your status in the USA. An expired I-94 can lead to bar from entering USA for 3 to 10 years.See details on "Unlawful Presence".

    When used in relation to immigration, this is another name for being LEGALLY present in the USA

    This is a complicated term. Very simply (there is a lot more to it), you could have your status expire and still be authorized to stay in USA awaiting the outcome of a legally filed petition. This is something less than "Status" but much better than "Unlawful Presence."

    This is another complicated concept with some very serious consequences. Briefly, if you have been unlawfully present in USA for more than 180 days, you cannot come back to USA for 3 years and if unlawfully present for a year or more, you cannot come back for 10 years. Very generally speaking unlawful presence begins after expiration of the I-94 or after having been asked by the govt. to leave USA.

    These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

    These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

    Adjustment of Status

    Includes topics of loss of physical green card papers or the card itself as well as loss of green card through abandonment and criminal activity.

    When used in relation to immigration, this is another name for extending your status.

    Employees working in USA

    Personal employees, attendants and servants of A-1 and A-2 visa holders.

    EB4 category is for religious workers.

    “Priority Date” determines your place in the queue for waiting for green card in the categories where there is a wait. When the govt. has reached your PD, it is said to be “current.” For family-based green cards, PD is the date your I-130 was filed; for PERM-based cases, the date your PERM was filed; for employment-based cases other than through PERM (like EB-1 cases), PD is the date your I-140 was filed. DOS publishes the movement of the PD queue every month in the Visa Bulletin: http://www.immigration.com/visa-bulletin

    A publication of the US State Department that keeps track of the green card backlogs and informs us which "Priority Dates" are current so the applicants can expect to get through the last step of their green card processing. This is published every month around the 14th and tells us the availability for the following month. Note that certain categories of applicants ("immediate relatives") such as spouse of a US citizen are not shown in the visa bulletin because they are entitled to have their applications considered without any wait.

    Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (now USCIS)

    Central Intelligence Agency

    Department of Homeland Security

    Department of Justice

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Immigration and Naturalization Service (now reconstituted into USCIS)

    Internal Revenue Service

    Office of Management and Budget

    Social Security Administration

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Earlier known as INS. USCIS is responsible for providing immigration benefits to applicants. Homepage http://wwww.uscis.gov

    American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998.

    Approval Date (When your application was approved)

    Alien Documentation, Identification & Telecommunications System

    Assistant Field Office Director

    Abbreviation for American Immigration Lawyers Association.

    Adjudications Officer

    Administrative Review

    Application Support Center: offers biometric services including fingerprinting services

    Birth Certificate

    Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (now USCIS)

    Board of Immigrant Appeals

    Biometrics (include Digital photo, index finger print and your digital signature). This is needed for the production of Green Card.

    Customs and Border Protection

    Central Intelligence Agency

    Citizenship and Immigration Services

    Consulate Officer

    Consular Processing

    Conditional Permanent Resident

    Curricular Practical Training

    Central Regional Office

    California Service Center

    Cancelled Without Prejudice

    Deputy Field Office Director

    Department of Homeland Security

    Drivers License

    Department of Motor Vehicles

    Department of Justice

    Department of Labor

    Dallas Office Rapid Adjustment of Status

    Department of State

    Detention and Removal Operations

    Diversity Visa (a.k.a. Green Card Lottery)

    Eastern Application Center

    Employment Authorization Document (I-765, approval to work while waiting for Adjustment of Status - AOS Approval)

    Electronic Data Systems

    Executive Office of Immigration Review

    Expedited Removal

    Eastern Regional Office

    Entered Without Inspection

    Foreign Affairs Manual

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Field Office Director

    Finger Print

    File Transfer Request

    Green Card

    Immigration Judge

    International Marriage Brokers Act

    Immigration and Nationality Act

    Is an online appointment so you can go to your DO if you have a doubt or want to know something about your case in person or to request your interim EAD

    Immigration and Naturalization Service (now called USCIS)

    Immigration officer / Interviewing officer

    Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

    Internal Revenue Service

    Internet Service Provider

    Immigrant Visa

    Immigrant Visa Applicant Control System

    John F. Kennedy International Airport

    Kentucky Consular Center

    Labor Condition Application

    Lawful Permanent Resident

    Lawful Permanent Resident Alien

    Last Update Date on your on-line portfolio at USCIS website. It is the date when they last took action on your application, could be anything.

    Machine Readable Data

    Machine Readable Passport

    Machine Readable Visa

    Missouri Service Center

    Notice Date (When USCIS notified you that they received your application)

    National Data Entry Center

    Non Immigrant Visa

    Notice of Action is your receipt/letter that you received after you filed your forms (indicates I-797C)

    Notice of Proposed Rule Making

    Notice To Appear

    Nebraska Service Center

    National Visa Center

    New York District Office

    Office of Management and Budget

    Optional Practical Training

    Other Than Mexican

    Police Clearance Certificate

    Priority Date

    Port of Entry

    Permanent Resident (Also LPR - Legal Permanent Resident)

    Quality Assurance

    Receipt Date (When USCIS received your application)

    Remote Adjudications Center

    Request for Evidence

    Request for Initial Evidence

    Service Center (this is used with a prefix, eg CSC - California Service Center; MSC - Missouri Service Center, that is the address from where you will received your NOA (Notice of Action))

    Supervisory Detention & Deportation Officer

    Student Exchange Visitor Information System

    Student and Exchange Visitor Program

    Social Security Administration

    Social Security Number

    State Workforce Agency

    When the UCSIS "Touches" your petition or file it means that an action was taken which required your file to be physically touched or moved. Example: Your file is touched when it is given to an adjudicator to process.

    Temporary Protected Status

    Texas Service Center

    Transit Without Visa

    US Citizen

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

    System in airports that captures biometrics of people entering the country

    Voluntary Return

    Vermont Service Center

    Visa Waiver Program

    Western Application Center

    Western Regional Office

    Alien's Change of Address Form

    NAFTA Professional visa

    NAFTA Professional Dependant visa

    Pre-Flight Inspection

    PERM Processing: Program Electronic Review Management

    Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

    Interim EAD

    Application to Replace Permanent Residence Card

    Employment Eligibility Verification

    Affidavit of Support

    Application for Employment Authorization

    Green Card

    Application To Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

    Welcome Notice

    Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

    Affidavit of Support

    Application for Travel Document

    Advance Parole or AP (Form I-131): The authorization to travel outside the US while your adjustment of status is pending. Note, Form I-131 is also used for Reentry Permit, an application by a US green card holder to be away from USA for over one year.

    Administrative Appeals Office

    Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. Under the prior rules, an F-1 student could be authorized to receive up to a total of 12 months of practical training either before (pre-) and/or after (post-) completion of studies.

    This is an abbreviation for test_term and can be deleted

    AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

    AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

    American Immigration Lawyers Association

    Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

    The process though which a person within USA obtains a change in their status to green card holder. This is usually the last step for (most not all) green card process.

    Includes Zoologists, Botanists

    Includes occupations in biochemistry, cytology, genetics, physiology

    Fashion Models

    Hotel management and related professions

    An alternative to obtaining the last step in the green card through the consulates outside USA. This is an alternative to adjustment of status.

    DOD (Department of Defense) project visas.

    Includes CPA's CA's and all other accountants and auditors

    Violence Against Women Act

    Child Status Protection Act

    Labor Condition Application. This is a part of some nonimmigrant visa applications process including H-1 visas. Not to be confused with "Labor Certification" also known as PERM, which is a part of the green card process. An LCA, or Labor Condition Application, is required to be submitted to and certified by the U.S. Department of Labor as a part of an H-1B application. The LCA serves to ensure that U.S. wages will not be depressed by the hiring of the H-1B employee and that the H-1B worker will not be exploited. In the LCA, the employer guarantees that it will pay the H-1B worker the required wage, which is the greater of the prevailing wage or the actual wage paid to other employees in the same position; that the H-1B employee will not displace a U.S. worker; and that the employment will not adversely affect the working conditions of workers similarly employed in the area of intended employment.

    Also known as CIS Ombudsman, this office provides recommendations for resolving individual and employer problems with the USCIS. As mandated by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 § 452, CIS Ombudsman is an independent office that reports directly to the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security. http://www.dhs.gov/xabout/structure/editorial_0482.shtm

    PERM audits typically involve questions from the USDOL regarding the PERM filing.

    Used mostly in the context of the last step in green card processing (Adjustment of Status), preadjudication means USCIS is proceeding to make decision on the file even though priority date is not yet current. The idea is that way when the PD gets current, all they need to do is send approval notice and then the green card. So if the AOS is preadjudicated, you still need to wait for the PD to become current.

    Petition for a conditional resident who obtained status through marriage to apply to remove the conditions on his or her residence.

    Vermont Service Center

    California Service Center

    Nebraska Service Center

    Texas Service Center

    Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) is one of the three adjudicative bodies within the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). It has jurisdiction over three types of civil penalty cases: employer sanctions (INA § 274A - 8 USC § 1324a), unfair immigration-related employment practices (INA § 274B - 8 USC § 1324b), and immigration-related document fraud (INA § 274C - 8 USC § 1324c).

    Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals is an adjudicative agency that decides in appeal PERM and wage disputes.

    Certifying Officer is the highest Department of Labor officer for a region. They are charged, amongst other things, with the responsibility to adjudicate PERM and LCA cases.

    Fraud Detection and National Security. FDNS was created to strengthen the ability of the U.S. Citizenship and
    Immigration Services (USCIS) to provide the right benefit to the right person at the right time, and no benefit to the wrong person.

    Citizenship in USA can be obtained through naturalization or through birth in USA.

    The process through which a person becomes a US Citizen.

    N-470 helps you preserve your stay abroad for naturalization under certain circumstances. So, even though you are living outside USA, you can accumulate that time for naturalization.

    Electronic System for Travel Authorization

    Congressional Research Service. A "think tank" that provides reports to members of Congress on a variety of topics relevant to current political events.

    Missouri Service Center (MSC) was transitioned into the National Benefits Center (NBC). The NBC was established to serve as the hub and conduit for USCIS local field offices by completing all pre-interview processing of Forms generally requiring an interview. This pre-processing includes conducting background security checks, performing initial evidence reviews, adjudication of associated I-765 and I-131 applications (filed with the I-485 or separately), denial of adjustment of status cases for applicants who are statutorily ineligible, and forwarding scheduled cases to the USCIS local office for adjudication. In employment based cases, transfer to NBC usually means an interview can be expected. This can occur even if PD is retrogressed.

    Online Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application can only be used by visa applicants applying at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate which has converted to the new electronic fully online form and process. For more information visit travel.state.gov DS-160 informational webpage for a listing of embassy locations using Form DS-160. Next, visit one of the U.S. Embassy websites using the Form DS-160 and where you will apply, to review detailed nonimmigrant visa how-to-apply instructions, in addition to these FAQs.

    1. Where can I find the DS-160?
    You can access the DS-160 from the Consular Electronic Application Center website or from the link on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website.

    The mission of the Employment and Training Administration is to contribute to the more efficient functioning of the U.S. labor market by providing high quality job training, employment, labor market information, and income maintenance services primarily through state and local workforce development systems.

    A form issued by school for applicants to obtain a Student Visa.

    A form issued by school or sponsor for applicants to obtain a J Visa.

    United Kingdom

    Cyprus Immigration

    Japan

    France

    Germany

    Ireland

    Kuwait Immigration

    Saudi Arabia Immigration

    United Arab Emirates Immigration

    Singapore Immigration

    Chile Immigration

    China Immigration new

    Egypt Immigration

    France Immigration

    Malaysia Immigration

    Maldives Immigration

    Malta Immigration

    Mauritius Immigration

    Nepal Immigration

    Norway Immigration

    New Zealand Immigration

    Romania Immigration

    South Africa Immigration

    South Korea Immigration

    Sweden Immigration

    Switzerland immigration

    Trinidad immigration

    In April of 1994, the Department of State opened a permanent Immigrant Visa processing facility at the National Visa Center (NVC) in Portsmouth, NH. The NVC processes all approved immigrant visa petitions after they are received from Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security (CIS) and retains them until the cases are ready for adjudication by a consular officer abroad.

    Every month, the Visa Office (VO) establishes Qualifying Dates that determine if a petition will be eligible for processing. Qualifying Dates are the latest priority dates that can be processed for certain visa categories. An immigrant visa petition can only become ready for further processing when the Qualifying Date in the appropriate visa category has advanced up to the priority date of the petition. Petitions may remain at NVC for several months or for many years depending on the visa category and country of birth of the visa applicant.

    NVC’s Role

    The NVC is responsible for the collection of visa application fees and visa application documentation. When an applicant's priority date meets the most recent Qualifying Date, the NVC will contact the applicant and petitioner with instructions for submitting the appropriate processing fees. After the appropriate processing fees are paid, the NVC will again contact the applicant and petitioner to request that the necessary immigrant visa documentation be submitted to the NVC.

    The U.S. Department of State's official site for U.S. visa information

    InfoPass is an Internet-based system that enables the public to go online to schedule appointments with immigration information officers at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices. If you have a complex immigration question or need that is best addressed by a trained USCIS officer in person, InfoPass offers a convenient alternative to waiting in line for assistance. InfoPass is a secure Internet site.

    8 C.F.R. ง 214.3(l)(1)(ii):

    (l) Designated official.

    (1) Meaning of term Designated Official. As used in งง 214.1(b), 214.2(b),
    214.2(f), 214.2(m), and 214.4, a Designated Official, Designated School
    Official (DSO), or Principal Designated School Official (PDSO), means a
    regularly employed member of the school administration whose office is
    located at the school and whose compensation does not come from commissions
    for recruitment of foreign students. An individual whose principal
    obligation to the school is to recruit foreign students for compensation
    does not qualify as a designated official. The PDSO and any other DSO must
    be named by the president, owner, or head of a school or school system. The
    PDSO and DSO may not delegate this designation to any other person.

    (i) A PDSO and DSO must be either a citizen or lawful permanent resident of
    the United States.

    (ii) Each campus must have one PDSO. The PDSO is responsible for updating
    SEVIS to reflect the addition or deletion of any DSO on his or her
    associated campus. SEVP will use the PDSO as the point of contact on any
    issues that relate to the school's compliance with the regulations, as well
    as any system alerts generated by SEVIS. SEVP may also designate certain
    functions in SEVIS for use by the PDSO only. The PDSO of the main campus is
    the only DSO authorized to submit a Form I-17 for recertification. The PDSO
    and DSO will share the same responsibilities in all other respects.

    (iii) Each school may have up to 10 designated officials at any one time,
    including the PDSO. In a multi-campus school, each campus may have up to 10
    designated officials at any one time including a required PDSO. In a private
    elementary or public or private secondary school system, however, the entire
    school system is limited to 10 designated officials at any one time
    including the PDSO.

    The DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, is a fully integrated online application form that is used to collect the necessary application information from a person seeking a nonimmigrant visa for temporary travel to the United States.

    OFLC processes labor certification applications for employers seeking to bring foreign workers into the United States and grants certifications in those cases where employers can demonstrate that there are not sufficient U.S. workers available, willing and qualified to perform the work at wages that meet or exceed the prevailing wage paid for the occupation in the area of intended employment.

    Designated School Official is a school officer designated to work with students and act as a representative of USCIS/ICE in certain matters.

    Student and Exchange Visitor Information System www.ice.gov/sevis.

    SEVIS is an Internet-based system that maintains accurate and current information on non-immigrant students (F and M visa), exchange visitors (J visa), and their dependents (F-2, M-2, and J-2). SEVIS enables schools and program sponsors to transmit electronic information and event notifications via the Internet, to the ICE and Department of State (DOS) throughout a student or exchange visitor’s stay in the United States. The system will reflect international student or exchange visitor status changes, such as admission at Port of Entry (POE), change of address, change in program of study, and other details. SEVIS will also provide system alerts, event notifications, and basic reports to the end-user schools, programs, and Immigration related field offices.

    SEVP acts as the bridge for government organizations that have an interest in information on foreign students. SEVP helps the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State monitor school and exchange programs and F, M and J category visitors. SEVP administers the F and M visa categories, while the Department of State manages the J exchange visitor program.
    SEVP uses the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a web-based solution, to track and monitor schools and programs, students, exchange visitors and their dependents while approved to participate in the U.S. education system.
    SEVP collects, maintains and provides the information so that only legitimate foreign students or exchange visitors gain entry to the United States. The result is an easily accessible information system that provides timely information to the Department of State, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
    For more details, please visit the link, http://www.ice.gov/sevis/

    Introduction:

    VIBE is a web-based adjudication tool used by USCIS to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ alien workers. VIBE uses commercially available data from an independent information provider (IIP) to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ certain alien workers. Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) is the current IIP for this program.

    This service is available to US based, privately held companies only. It is free of charge, and petitioning employers may access this process via D&B’s iUpdate for U.S. government customers -- a free, password-protected and encrypted online service tool offered by D&B.

    Please note that USCIS does not expect or require petitioners to contact D&B or pay any fees associated with creating or updating an existing record. Employers who wish to update their information through D&B directly may be subject to direct marketing by the organization or encounter D&B representatives who may suggest a purchase of the firm’s products and services.

    Purpose of VIBE:

    The purpose behind VIBE is to increase the efficiency of the visa petitioning process by reducing the amount of documents employers have to submit with each petition in order to prove eligibility. Furthermore, USCIS will also be able to reduce the number of RFEs issued to otherwise eligible petitioners.

    An important point to note is that USCIS will not deny a petition based solely on information from VIBE without at least first giving the petitioner an opportunity to respond to the RFEs or NOIDs issued by USCIS.

    Please note that whether or not you choose to create a record or update your record with D&B, you must respond to any RFE or NOID received from USCIS. Failure to respond could result in the denial of your petition. Furthermore, it is necessary to resolve relevant inconsistencies in the information provided by the employer, on one hand, and information available on VIBE, on the other.

    Employment Authorization Document. This is evidence that a person is authorized to work in USA. People undergoing Adjustment of Status (AOS or I-485 process) are entitled to an EAD.

    Specific information related to our team and this site.

    Deferred Action is consent by the Government not to deport (remove) an otherwise deport-able individual. Usually it is given for humanitarian reasons and work authorization is also provided. Unlawful presence is stopped during deferred action, but any unlawful presence already accrued does not get wiped away. Deferred action is not a visa or a full legal status.

    Automatic Visa Revalidation - Definition from Travel.state.gov

    Re-entering the U.S. with a Valid I-94 Form & Expired Visa is Limited
    What Is Automatic Revalidation?

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has the authority and the responsibility over the admission of travelers to the U.S. Under the automatic revalidation provision of immigration law, certain temporary visitors holding expired nonimmigrant visas who seek to return to the U.S. may be admitted at a U.S. port of entry by CBP, if they meet certain requirements, including, but not limited to the following:

    Nonimmigrants who departed the U.S. for brief travel to Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island (for F and J nonimmigrants) for thirty days or less;
    Nonimmigrants with a valid (unexpired) Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, endorsed by DHS.

    More Information about Automatic Revalidation

    For more information about automatic revalidation provisions and reentry to the U.S., visit the International Visitors webpage and the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. Students and Exchange Visitors should review additional important information about travel outside the U.S. and reentry procedures on the DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website.

    Automatic revalidation is not the same as applying for a new visa. If you apply for a new nonimmigrant visa, you cannot take advantage of automatic revalidation.
    Who Must Reapply for and Be Reissued a Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate?

    This webpage explains which travelers must reapply and be reissued visas when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, in order to gain admission to reenter the U.S.

    Many nonimmigrants will need to reapply and be reissued visas to reenter the U.S. when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, because automatic revalidation applies to limited categories of travelers. Refer to the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. The following temporary visitors whose nonimmigrant visas have expired, but who have valid I-94 forms, must reapply for and be issued nonimmigrant visas prior to their reentry to the U.S., if one or more of the following situations exists (this is not a complete listing):

    The nonimmigrant traveler with an expired nonimmigrant visa (but valid Form I-94):

    Applied for a new visa which has not yet been issued;
    Applied for a new visa and was denied;
    Has been outside of the United States for more than thirty days;
    Has traveled to a country other than Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island which is not included in the automatic revalidation provisions;
    Is a national of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designated country, including Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Sudan. Review more about State Sponsors of Terrorism and FAQs on this website;
    Is in possession of an F student visa or J exchange visitor visa and has traveled to Cuba;
    Is in possession of an M student visa and has traveled to a location outside the U.S., other than Canada and Mexico.

    Additional Resources – Laws

    The automatic revalidation provision of U.S. immigration law is described in both 8 CFR 214.1(b) and 22 CFR 112(d).
    We Want You to Know

    Visa News
    Adoption Alerts
    Diversity Visa
    Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
    Iraqis & Afghans-SIV
    Business Visa Center
    Customer Service Statement to Visa Applicants
    Fraud Warning

    Visa denial based upon immigrant intent defined in Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

    Immigrant intent becomes an issue when an applicant outside or inside USA seeks a benefit (such as a visa, when outside USA, or a change of status, when within USA) that does not allow an applicant to possess the intention of residing permanently in USA ("immigrant intent"). For example, an applicant for a visitor's visa must not have the intention to reside in USA permanently. Their visa can be refused if they have immigrant intent.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it intends to revoke (cancel) approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a pending case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it plans to remove approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it plans to remove approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The term often refers to the Designated Degree program requiring a degree in one of these fields of study. STEM programs, in recognition of their importance to US interests, are awarded special consideration in certain areas under US immigration laws.

    A Returning Resident Permit, or SB-1 Visa, is what a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or Green Card holder) can get to return to the United States after being out of the country for more than one year. When an LPR leaves the United States, they must return within a year. If they stay more than a year, they must obtain a Returning Resident Permit in order to return. This also applies to those who remain outside of the country longer than is allowed by their reentry permit.
    You apply for a returning residence visa through the consulate in your home country. There, you have to explain in quite some detail the genuine reason for your inability to return to USA within one year. It is discretionary upon the consulate whether they are convinced by the genuineness of your response or not.
    For more information, see this State Department’s webpage: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1333.html

    A Returning Resident Permit, or SB-1 Visa, is what a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or Green Card holder) can get to return to the United States after being out of the country for more than one year. When an LPR leaves the United States, they must return within a year. If they stay more than a year, they must obtain a Returning Resident Permit in order to return. This also applies to those who remain outside of the country longer than is allowed by their reentry permit.
    You apply for a returning residence visa through the consulate in your home country. There, you have to explain in quite some detail the genuine reason for your inability to return to USA within one year. It is discretionary upon the consulate whether they are convinced by the genuineness of your response or not.
    For more information, see this State Department’s webpage: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1333.html

    U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. Consists of two houses: Senate and the House of Representatives.

    One of the two houses of U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. The other is the House of Representatives.

    One of the two houses of U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. The other is the Senate.

    Default Web Links group

    We host free calls for the community every other Thursday at 12:30 pm Eastern Standard Time.  All are welcome to call in phone 202-800-8394 and ask their questions.

    This content is tagged for employers and Human Resources professionals responsible for hiring foreign professionals/workers in USA

    US Department of Labor is charged with protecting the labor market and investigation and enforcement activities related to that.

    Immigration and Custom Enforcement. This agency used to be a part of old INS. When DHS was formed, enforcement personnel of US Customs Service and INS were combined to form ICE, which is now responsible for a large part of immigration enforcement activity.

    Department of State (State Department) is responsible for issuing visas, which are a permission to travel to USA.

    A method to obtain green card used to avoid the need for PERM based labor certification.

    Customs and Border Protection. This agency was spun off from old INS. CBP is responsible for inspecting people when they land at airports, docks and land borders.

    To qualify for an A-1 (or A-2 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government.  The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

    To qualify for an A-2 (or A-1 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government. The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

    Consulates all over the world issue visas - a permission to enter USA for a specific purpose. Consulates are a part of the State Department (DOS - Department of State).

    Bangladesh Immigration

    Indonesia Immigration

    I-94 aka Arrival Departure Record is what governs your status in the USA. An expired I-94 can lead to bar from entering USA for 3 to 10 years.See details on "Unlawful Presence".

    When used in relation to immigration, this is another name for being LEGALLY present in the USA

    This is a complicated term. Very simply (there is a lot more to it), you could have your status expire and still be authorized to stay in USA awaiting the outcome of a legally filed petition. This is something less than "Status" but much better than "Unlawful Presence."

    This is another complicated concept with some very serious consequences. Briefly, if you have been unlawfully present in USA for more than 180 days, you cannot come back to USA for 3 years and if unlawfully present for a year or more, you cannot come back for 10 years. Very generally speaking unlawful presence begins after expiration of the I-94 or after having been asked by the govt. to leave USA.

    These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

    These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

    Adjustment of Status

    Includes topics of loss of physical green card papers or the card itself as well as loss of green card through abandonment and criminal activity.

    When used in relation to immigration, this is another name for extending your status.

    Employees working in USA

    Personal employees, attendants and servants of A-1 and A-2 visa holders.

    EB4 category is for religious workers.

    “Priority Date” determines your place in the queue for waiting for green card in the categories where there is a wait. When the govt. has reached your PD, it is said to be “current.” For family-based green cards, PD is the date your I-130 was filed; for PERM-based cases, the date your PERM was filed; for employment-based cases other than through PERM (like EB-1 cases), PD is the date your I-140 was filed. DOS publishes the movement of the PD queue every month in the Visa Bulletin: http://www.immigration.com/visa-bulletin

    A publication of the US State Department that keeps track of the green card backlogs and informs us which "Priority Dates" are current so the applicants can expect to get through the last step of their green card processing. This is published every month around the 14th and tells us the availability for the following month. Note that certain categories of applicants ("immediate relatives") such as spouse of a US citizen are not shown in the visa bulletin because they are entitled to have their applications considered without any wait.

    Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (now USCIS)

    Central Intelligence Agency

    Department of Homeland Security

    Department of Justice

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Immigration and Naturalization Service (now reconstituted into USCIS)

    Internal Revenue Service

    Office of Management and Budget

    Social Security Administration

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Earlier known as INS. USCIS is responsible for providing immigration benefits to applicants. Homepage http://wwww.uscis.gov

    American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998.

    Approval Date (When your application was approved)

    Alien Documentation, Identification & Telecommunications System

    Assistant Field Office Director

    Abbreviation for American Immigration Lawyers Association.

    Adjudications Officer

    Administrative Review

    Application Support Center: offers biometric services including fingerprinting services

    Birth Certificate

    Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (now USCIS)

    Board of Immigrant Appeals

    Biometrics (include Digital photo, index finger print and your digital signature). This is needed for the production of Green Card.

    Customs and Border Protection

    Central Intelligence Agency

    Citizenship and Immigration Services

    Consulate Officer

    Consular Processing

    Conditional Permanent Resident

    Curricular Practical Training

    Central Regional Office

    California Service Center

    Cancelled Without Prejudice

    Deputy Field Office Director

    Department of Homeland Security

    Drivers License

    Department of Motor Vehicles

    Department of Justice

    Department of Labor

    Dallas Office Rapid Adjustment of Status

    Department of State

    Detention and Removal Operations

    Diversity Visa (a.k.a. Green Card Lottery)

    Eastern Application Center

    Employment Authorization Document (I-765, approval to work while waiting for Adjustment of Status - AOS Approval)

    Electronic Data Systems

    Executive Office of Immigration Review

    Expedited Removal

    Eastern Regional Office

    Entered Without Inspection

    Foreign Affairs Manual

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Field Office Director

    Finger Print

    File Transfer Request

    Green Card

    Immigration Judge

    International Marriage Brokers Act

    Immigration and Nationality Act

    Is an online appointment so you can go to your DO if you have a doubt or want to know something about your case in person or to request your interim EAD

    Immigration and Naturalization Service (now called USCIS)

    Immigration officer / Interviewing officer

    Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

    Internal Revenue Service

    Internet Service Provider

    Immigrant Visa

    Immigrant Visa Applicant Control System

    John F. Kennedy International Airport

    Kentucky Consular Center

    Labor Condition Application

    Lawful Permanent Resident

    Lawful Permanent Resident Alien

    Last Update Date on your on-line portfolio at USCIS website. It is the date when they last took action on your application, could be anything.

    Machine Readable Data

    Machine Readable Passport

    Machine Readable Visa

    Missouri Service Center

    Notice Date (When USCIS notified you that they received your application)

    National Data Entry Center

    Non Immigrant Visa

    Notice of Action is your receipt/letter that you received after you filed your forms (indicates I-797C)

    Notice of Proposed Rule Making

    Notice To Appear

    Nebraska Service Center

    National Visa Center

    New York District Office

    Office of Management and Budget

    Optional Practical Training

    Other Than Mexican

    Police Clearance Certificate

    Priority Date

    Port of Entry

    Permanent Resident (Also LPR - Legal Permanent Resident)

    Quality Assurance

    Receipt Date (When USCIS received your application)

    Remote Adjudications Center

    Request for Evidence

    Request for Initial Evidence

    Service Center (this is used with a prefix, eg CSC - California Service Center; MSC - Missouri Service Center, that is the address from where you will received your NOA (Notice of Action))

    Supervisory Detention & Deportation Officer

    Student Exchange Visitor Information System

    Student and Exchange Visitor Program

    Social Security Administration

    Social Security Number

    State Workforce Agency

    When the UCSIS "Touches" your petition or file it means that an action was taken which required your file to be physically touched or moved. Example: Your file is touched when it is given to an adjudicator to process.

    Temporary Protected Status

    Texas Service Center

    Transit Without Visa

    US Citizen

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

    System in airports that captures biometrics of people entering the country

    Voluntary Return

    Vermont Service Center

    Visa Waiver Program

    Western Application Center

    Western Regional Office

    Alien's Change of Address Form

    NAFTA Professional visa

    NAFTA Professional Dependant visa

    Pre-Flight Inspection

    PERM Processing: Program Electronic Review Management

    Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

    Interim EAD

    Application to Replace Permanent Residence Card

    Employment Eligibility Verification

    Affidavit of Support

    Application for Employment Authorization

    Green Card

    Application To Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

    Welcome Notice

    Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

    Affidavit of Support

    Application for Travel Document

    Advance Parole or AP (Form I-131): The authorization to travel outside the US while your adjustment of status is pending. Note, Form I-131 is also used for Reentry Permit, an application by a US green card holder to be away from USA for over one year.

    Administrative Appeals Office

    Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. Under the prior rules, an F-1 student could be authorized to receive up to a total of 12 months of practical training either before (pre-) and/or after (post-) completion of studies.

    This is an abbreviation for test_term and can be deleted

    AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

    AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

    American Immigration Lawyers Association

    Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

    The process though which a person within USA obtains a change in their status to green card holder. This is usually the last step for (most not all) green card process.

    Includes Zoologists, Botanists

    Includes occupations in biochemistry, cytology, genetics, physiology

    Fashion Models

    Hotel management and related professions

    An alternative to obtaining the last step in the green card through the consulates outside USA. This is an alternative to adjustment of status.

    DOD (Department of Defense) project visas.

    Includes CPA's CA's and all other accountants and auditors

    Violence Against Women Act

    Child Status Protection Act

    Labor Condition Application. This is a part of some nonimmigrant visa applications process including H-1 visas. Not to be confused with "Labor Certification" also known as PERM, which is a part of the green card process. An LCA, or Labor Condition Application, is required to be submitted to and certified by the U.S. Department of Labor as a part of an H-1B application. The LCA serves to ensure that U.S. wages will not be depressed by the hiring of the H-1B employee and that the H-1B worker will not be exploited. In the LCA, the employer guarantees that it will pay the H-1B worker the required wage, which is the greater of the prevailing wage or the actual wage paid to other employees in the same position; that the H-1B employee will not displace a U.S. worker; and that the employment will not adversely affect the working conditions of workers similarly employed in the area of intended employment.

    Also known as CIS Ombudsman, this office provides recommendations for resolving individual and employer problems with the USCIS. As mandated by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 § 452, CIS Ombudsman is an independent office that reports directly to the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security. http://www.dhs.gov/xabout/structure/editorial_0482.shtm

    PERM audits typically involve questions from the USDOL regarding the PERM filing.

    Used mostly in the context of the last step in green card processing (Adjustment of Status), preadjudication means USCIS is proceeding to make decision on the file even though priority date is not yet current. The idea is that way when the PD gets current, all they need to do is send approval notice and then the green card. So if the AOS is preadjudicated, you still need to wait for the PD to become current.

    Petition for a conditional resident who obtained status through marriage to apply to remove the conditions on his or her residence.

    Vermont Service Center

    California Service Center

    Nebraska Service Center

    Texas Service Center

    Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) is one of the three adjudicative bodies within the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). It has jurisdiction over three types of civil penalty cases: employer sanctions (INA § 274A - 8 USC § 1324a), unfair immigration-related employment practices (INA § 274B - 8 USC § 1324b), and immigration-related document fraud (INA § 274C - 8 USC § 1324c).

    Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals is an adjudicative agency that decides in appeal PERM and wage disputes.

    Certifying Officer is the highest Department of Labor officer for a region. They are charged, amongst other things, with the responsibility to adjudicate PERM and LCA cases.

    Fraud Detection and National Security. FDNS was created to strengthen the ability of the U.S. Citizenship and
    Immigration Services (USCIS) to provide the right benefit to the right person at the right time, and no benefit to the wrong person.

    Citizenship in USA can be obtained through naturalization or through birth in USA.

    The process through which a person becomes a US Citizen.

    N-470 helps you preserve your stay abroad for naturalization under certain circumstances. So, even though you are living outside USA, you can accumulate that time for naturalization.

    Electronic System for Travel Authorization

    Congressional Research Service. A "think tank" that provides reports to members of Congress on a variety of topics relevant to current political events.

    Missouri Service Center (MSC) was transitioned into the National Benefits Center (NBC). The NBC was established to serve as the hub and conduit for USCIS local field offices by completing all pre-interview processing of Forms generally requiring an interview. This pre-processing includes conducting background security checks, performing initial evidence reviews, adjudication of associated I-765 and I-131 applications (filed with the I-485 or separately), denial of adjustment of status cases for applicants who are statutorily ineligible, and forwarding scheduled cases to the USCIS local office for adjudication. In employment based cases, transfer to NBC usually means an interview can be expected. This can occur even if PD is retrogressed.

    Online Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application can only be used by visa applicants applying at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate which has converted to the new electronic fully online form and process. For more information visit travel.state.gov DS-160 informational webpage for a listing of embassy locations using Form DS-160. Next, visit one of the U.S. Embassy websites using the Form DS-160 and where you will apply, to review detailed nonimmigrant visa how-to-apply instructions, in addition to these FAQs.

    1. Where can I find the DS-160?
    You can access the DS-160 from the Consular Electronic Application Center website or from the link on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website.

    The mission of the Employment and Training Administration is to contribute to the more efficient functioning of the U.S. labor market by providing high quality job training, employment, labor market information, and income maintenance services primarily through state and local workforce development systems.

    A form issued by school for applicants to obtain a Student Visa.

    A form issued by school or sponsor for applicants to obtain a J Visa.

    United Kingdom

    Cyprus Immigration

    Japan

    France

    Germany

    Ireland

    Kuwait Immigration

    Saudi Arabia Immigration

    United Arab Emirates Immigration

    Singapore Immigration

    Chile Immigration

    China Immigration new

    Egypt Immigration

    France Immigration

    Malaysia Immigration

    Maldives Immigration

    Malta Immigration

    Mauritius Immigration

    Nepal Immigration

    Norway Immigration

    New Zealand Immigration

    Romania Immigration

    South Africa Immigration

    South Korea Immigration

    Sweden Immigration

    Switzerland immigration

    Trinidad immigration

    In April of 1994, the Department of State opened a permanent Immigrant Visa processing facility at the National Visa Center (NVC) in Portsmouth, NH. The NVC processes all approved immigrant visa petitions after they are received from Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security (CIS) and retains them until the cases are ready for adjudication by a consular officer abroad.

    Every month, the Visa Office (VO) establishes Qualifying Dates that determine if a petition will be eligible for processing. Qualifying Dates are the latest priority dates that can be processed for certain visa categories. An immigrant visa petition can only become ready for further processing when the Qualifying Date in the appropriate visa category has advanced up to the priority date of the petition. Petitions may remain at NVC for several months or for many years depending on the visa category and country of birth of the visa applicant.

    NVC’s Role

    The NVC is responsible for the collection of visa application fees and visa application documentation. When an applicant's priority date meets the most recent Qualifying Date, the NVC will contact the applicant and petitioner with instructions for submitting the appropriate processing fees. After the appropriate processing fees are paid, the NVC will again contact the applicant and petitioner to request that the necessary immigrant visa documentation be submitted to the NVC.

    The U.S. Department of State's official site for U.S. visa information

    InfoPass is an Internet-based system that enables the public to go online to schedule appointments with immigration information officers at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices. If you have a complex immigration question or need that is best addressed by a trained USCIS officer in person, InfoPass offers a convenient alternative to waiting in line for assistance. InfoPass is a secure Internet site.

    8 C.F.R. ง 214.3(l)(1)(ii):

    (l) Designated official.

    (1) Meaning of term Designated Official. As used in งง 214.1(b), 214.2(b),
    214.2(f), 214.2(m), and 214.4, a Designated Official, Designated School
    Official (DSO), or Principal Designated School Official (PDSO), means a
    regularly employed member of the school administration whose office is
    located at the school and whose compensation does not come from commissions
    for recruitment of foreign students. An individual whose principal
    obligation to the school is to recruit foreign students for compensation
    does not qualify as a designated official. The PDSO and any other DSO must
    be named by the president, owner, or head of a school or school system. The
    PDSO and DSO may not delegate this designation to any other person.

    (i) A PDSO and DSO must be either a citizen or lawful permanent resident of
    the United States.

    (ii) Each campus must have one PDSO. The PDSO is responsible for updating
    SEVIS to reflect the addition or deletion of any DSO on his or her
    associated campus. SEVP will use the PDSO as the point of contact on any
    issues that relate to the school's compliance with the regulations, as well
    as any system alerts generated by SEVIS. SEVP may also designate certain
    functions in SEVIS for use by the PDSO only. The PDSO of the main campus is
    the only DSO authorized to submit a Form I-17 for recertification. The PDSO
    and DSO will share the same responsibilities in all other respects.

    (iii) Each school may have up to 10 designated officials at any one time,
    including the PDSO. In a multi-campus school, each campus may have up to 10
    designated officials at any one time including a required PDSO. In a private
    elementary or public or private secondary school system, however, the entire
    school system is limited to 10 designated officials at any one time
    including the PDSO.

    The DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, is a fully integrated online application form that is used to collect the necessary application information from a person seeking a nonimmigrant visa for temporary travel to the United States.

    OFLC processes labor certification applications for employers seeking to bring foreign workers into the United States and grants certifications in those cases where employers can demonstrate that there are not sufficient U.S. workers available, willing and qualified to perform the work at wages that meet or exceed the prevailing wage paid for the occupation in the area of intended employment.

    Designated School Official is a school officer designated to work with students and act as a representative of USCIS/ICE in certain matters.

    Student and Exchange Visitor Information System www.ice.gov/sevis.

    SEVIS is an Internet-based system that maintains accurate and current information on non-immigrant students (F and M visa), exchange visitors (J visa), and their dependents (F-2, M-2, and J-2). SEVIS enables schools and program sponsors to transmit electronic information and event notifications via the Internet, to the ICE and Department of State (DOS) throughout a student or exchange visitor’s stay in the United States. The system will reflect international student or exchange visitor status changes, such as admission at Port of Entry (POE), change of address, change in program of study, and other details. SEVIS will also provide system alerts, event notifications, and basic reports to the end-user schools, programs, and Immigration related field offices.

    SEVP acts as the bridge for government organizations that have an interest in information on foreign students. SEVP helps the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State monitor school and exchange programs and F, M and J category visitors. SEVP administers the F and M visa categories, while the Department of State manages the J exchange visitor program.
    SEVP uses the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a web-based solution, to track and monitor schools and programs, students, exchange visitors and their dependents while approved to participate in the U.S. education system.
    SEVP collects, maintains and provides the information so that only legitimate foreign students or exchange visitors gain entry to the United States. The result is an easily accessible information system that provides timely information to the Department of State, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
    For more details, please visit the link, http://www.ice.gov/sevis/

    Introduction:

    VIBE is a web-based adjudication tool used by USCIS to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ alien workers. VIBE uses commercially available data from an independent information provider (IIP) to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ certain alien workers. Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) is the current IIP for this program.

    This service is available to US based, privately held companies only. It is free of charge, and petitioning employers may access this process via D&B’s iUpdate for U.S. government customers -- a free, password-protected and encrypted online service tool offered by D&B.

    Please note that USCIS does not expect or require petitioners to contact D&B or pay any fees associated with creating or updating an existing record. Employers who wish to update their information through D&B directly may be subject to direct marketing by the organization or encounter D&B representatives who may suggest a purchase of the firm’s products and services.

    Purpose of VIBE:

    The purpose behind VIBE is to increase the efficiency of the visa petitioning process by reducing the amount of documents employers have to submit with each petition in order to prove eligibility. Furthermore, USCIS will also be able to reduce the number of RFEs issued to otherwise eligible petitioners.

    An important point to note is that USCIS will not deny a petition based solely on information from VIBE without at least first giving the petitioner an opportunity to respond to the RFEs or NOIDs issued by USCIS.

    Please note that whether or not you choose to create a record or update your record with D&B, you must respond to any RFE or NOID received from USCIS. Failure to respond could result in the denial of your petition. Furthermore, it is necessary to resolve relevant inconsistencies in the information provided by the employer, on one hand, and information available on VIBE, on the other.

    Employment Authorization Document. This is evidence that a person is authorized to work in USA. People undergoing Adjustment of Status (AOS or I-485 process) are entitled to an EAD.

    Specific information related to our team and this site.

    Deferred Action is consent by the Government not to deport (remove) an otherwise deport-able individual. Usually it is given for humanitarian reasons and work authorization is also provided. Unlawful presence is stopped during deferred action, but any unlawful presence already accrued does not get wiped away. Deferred action is not a visa or a full legal status.

    Automatic Visa Revalidation - Definition from Travel.state.gov

    Re-entering the U.S. with a Valid I-94 Form & Expired Visa is Limited
    What Is Automatic Revalidation?

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has the authority and the responsibility over the admission of travelers to the U.S. Under the automatic revalidation provision of immigration law, certain temporary visitors holding expired nonimmigrant visas who seek to return to the U.S. may be admitted at a U.S. port of entry by CBP, if they meet certain requirements, including, but not limited to the following:

    Nonimmigrants who departed the U.S. for brief travel to Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island (for F and J nonimmigrants) for thirty days or less;
    Nonimmigrants with a valid (unexpired) Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, endorsed by DHS.

    More Information about Automatic Revalidation

    For more information about automatic revalidation provisions and reentry to the U.S., visit the International Visitors webpage and the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. Students and Exchange Visitors should review additional important information about travel outside the U.S. and reentry procedures on the DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website.

    Automatic revalidation is not the same as applying for a new visa. If you apply for a new nonimmigrant visa, you cannot take advantage of automatic revalidation.
    Who Must Reapply for and Be Reissued a Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate?

    This webpage explains which travelers must reapply and be reissued visas when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, in order to gain admission to reenter the U.S.

    Many nonimmigrants will need to reapply and be reissued visas to reenter the U.S. when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, because automatic revalidation applies to limited categories of travelers. Refer to the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. The following temporary visitors whose nonimmigrant visas have expired, but who have valid I-94 forms, must reapply for and be issued nonimmigrant visas prior to their reentry to the U.S., if one or more of the following situations exists (this is not a complete listing):

    The nonimmigrant traveler with an expired nonimmigrant visa (but valid Form I-94):

    Applied for a new visa which has not yet been issued;
    Applied for a new visa and was denied;
    Has been outside of the United States for more than thirty days;
    Has traveled to a country other than Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island which is not included in the automatic revalidation provisions;
    Is a national of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designated country, including Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Sudan. Review more about State Sponsors of Terrorism and FAQs on this website;
    Is in possession of an F student visa or J exchange visitor visa and has traveled to Cuba;
    Is in possession of an M student visa and has traveled to a location outside the U.S., other than Canada and Mexico.

    Additional Resources – Laws

    The automatic revalidation provision of U.S. immigration law is described in both 8 CFR 214.1(b) and 22 CFR 112(d).
    We Want You to Know

    Visa News
    Adoption Alerts
    Diversity Visa
    Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
    Iraqis & Afghans-SIV
    Business Visa Center
    Customer Service Statement to Visa Applicants
    Fraud Warning

    Visa denial based upon immigrant intent defined in Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

    Immigrant intent becomes an issue when an applicant outside or inside USA seeks a benefit (such as a visa, when outside USA, or a change of status, when within USA) that does not allow an applicant to possess the intention of residing permanently in USA ("immigrant intent"). For example, an applicant for a visitor's visa must not have the intention to reside in USA permanently. Their visa can be refused if they have immigrant intent.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it intends to revoke (cancel) approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a pending case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it plans to remove approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it plans to remove approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The term often refers to the Designated Degree program requiring a degree in one of these fields of study. STEM programs, in recognition of their importance to US interests, are awarded special consideration in certain areas under US immigration laws.

    A Returning Resident Permit, or SB-1 Visa, is what a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or Green Card holder) can get to return to the United States after being out of the country for more than one year. When an LPR leaves the United States, they must return within a year. If they stay more than a year, they must obtain a Returning Resident Permit in order to return. This also applies to those who remain outside of the country longer than is allowed by their reentry permit.
    You apply for a returning residence visa through the consulate in your home country. There, you have to explain in quite some detail the genuine reason for your inability to return to USA within one year. It is discretionary upon the consulate whether they are convinced by the genuineness of your response or not.
    For more information, see this State Department’s webpage: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1333.html

    A Returning Resident Permit, or SB-1 Visa, is what a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or Green Card holder) can get to return to the United States after being out of the country for more than one year. When an LPR leaves the United States, they must return within a year. If they stay more than a year, they must obtain a Returning Resident Permit in order to return. This also applies to those who remain outside of the country longer than is allowed by their reentry permit.
    You apply for a returning residence visa through the consulate in your home country. There, you have to explain in quite some detail the genuine reason for your inability to return to USA within one year. It is discretionary upon the consulate whether they are convinced by the genuineness of your response or not.
    For more information, see this State Department’s webpage: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1333.html

    U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. Consists of two houses: Senate and the House of Representatives.

    One of the two houses of U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. The other is the House of Representatives.

    One of the two houses of U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. The other is the Senate.

    Default Web Links group

    The short answer: yes. You can use a promissory note secured by tangible assets as part of the investment.

    This content is tagged for employers and Human Resources professionals responsible for hiring foreign professionals/workers in USA

    US Department of Labor is charged with protecting the labor market and investigation and enforcement activities related to that.

    Immigration and Custom Enforcement. This agency used to be a part of old INS. When DHS was formed, enforcement personnel of US Customs Service and INS were combined to form ICE, which is now responsible for a large part of immigration enforcement activity.

    Department of State (State Department) is responsible for issuing visas, which are a permission to travel to USA.

    A method to obtain green card used to avoid the need for PERM based labor certification.

    Customs and Border Protection. This agency was spun off from old INS. CBP is responsible for inspecting people when they land at airports, docks and land borders.

    To qualify for an A-1 (or A-2 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government.  The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

    To qualify for an A-2 (or A-1 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government. The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

    Consulates all over the world issue visas - a permission to enter USA for a specific purpose. Consulates are a part of the State Department (DOS - Department of State).

    Bangladesh Immigration

    Indonesia Immigration

    I-94 aka Arrival Departure Record is what governs your status in the USA. An expired I-94 can lead to bar from entering USA for 3 to 10 years.See details on "Unlawful Presence".

    When used in relation to immigration, this is another name for being LEGALLY present in the USA

    This is a complicated term. Very simply (there is a lot more to it), you could have your status expire and still be authorized to stay in USA awaiting the outcome of a legally filed petition. This is something less than "Status" but much better than "Unlawful Presence."

    This is another complicated concept with some very serious consequences. Briefly, if you have been unlawfully present in USA for more than 180 days, you cannot come back to USA for 3 years and if unlawfully present for a year or more, you cannot come back for 10 years. Very generally speaking unlawful presence begins after expiration of the I-94 or after having been asked by the govt. to leave USA.

    These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

    These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

    Adjustment of Status

    Includes topics of loss of physical green card papers or the card itself as well as loss of green card through abandonment and criminal activity.

    When used in relation to immigration, this is another name for extending your status.

    Employees working in USA

    Personal employees, attendants and servants of A-1 and A-2 visa holders.

    EB4 category is for religious workers.

    “Priority Date” determines your place in the queue for waiting for green card in the categories where there is a wait. When the govt. has reached your PD, it is said to be “current.” For family-based green cards, PD is the date your I-130 was filed; for PERM-based cases, the date your PERM was filed; for employment-based cases other than through PERM (like EB-1 cases), PD is the date your I-140 was filed. DOS publishes the movement of the PD queue every month in the Visa Bulletin: http://www.immigration.com/visa-bulletin

    A publication of the US State Department that keeps track of the green card backlogs and informs us which "Priority Dates" are current so the applicants can expect to get through the last step of their green card processing. This is published every month around the 14th and tells us the availability for the following month. Note that certain categories of applicants ("immediate relatives") such as spouse of a US citizen are not shown in the visa bulletin because they are entitled to have their applications considered without any wait.

    Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (now USCIS)

    Central Intelligence Agency

    Department of Homeland Security

    Department of Justice

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Immigration and Naturalization Service (now reconstituted into USCIS)

    Internal Revenue Service

    Office of Management and Budget

    Social Security Administration

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Earlier known as INS. USCIS is responsible for providing immigration benefits to applicants. Homepage http://wwww.uscis.gov

    American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998.

    Approval Date (When your application was approved)

    Alien Documentation, Identification & Telecommunications System

    Assistant Field Office Director

    Abbreviation for American Immigration Lawyers Association.

    Adjudications Officer

    Administrative Review

    Application Support Center: offers biometric services including fingerprinting services

    Birth Certificate

    Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (now USCIS)

    Board of Immigrant Appeals

    Biometrics (include Digital photo, index finger print and your digital signature). This is needed for the production of Green Card.

    Customs and Border Protection

    Central Intelligence Agency

    Citizenship and Immigration Services

    Consulate Officer

    Consular Processing

    Conditional Permanent Resident

    Curricular Practical Training

    Central Regional Office

    California Service Center

    Cancelled Without Prejudice

    Deputy Field Office Director

    Department of Homeland Security

    Drivers License

    Department of Motor Vehicles

    Department of Justice

    Department of Labor

    Dallas Office Rapid Adjustment of Status

    Department of State

    Detention and Removal Operations

    Diversity Visa (a.k.a. Green Card Lottery)

    Eastern Application Center

    Employment Authorization Document (I-765, approval to work while waiting for Adjustment of Status - AOS Approval)

    Electronic Data Systems

    Executive Office of Immigration Review

    Expedited Removal

    Eastern Regional Office

    Entered Without Inspection

    Foreign Affairs Manual

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Field Office Director

    Finger Print

    File Transfer Request

    Green Card

    Immigration Judge

    International Marriage Brokers Act

    Immigration and Nationality Act

    Is an online appointment so you can go to your DO if you have a doubt or want to know something about your case in person or to request your interim EAD

    Immigration and Naturalization Service (now called USCIS)

    Immigration officer / Interviewing officer

    Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

    Internal Revenue Service

    Internet Service Provider

    Immigrant Visa

    Immigrant Visa Applicant Control System

    John F. Kennedy International Airport

    Kentucky Consular Center

    Labor Condition Application

    Lawful Permanent Resident

    Lawful Permanent Resident Alien

    Last Update Date on your on-line portfolio at USCIS website. It is the date when they last took action on your application, could be anything.

    Machine Readable Data

    Machine Readable Passport

    Machine Readable Visa

    Missouri Service Center

    Notice Date (When USCIS notified you that they received your application)

    National Data Entry Center

    Non Immigrant Visa

    Notice of Action is your receipt/letter that you received after you filed your forms (indicates I-797C)

    Notice of Proposed Rule Making

    Notice To Appear

    Nebraska Service Center

    National Visa Center

    New York District Office

    Office of Management and Budget

    Optional Practical Training

    Other Than Mexican

    Police Clearance Certificate

    Priority Date

    Port of Entry

    Permanent Resident (Also LPR - Legal Permanent Resident)

    Quality Assurance

    Receipt Date (When USCIS received your application)

    Remote Adjudications Center

    Request for Evidence

    Request for Initial Evidence

    Service Center (this is used with a prefix, eg CSC - California Service Center; MSC - Missouri Service Center, that is the address from where you will received your NOA (Notice of Action))

    Supervisory Detention & Deportation Officer

    Student Exchange Visitor Information System

    Student and Exchange Visitor Program

    Social Security Administration

    Social Security Number

    State Workforce Agency

    When the UCSIS "Touches" your petition or file it means that an action was taken which required your file to be physically touched or moved. Example: Your file is touched when it is given to an adjudicator to process.

    Temporary Protected Status

    Texas Service Center

    Transit Without Visa

    US Citizen

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

    System in airports that captures biometrics of people entering the country

    Voluntary Return

    Vermont Service Center

    Visa Waiver Program

    Western Application Center

    Western Regional Office

    Alien's Change of Address Form

    NAFTA Professional visa

    NAFTA Professional Dependant visa

    Pre-Flight Inspection

    PERM Processing: Program Electronic Review Management

    Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

    Interim EAD

    Application to Replace Permanent Residence Card

    Employment Eligibility Verification

    Affidavit of Support

    Application for Employment Authorization

    Green Card

    Application To Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

    Welcome Notice

    Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

    Affidavit of Support

    Application for Travel Document

    Advance Parole or AP (Form I-131): The authorization to travel outside the US while your adjustment of status is pending. Note, Form I-131 is also used for Reentry Permit, an application by a US green card holder to be away from USA for over one year.

    Administrative Appeals Office

    Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. Under the prior rules, an F-1 student could be authorized to receive up to a total of 12 months of practical training either before (pre-) and/or after (post-) completion of studies.

    This is an abbreviation for test_term and can be deleted

    AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

    AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

    American Immigration Lawyers Association

    Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

    The process though which a person within USA obtains a change in their status to green card holder. This is usually the last step for (most not all) green card process.

    Includes Zoologists, Botanists

    Includes occupations in biochemistry, cytology, genetics, physiology

    Fashion Models

    Hotel management and related professions

    An alternative to obtaining the last step in the green card through the consulates outside USA. This is an alternative to adjustment of status.

    DOD (Department of Defense) project visas.

    Includes CPA's CA's and all other accountants and auditors

    Violence Against Women Act

    Child Status Protection Act

    Labor Condition Application. This is a part of some nonimmigrant visa applications process including H-1 visas. Not to be confused with "Labor Certification" also known as PERM, which is a part of the green card process. An LCA, or Labor Condition Application, is required to be submitted to and certified by the U.S. Department of Labor as a part of an H-1B application. The LCA serves to ensure that U.S. wages will not be depressed by the hiring of the H-1B employee and that the H-1B worker will not be exploited. In the LCA, the employer guarantees that it will pay the H-1B worker the required wage, which is the greater of the prevailing wage or the actual wage paid to other employees in the same position; that the H-1B employee will not displace a U.S. worker; and that the employment will not adversely affect the working conditions of workers similarly employed in the area of intended employment.

    Also known as CIS Ombudsman, this office provides recommendations for resolving individual and employer problems with the USCIS. As mandated by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 § 452, CIS Ombudsman is an independent office that reports directly to the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security. http://www.dhs.gov/xabout/structure/editorial_0482.shtm

    PERM audits typically involve questions from the USDOL regarding the PERM filing.

    Used mostly in the context of the last step in green card processing (Adjustment of Status), preadjudication means USCIS is proceeding to make decision on the file even though priority date is not yet current. The idea is that way when the PD gets current, all they need to do is send approval notice and then the green card. So if the AOS is preadjudicated, you still need to wait for the PD to become current.

    Petition for a conditional resident who obtained status through marriage to apply to remove the conditions on his or her residence.

    Vermont Service Center

    California Service Center

    Nebraska Service Center

    Texas Service Center

    Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) is one of the three adjudicative bodies within the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). It has jurisdiction over three types of civil penalty cases: employer sanctions (INA § 274A - 8 USC § 1324a), unfair immigration-related employment practices (INA § 274B - 8 USC § 1324b), and immigration-related document fraud (INA § 274C - 8 USC § 1324c).

    Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals is an adjudicative agency that decides in appeal PERM and wage disputes.

    Certifying Officer is the highest Department of Labor officer for a region. They are charged, amongst other things, with the responsibility to adjudicate PERM and LCA cases.

    Fraud Detection and National Security. FDNS was created to strengthen the ability of the U.S. Citizenship and
    Immigration Services (USCIS) to provide the right benefit to the right person at the right time, and no benefit to the wrong person.

    Citizenship in USA can be obtained through naturalization or through birth in USA.

    The process through which a person becomes a US Citizen.

    N-470 helps you preserve your stay abroad for naturalization under certain circumstances. So, even though you are living outside USA, you can accumulate that time for naturalization.

    Electronic System for Travel Authorization

    Congressional Research Service. A "think tank" that provides reports to members of Congress on a variety of topics relevant to current political events.

    Missouri Service Center (MSC) was transitioned into the National Benefits Center (NBC). The NBC was established to serve as the hub and conduit for USCIS local field offices by completing all pre-interview processing of Forms generally requiring an interview. This pre-processing includes conducting background security checks, performing initial evidence reviews, adjudication of associated I-765 and I-131 applications (filed with the I-485 or separately), denial of adjustment of status cases for applicants who are statutorily ineligible, and forwarding scheduled cases to the USCIS local office for adjudication. In employment based cases, transfer to NBC usually means an interview can be expected. This can occur even if PD is retrogressed.

    Online Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application can only be used by visa applicants applying at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate which has converted to the new electronic fully online form and process. For more information visit travel.state.gov DS-160 informational webpage for a listing of embassy locations using Form DS-160. Next, visit one of the U.S. Embassy websites using the Form DS-160 and where you will apply, to review detailed nonimmigrant visa how-to-apply instructions, in addition to these FAQs.

    1. Where can I find the DS-160?
    You can access the DS-160 from the Consular Electronic Application Center website or from the link on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website.

    The mission of the Employment and Training Administration is to contribute to the more efficient functioning of the U.S. labor market by providing high quality job training, employment, labor market information, and income maintenance services primarily through state and local workforce development systems.

    A form issued by school for applicants to obtain a Student Visa.

    A form issued by school or sponsor for applicants to obtain a J Visa.

    United Kingdom

    Cyprus Immigration

    Japan

    France

    Germany

    Ireland

    Kuwait Immigration

    Saudi Arabia Immigration

    United Arab Emirates Immigration

    Singapore Immigration

    Chile Immigration

    China Immigration new

    Egypt Immigration

    France Immigration

    Malaysia Immigration

    Maldives Immigration

    Malta Immigration

    Mauritius Immigration

    Nepal Immigration

    Norway Immigration

    New Zealand Immigration

    Romania Immigration

    South Africa Immigration

    South Korea Immigration

    Sweden Immigration

    Switzerland immigration

    Trinidad immigration

    In April of 1994, the Department of State opened a permanent Immigrant Visa processing facility at the National Visa Center (NVC) in Portsmouth, NH. The NVC processes all approved immigrant visa petitions after they are received from Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security (CIS) and retains them until the cases are ready for adjudication by a consular officer abroad.

    Every month, the Visa Office (VO) establishes Qualifying Dates that determine if a petition will be eligible for processing. Qualifying Dates are the latest priority dates that can be processed for certain visa categories. An immigrant visa petition can only become ready for further processing when the Qualifying Date in the appropriate visa category has advanced up to the priority date of the petition. Petitions may remain at NVC for several months or for many years depending on the visa category and country of birth of the visa applicant.

    NVC’s Role

    The NVC is responsible for the collection of visa application fees and visa application documentation. When an applicant's priority date meets the most recent Qualifying Date, the NVC will contact the applicant and petitioner with instructions for submitting the appropriate processing fees. After the appropriate processing fees are paid, the NVC will again contact the applicant and petitioner to request that the necessary immigrant visa documentation be submitted to the NVC.

    The U.S. Department of State's official site for U.S. visa information

    InfoPass is an Internet-based system that enables the public to go online to schedule appointments with immigration information officers at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices. If you have a complex immigration question or need that is best addressed by a trained USCIS officer in person, InfoPass offers a convenient alternative to waiting in line for assistance. InfoPass is a secure Internet site.

    8 C.F.R. ง 214.3(l)(1)(ii):

    (l) Designated official.

    (1) Meaning of term Designated Official. As used in งง 214.1(b), 214.2(b),
    214.2(f), 214.2(m), and 214.4, a Designated Official, Designated School
    Official (DSO), or Principal Designated School Official (PDSO), means a
    regularly employed member of the school administration whose office is
    located at the school and whose compensation does not come from commissions
    for recruitment of foreign students. An individual whose principal
    obligation to the school is to recruit foreign students for compensation
    does not qualify as a designated official. The PDSO and any other DSO must
    be named by the president, owner, or head of a school or school system. The
    PDSO and DSO may not delegate this designation to any other person.

    (i) A PDSO and DSO must be either a citizen or lawful permanent resident of
    the United States.

    (ii) Each campus must have one PDSO. The PDSO is responsible for updating
    SEVIS to reflect the addition or deletion of any DSO on his or her
    associated campus. SEVP will use the PDSO as the point of contact on any
    issues that relate to the school's compliance with the regulations, as well
    as any system alerts generated by SEVIS. SEVP may also designate certain
    functions in SEVIS for use by the PDSO only. The PDSO of the main campus is
    the only DSO authorized to submit a Form I-17 for recertification. The PDSO
    and DSO will share the same responsibilities in all other respects.

    (iii) Each school may have up to 10 designated officials at any one time,
    including the PDSO. In a multi-campus school, each campus may have up to 10
    designated officials at any one time including a required PDSO. In a private
    elementary or public or private secondary school system, however, the entire
    school system is limited to 10 designated officials at any one time
    including the PDSO.

    The DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, is a fully integrated online application form that is used to collect the necessary application information from a person seeking a nonimmigrant visa for temporary travel to the United States.

    OFLC processes labor certification applications for employers seeking to bring foreign workers into the United States and grants certifications in those cases where employers can demonstrate that there are not sufficient U.S. workers available, willing and qualified to perform the work at wages that meet or exceed the prevailing wage paid for the occupation in the area of intended employment.

    Designated School Official is a school officer designated to work with students and act as a representative of USCIS/ICE in certain matters.

    Student and Exchange Visitor Information System www.ice.gov/sevis.

    SEVIS is an Internet-based system that maintains accurate and current information on non-immigrant students (F and M visa), exchange visitors (J visa), and their dependents (F-2, M-2, and J-2). SEVIS enables schools and program sponsors to transmit electronic information and event notifications via the Internet, to the ICE and Department of State (DOS) throughout a student or exchange visitor’s stay in the United States. The system will reflect international student or exchange visitor status changes, such as admission at Port of Entry (POE), change of address, change in program of study, and other details. SEVIS will also provide system alerts, event notifications, and basic reports to the end-user schools, programs, and Immigration related field offices.

    SEVP acts as the bridge for government organizations that have an interest in information on foreign students. SEVP helps the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State monitor school and exchange programs and F, M and J category visitors. SEVP administers the F and M visa categories, while the Department of State manages the J exchange visitor program.
    SEVP uses the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a web-based solution, to track and monitor schools and programs, students, exchange visitors and their dependents while approved to participate in the U.S. education system.
    SEVP collects, maintains and provides the information so that only legitimate foreign students or exchange visitors gain entry to the United States. The result is an easily accessible information system that provides timely information to the Department of State, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
    For more details, please visit the link, http://www.ice.gov/sevis/

    Introduction:

    VIBE is a web-based adjudication tool used by USCIS to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ alien workers. VIBE uses commercially available data from an independent information provider (IIP) to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ certain alien workers. Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) is the current IIP for this program.

    This service is available to US based, privately held companies only. It is free of charge, and petitioning employers may access this process via D&B’s iUpdate for U.S. government customers -- a free, password-protected and encrypted online service tool offered by D&B.

    Please note that USCIS does not expect or require petitioners to contact D&B or pay any fees associated with creating or updating an existing record. Employers who wish to update their information through D&B directly may be subject to direct marketing by the organization or encounter D&B representatives who may suggest a purchase of the firm’s products and services.

    Purpose of VIBE:

    The purpose behind VIBE is to increase the efficiency of the visa petitioning process by reducing the amount of documents employers have to submit with each petition in order to prove eligibility. Furthermore, USCIS will also be able to reduce the number of RFEs issued to otherwise eligible petitioners.

    An important point to note is that USCIS will not deny a petition based solely on information from VIBE without at least first giving the petitioner an opportunity to respond to the RFEs or NOIDs issued by USCIS.

    Please note that whether or not you choose to create a record or update your record with D&B, you must respond to any RFE or NOID received from USCIS. Failure to respond could result in the denial of your petition. Furthermore, it is necessary to resolve relevant inconsistencies in the information provided by the employer, on one hand, and information available on VIBE, on the other.

    Employment Authorization Document. This is evidence that a person is authorized to work in USA. People undergoing Adjustment of Status (AOS or I-485 process) are entitled to an EAD.

    Specific information related to our team and this site.

    Deferred Action is consent by the Government not to deport (remove) an otherwise deport-able individual. Usually it is given for humanitarian reasons and work authorization is also provided. Unlawful presence is stopped during deferred action, but any unlawful presence already accrued does not get wiped away. Deferred action is not a visa or a full legal status.

    Automatic Visa Revalidation - Definition from Travel.state.gov

    Re-entering the U.S. with a Valid I-94 Form & Expired Visa is Limited
    What Is Automatic Revalidation?

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has the authority and the responsibility over the admission of travelers to the U.S. Under the automatic revalidation provision of immigration law, certain temporary visitors holding expired nonimmigrant visas who seek to return to the U.S. may be admitted at a U.S. port of entry by CBP, if they meet certain requirements, including, but not limited to the following:

    Nonimmigrants who departed the U.S. for brief travel to Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island (for F and J nonimmigrants) for thirty days or less;
    Nonimmigrants with a valid (unexpired) Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, endorsed by DHS.

    More Information about Automatic Revalidation

    For more information about automatic revalidation provisions and reentry to the U.S., visit the International Visitors webpage and the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. Students and Exchange Visitors should review additional important information about travel outside the U.S. and reentry procedures on the DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website.

    Automatic revalidation is not the same as applying for a new visa. If you apply for a new nonimmigrant visa, you cannot take advantage of automatic revalidation.
    Who Must Reapply for and Be Reissued a Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate?

    This webpage explains which travelers must reapply and be reissued visas when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, in order to gain admission to reenter the U.S.

    Many nonimmigrants will need to reapply and be reissued visas to reenter the U.S. when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, because automatic revalidation applies to limited categories of travelers. Refer to the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. The following temporary visitors whose nonimmigrant visas have expired, but who have valid I-94 forms, must reapply for and be issued nonimmigrant visas prior to their reentry to the U.S., if one or more of the following situations exists (this is not a complete listing):

    The nonimmigrant traveler with an expired nonimmigrant visa (but valid Form I-94):

    Applied for a new visa which has not yet been issued;
    Applied for a new visa and was denied;
    Has been outside of the United States for more than thirty days;
    Has traveled to a country other than Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island which is not included in the automatic revalidation provisions;
    Is a national of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designated country, including Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Sudan. Review more about State Sponsors of Terrorism and FAQs on this website;
    Is in possession of an F student visa or J exchange visitor visa and has traveled to Cuba;
    Is in possession of an M student visa and has traveled to a location outside the U.S., other than Canada and Mexico.

    Additional Resources – Laws

    The automatic revalidation provision of U.S. immigration law is described in both 8 CFR 214.1(b) and 22 CFR 112(d).
    We Want You to Know

    Visa News
    Adoption Alerts
    Diversity Visa
    Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
    Iraqis & Afghans-SIV
    Business Visa Center
    Customer Service Statement to Visa Applicants
    Fraud Warning

    Visa denial based upon immigrant intent defined in Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

    Immigrant intent becomes an issue when an applicant outside or inside USA seeks a benefit (such as a visa, when outside USA, or a change of status, when within USA) that does not allow an applicant to possess the intention of residing permanently in USA ("immigrant intent"). For example, an applicant for a visitor's visa must not have the intention to reside in USA permanently. Their visa can be refused if they have immigrant intent.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it intends to revoke (cancel) approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a pending case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it plans to remove approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it plans to remove approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The term often refers to the Designated Degree program requiring a degree in one of these fields of study. STEM programs, in recognition of their importance to US interests, are awarded special consideration in certain areas under US immigration laws.

    A Returning Resident Permit, or SB-1 Visa, is what a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or Green Card holder) can get to return to the United States after being out of the country for more than one year. When an LPR leaves the United States, they must return within a year. If they stay more than a year, they must obtain a Returning Resident Permit in order to return. This also applies to those who remain outside of the country longer than is allowed by their reentry permit.
    You apply for a returning residence visa through the consulate in your home country. There, you have to explain in quite some detail the genuine reason for your inability to return to USA within one year. It is discretionary upon the consulate whether they are convinced by the genuineness of your response or not.
    For more information, see this State Department’s webpage: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1333.html

    A Returning Resident Permit, or SB-1 Visa, is what a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or Green Card holder) can get to return to the United States after being out of the country for more than one year. When an LPR leaves the United States, they must return within a year. If they stay more than a year, they must obtain a Returning Resident Permit in order to return. This also applies to those who remain outside of the country longer than is allowed by their reentry permit.
    You apply for a returning residence visa through the consulate in your home country. There, you have to explain in quite some detail the genuine reason for your inability to return to USA within one year. It is discretionary upon the consulate whether they are convinced by the genuineness of your response or not.
    For more information, see this State Department’s webpage: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1333.html

    U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. Consists of two houses: Senate and the House of Representatives.

    One of the two houses of U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. The other is the House of Representatives.

    One of the two houses of U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. The other is the Senate.

    Default Web Links group

    We host free calls for the community every other Thursday at 12:30 pm Eastern Standard Time.  All are welcome to call in phone 202-800-8394 and ask their questions.

    This content is tagged for employers and Human Resources professionals responsible for hiring foreign professionals/workers in USA

    US Department of Labor is charged with protecting the labor market and investigation and enforcement activities related to that.

    Immigration and Custom Enforcement. This agency used to be a part of old INS. When DHS was formed, enforcement personnel of US Customs Service and INS were combined to form ICE, which is now responsible for a large part of immigration enforcement activity.

    Department of State (State Department) is responsible for issuing visas, which are a permission to travel to USA.

    A method to obtain green card used to avoid the need for PERM based labor certification.

    Customs and Border Protection. This agency was spun off from old INS. CBP is responsible for inspecting people when they land at airports, docks and land borders.

    To qualify for an A-1 (or A-2 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government.  The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

    To qualify for an A-2 (or A-1 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government. The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

    Consulates all over the world issue visas - a permission to enter USA for a specific purpose. Consulates are a part of the State Department (DOS - Department of State).

    Bangladesh Immigration

    Indonesia Immigration

    I-94 aka Arrival Departure Record is what governs your status in the USA. An expired I-94 can lead to bar from entering USA for 3 to 10 years.See details on "Unlawful Presence".

    When used in relation to immigration, this is another name for being LEGALLY present in the USA

    This is a complicated term. Very simply (there is a lot more to it), you could have your status expire and still be authorized to stay in USA awaiting the outcome of a legally filed petition. This is something less than "Status" but much better than "Unlawful Presence."

    This is another complicated concept with some very serious consequences. Briefly, if you have been unlawfully present in USA for more than 180 days, you cannot come back to USA for 3 years and if unlawfully present for a year or more, you cannot come back for 10 years. Very generally speaking unlawful presence begins after expiration of the I-94 or after having been asked by the govt. to leave USA.

    These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

    These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

    Adjustment of Status

    Includes topics of loss of physical green card papers or the card itself as well as loss of green card through abandonment and criminal activity.

    When used in relation to immigration, this is another name for extending your status.

    Employees working in USA

    Personal employees, attendants and servants of A-1 and A-2 visa holders.

    EB4 category is for religious workers.

    “Priority Date” determines your place in the queue for waiting for green card in the categories where there is a wait. When the govt. has reached your PD, it is said to be “current.” For family-based green cards, PD is the date your I-130 was filed; for PERM-based cases, the date your PERM was filed; for employment-based cases other than through PERM (like EB-1 cases), PD is the date your I-140 was filed. DOS publishes the movement of the PD queue every month in the Visa Bulletin: http://www.immigration.com/visa-bulletin

    A publication of the US State Department that keeps track of the green card backlogs and informs us which "Priority Dates" are current so the applicants can expect to get through the last step of their green card processing. This is published every month around the 14th and tells us the availability for the following month. Note that certain categories of applicants ("immediate relatives") such as spouse of a US citizen are not shown in the visa bulletin because they are entitled to have their applications considered without any wait.

    Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (now USCIS)

    Central Intelligence Agency

    Department of Homeland Security

    Department of Justice

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Immigration and Naturalization Service (now reconstituted into USCIS)

    Internal Revenue Service

    Office of Management and Budget

    Social Security Administration

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Earlier known as INS. USCIS is responsible for providing immigration benefits to applicants. Homepage http://wwww.uscis.gov

    American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998.

    Approval Date (When your application was approved)

    Alien Documentation, Identification & Telecommunications System

    Assistant Field Office Director

    Abbreviation for American Immigration Lawyers Association.

    Adjudications Officer

    Administrative Review

    Application Support Center: offers biometric services including fingerprinting services

    Birth Certificate

    Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (now USCIS)

    Board of Immigrant Appeals

    Biometrics (include Digital photo, index finger print and your digital signature). This is needed for the production of Green Card.

    Customs and Border Protection

    Central Intelligence Agency

    Citizenship and Immigration Services

    Consulate Officer

    Consular Processing

    Conditional Permanent Resident

    Curricular Practical Training

    Central Regional Office

    California Service Center

    Cancelled Without Prejudice

    Deputy Field Office Director

    Department of Homeland Security

    Drivers License

    Department of Motor Vehicles

    Department of Justice

    Department of Labor

    Dallas Office Rapid Adjustment of Status

    Department of State

    Detention and Removal Operations

    Diversity Visa (a.k.a. Green Card Lottery)

    Eastern Application Center

    Employment Authorization Document (I-765, approval to work while waiting for Adjustment of Status - AOS Approval)

    Electronic Data Systems

    Executive Office of Immigration Review

    Expedited Removal

    Eastern Regional Office

    Entered Without Inspection

    Foreign Affairs Manual

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Field Office Director

    Finger Print

    File Transfer Request

    Green Card

    Immigration Judge

    International Marriage Brokers Act

    Immigration and Nationality Act

    Is an online appointment so you can go to your DO if you have a doubt or want to know something about your case in person or to request your interim EAD

    Immigration and Naturalization Service (now called USCIS)

    Immigration officer / Interviewing officer

    Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

    Internal Revenue Service

    Internet Service Provider

    Immigrant Visa

    Immigrant Visa Applicant Control System

    John F. Kennedy International Airport

    Kentucky Consular Center

    Labor Condition Application

    Lawful Permanent Resident

    Lawful Permanent Resident Alien

    Last Update Date on your on-line portfolio at USCIS website. It is the date when they last took action on your application, could be anything.

    Machine Readable Data

    Machine Readable Passport

    Machine Readable Visa

    Missouri Service Center

    Notice Date (When USCIS notified you that they received your application)

    National Data Entry Center

    Non Immigrant Visa

    Notice of Action is your receipt/letter that you received after you filed your forms (indicates I-797C)

    Notice of Proposed Rule Making

    Notice To Appear

    Nebraska Service Center

    National Visa Center

    New York District Office

    Office of Management and Budget

    Optional Practical Training

    Other Than Mexican

    Police Clearance Certificate

    Priority Date

    Port of Entry

    Permanent Resident (Also LPR - Legal Permanent Resident)

    Quality Assurance

    Receipt Date (When USCIS received your application)

    Remote Adjudications Center

    Request for Evidence

    Request for Initial Evidence

    Service Center (this is used with a prefix, eg CSC - California Service Center; MSC - Missouri Service Center, that is the address from where you will received your NOA (Notice of Action))

    Supervisory Detention & Deportation Officer

    Student Exchange Visitor Information System

    Student and Exchange Visitor Program

    Social Security Administration

    Social Security Number

    State Workforce Agency

    When the UCSIS "Touches" your petition or file it means that an action was taken which required your file to be physically touched or moved. Example: Your file is touched when it is given to an adjudicator to process.

    Temporary Protected Status

    Texas Service Center

    Transit Without Visa

    US Citizen

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

    System in airports that captures biometrics of people entering the country

    Voluntary Return

    Vermont Service Center

    Visa Waiver Program

    Western Application Center

    Western Regional Office

    Alien's Change of Address Form

    NAFTA Professional visa

    NAFTA Professional Dependant visa

    Pre-Flight Inspection

    PERM Processing: Program Electronic Review Management

    Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

    Interim EAD

    Application to Replace Permanent Residence Card

    Employment Eligibility Verification

    Affidavit of Support

    Application for Employment Authorization

    Green Card

    Application To Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

    Welcome Notice

    Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

    Affidavit of Support

    Application for Travel Document

    Advance Parole or AP (Form I-131): The authorization to travel outside the US while your adjustment of status is pending. Note, Form I-131 is also used for Reentry Permit, an application by a US green card holder to be away from USA for over one year.

    Administrative Appeals Office

    Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. Under the prior rules, an F-1 student could be authorized to receive up to a total of 12 months of practical training either before (pre-) and/or after (post-) completion of studies.

    This is an abbreviation for test_term and can be deleted

    AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

    AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

    American Immigration Lawyers Association

    Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

    The process though which a person within USA obtains a change in their status to green card holder. This is usually the last step for (most not all) green card process.

    Includes Zoologists, Botanists

    Includes occupations in biochemistry, cytology, genetics, physiology

    Fashion Models

    Hotel management and related professions

    An alternative to obtaining the last step in the green card through the consulates outside USA. This is an alternative to adjustment of status.

    DOD (Department of Defense) project visas.

    Includes CPA's CA's and all other accountants and auditors

    Violence Against Women Act

    Child Status Protection Act

    Labor Condition Application. This is a part of some nonimmigrant visa applications process including H-1 visas. Not to be confused with "Labor Certification" also known as PERM, which is a part of the green card process. An LCA, or Labor Condition Application, is required to be submitted to and certified by the U.S. Department of Labor as a part of an H-1B application. The LCA serves to ensure that U.S. wages will not be depressed by the hiring of the H-1B employee and that the H-1B worker will not be exploited. In the LCA, the employer guarantees that it will pay the H-1B worker the required wage, which is the greater of the prevailing wage or the actual wage paid to other employees in the same position; that the H-1B employee will not displace a U.S. worker; and that the employment will not adversely affect the working conditions of workers similarly employed in the area of intended employment.

    Also known as CIS Ombudsman, this office provides recommendations for resolving individual and employer problems with the USCIS. As mandated by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 § 452, CIS Ombudsman is an independent office that reports directly to the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security. http://www.dhs.gov/xabout/structure/editorial_0482.shtm

    PERM audits typically involve questions from the USDOL regarding the PERM filing.

    Used mostly in the context of the last step in green card processing (Adjustment of Status), preadjudication means USCIS is proceeding to make decision on the file even though priority date is not yet current. The idea is that way when the PD gets current, all they need to do is send approval notice and then the green card. So if the AOS is preadjudicated, you still need to wait for the PD to become current.

    Petition for a conditional resident who obtained status through marriage to apply to remove the conditions on his or her residence.

    Vermont Service Center

    California Service Center

    Nebraska Service Center

    Texas Service Center

    Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) is one of the three adjudicative bodies within the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). It has jurisdiction over three types of civil penalty cases: employer sanctions (INA § 274A - 8 USC § 1324a), unfair immigration-related employment practices (INA § 274B - 8 USC § 1324b), and immigration-related document fraud (INA § 274C - 8 USC § 1324c).

    Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals is an adjudicative agency that decides in appeal PERM and wage disputes.

    Certifying Officer is the highest Department of Labor officer for a region. They are charged, amongst other things, with the responsibility to adjudicate PERM and LCA cases.

    Fraud Detection and National Security. FDNS was created to strengthen the ability of the U.S. Citizenship and
    Immigration Services (USCIS) to provide the right benefit to the right person at the right time, and no benefit to the wrong person.

    Citizenship in USA can be obtained through naturalization or through birth in USA.

    The process through which a person becomes a US Citizen.

    N-470 helps you preserve your stay abroad for naturalization under certain circumstances. So, even though you are living outside USA, you can accumulate that time for naturalization.

    Electronic System for Travel Authorization

    Congressional Research Service. A "think tank" that provides reports to members of Congress on a variety of topics relevant to current political events.

    Missouri Service Center (MSC) was transitioned into the National Benefits Center (NBC). The NBC was established to serve as the hub and conduit for USCIS local field offices by completing all pre-interview processing of Forms generally requiring an interview. This pre-processing includes conducting background security checks, performing initial evidence reviews, adjudication of associated I-765 and I-131 applications (filed with the I-485 or separately), denial of adjustment of status cases for applicants who are statutorily ineligible, and forwarding scheduled cases to the USCIS local office for adjudication. In employment based cases, transfer to NBC usually means an interview can be expected. This can occur even if PD is retrogressed.

    Online Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application can only be used by visa applicants applying at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate which has converted to the new electronic fully online form and process. For more information visit travel.state.gov DS-160 informational webpage for a listing of embassy locations using Form DS-160. Next, visit one of the U.S. Embassy websites using the Form DS-160 and where you will apply, to review detailed nonimmigrant visa how-to-apply instructions, in addition to these FAQs.

    1. Where can I find the DS-160?
    You can access the DS-160 from the Consular Electronic Application Center website or from the link on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website.

    The mission of the Employment and Training Administration is to contribute to the more efficient functioning of the U.S. labor market by providing high quality job training, employment, labor market information, and income maintenance services primarily through state and local workforce development systems.

    A form issued by school for applicants to obtain a Student Visa.

    A form issued by school or sponsor for applicants to obtain a J Visa.

    United Kingdom

    Cyprus Immigration

    Japan

    France

    Germany

    Ireland

    Kuwait Immigration

    Saudi Arabia Immigration

    United Arab Emirates Immigration

    Singapore Immigration

    Chile Immigration

    China Immigration new

    Egypt Immigration

    France Immigration

    Malaysia Immigration

    Maldives Immigration

    Malta Immigration

    Mauritius Immigration

    Nepal Immigration

    Norway Immigration

    New Zealand Immigration

    Romania Immigration

    South Africa Immigration

    South Korea Immigration

    Sweden Immigration

    Switzerland immigration

    Trinidad immigration

    In April of 1994, the Department of State opened a permanent Immigrant Visa processing facility at the National Visa Center (NVC) in Portsmouth, NH. The NVC processes all approved immigrant visa petitions after they are received from Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security (CIS) and retains them until the cases are ready for adjudication by a consular officer abroad.

    Every month, the Visa Office (VO) establishes Qualifying Dates that determine if a petition will be eligible for processing. Qualifying Dates are the latest priority dates that can be processed for certain visa categories. An immigrant visa petition can only become ready for further processing when the Qualifying Date in the appropriate visa category has advanced up to the priority date of the petition. Petitions may remain at NVC for several months or for many years depending on the visa category and country of birth of the visa applicant.

    NVC’s Role

    The NVC is responsible for the collection of visa application fees and visa application documentation. When an applicant's priority date meets the most recent Qualifying Date, the NVC will contact the applicant and petitioner with instructions for submitting the appropriate processing fees. After the appropriate processing fees are paid, the NVC will again contact the applicant and petitioner to request that the necessary immigrant visa documentation be submitted to the NVC.

    The U.S. Department of State's official site for U.S. visa information

    InfoPass is an Internet-based system that enables the public to go online to schedule appointments with immigration information officers at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices. If you have a complex immigration question or need that is best addressed by a trained USCIS officer in person, InfoPass offers a convenient alternative to waiting in line for assistance. InfoPass is a secure Internet site.

    8 C.F.R. ง 214.3(l)(1)(ii):

    (l) Designated official.

    (1) Meaning of term Designated Official. As used in งง 214.1(b), 214.2(b),
    214.2(f), 214.2(m), and 214.4, a Designated Official, Designated School
    Official (DSO), or Principal Designated School Official (PDSO), means a
    regularly employed member of the school administration whose office is
    located at the school and whose compensation does not come from commissions
    for recruitment of foreign students. An individual whose principal
    obligation to the school is to recruit foreign students for compensation
    does not qualify as a designated official. The PDSO and any other DSO must
    be named by the president, owner, or head of a school or school system. The
    PDSO and DSO may not delegate this designation to any other person.

    (i) A PDSO and DSO must be either a citizen or lawful permanent resident of
    the United States.

    (ii) Each campus must have one PDSO. The PDSO is responsible for updating
    SEVIS to reflect the addition or deletion of any DSO on his or her
    associated campus. SEVP will use the PDSO as the point of contact on any
    issues that relate to the school's compliance with the regulations, as well
    as any system alerts generated by SEVIS. SEVP may also designate certain
    functions in SEVIS for use by the PDSO only. The PDSO of the main campus is
    the only DSO authorized to submit a Form I-17 for recertification. The PDSO
    and DSO will share the same responsibilities in all other respects.

    (iii) Each school may have up to 10 designated officials at any one time,
    including the PDSO. In a multi-campus school, each campus may have up to 10
    designated officials at any one time including a required PDSO. In a private
    elementary or public or private secondary school system, however, the entire
    school system is limited to 10 designated officials at any one time
    including the PDSO.

    The DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, is a fully integrated online application form that is used to collect the necessary application information from a person seeking a nonimmigrant visa for temporary travel to the United States.

    OFLC processes labor certification applications for employers seeking to bring foreign workers into the United States and grants certifications in those cases where employers can demonstrate that there are not sufficient U.S. workers available, willing and qualified to perform the work at wages that meet or exceed the prevailing wage paid for the occupation in the area of intended employment.

    Designated School Official is a school officer designated to work with students and act as a representative of USCIS/ICE in certain matters.

    Student and Exchange Visitor Information System www.ice.gov/sevis.

    SEVIS is an Internet-based system that maintains accurate and current information on non-immigrant students (F and M visa), exchange visitors (J visa), and their dependents (F-2, M-2, and J-2). SEVIS enables schools and program sponsors to transmit electronic information and event notifications via the Internet, to the ICE and Department of State (DOS) throughout a student or exchange visitor’s stay in the United States. The system will reflect international student or exchange visitor status changes, such as admission at Port of Entry (POE), change of address, change in program of study, and other details. SEVIS will also provide system alerts, event notifications, and basic reports to the end-user schools, programs, and Immigration related field offices.

    SEVP acts as the bridge for government organizations that have an interest in information on foreign students. SEVP helps the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State monitor school and exchange programs and F, M and J category visitors. SEVP administers the F and M visa categories, while the Department of State manages the J exchange visitor program.
    SEVP uses the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a web-based solution, to track and monitor schools and programs, students, exchange visitors and their dependents while approved to participate in the U.S. education system.
    SEVP collects, maintains and provides the information so that only legitimate foreign students or exchange visitors gain entry to the United States. The result is an easily accessible information system that provides timely information to the Department of State, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
    For more details, please visit the link, http://www.ice.gov/sevis/

    Introduction:

    VIBE is a web-based adjudication tool used by USCIS to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ alien workers. VIBE uses commercially available data from an independent information provider (IIP) to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ certain alien workers. Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) is the current IIP for this program.

    This service is available to US based, privately held companies only. It is free of charge, and petitioning employers may access this process via D&B’s iUpdate for U.S. government customers -- a free, password-protected and encrypted online service tool offered by D&B.

    Please note that USCIS does not expect or require petitioners to contact D&B or pay any fees associated with creating or updating an existing record. Employers who wish to update their information through D&B directly may be subject to direct marketing by the organization or encounter D&B representatives who may suggest a purchase of the firm’s products and services.

    Purpose of VIBE:

    The purpose behind VIBE is to increase the efficiency of the visa petitioning process by reducing the amount of documents employers have to submit with each petition in order to prove eligibility. Furthermore, USCIS will also be able to reduce the number of RFEs issued to otherwise eligible petitioners.

    An important point to note is that USCIS will not deny a petition based solely on information from VIBE without at least first giving the petitioner an opportunity to respond to the RFEs or NOIDs issued by USCIS.

    Please note that whether or not you choose to create a record or update your record with D&B, you must respond to any RFE or NOID received from USCIS. Failure to respond could result in the denial of your petition. Furthermore, it is necessary to resolve relevant inconsistencies in the information provided by the employer, on one hand, and information available on VIBE, on the other.

    Employment Authorization Document. This is evidence that a person is authorized to work in USA. People undergoing Adjustment of Status (AOS or I-485 process) are entitled to an EAD.

    Specific information related to our team and this site.

    Deferred Action is consent by the Government not to deport (remove) an otherwise deport-able individual. Usually it is given for humanitarian reasons and work authorization is also provided. Unlawful presence is stopped during deferred action, but any unlawful presence already accrued does not get wiped away. Deferred action is not a visa or a full legal status.

    Automatic Visa Revalidation - Definition from Travel.state.gov

    Re-entering the U.S. with a Valid I-94 Form & Expired Visa is Limited
    What Is Automatic Revalidation?

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has the authority and the responsibility over the admission of travelers to the U.S. Under the automatic revalidation provision of immigration law, certain temporary visitors holding expired nonimmigrant visas who seek to return to the U.S. may be admitted at a U.S. port of entry by CBP, if they meet certain requirements, including, but not limited to the following:

    Nonimmigrants who departed the U.S. for brief travel to Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island (for F and J nonimmigrants) for thirty days or less;
    Nonimmigrants with a valid (unexpired) Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, endorsed by DHS.

    More Information about Automatic Revalidation

    For more information about automatic revalidation provisions and reentry to the U.S., visit the International Visitors webpage and the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. Students and Exchange Visitors should review additional important information about travel outside the U.S. and reentry procedures on the DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website.

    Automatic revalidation is not the same as applying for a new visa. If you apply for a new nonimmigrant visa, you cannot take advantage of automatic revalidation.
    Who Must Reapply for and Be Reissued a Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate?

    This webpage explains which travelers must reapply and be reissued visas when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, in order to gain admission to reenter the U.S.

    Many nonimmigrants will need to reapply and be reissued visas to reenter the U.S. when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, because automatic revalidation applies to limited categories of travelers. Refer to the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. The following temporary visitors whose nonimmigrant visas have expired, but who have valid I-94 forms, must reapply for and be issued nonimmigrant visas prior to their reentry to the U.S., if one or more of the following situations exists (this is not a complete listing):

    The nonimmigrant traveler with an expired nonimmigrant visa (but valid Form I-94):

    Applied for a new visa which has not yet been issued;
    Applied for a new visa and was denied;
    Has been outside of the United States for more than thirty days;
    Has traveled to a country other than Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island which is not included in the automatic revalidation provisions;
    Is a national of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designated country, including Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Sudan. Review more about State Sponsors of Terrorism and FAQs on this website;
    Is in possession of an F student visa or J exchange visitor visa and has traveled to Cuba;
    Is in possession of an M student visa and has traveled to a location outside the U.S., other than Canada and Mexico.

    Additional Resources – Laws

    The automatic revalidation provision of U.S. immigration law is described in both 8 CFR 214.1(b) and 22 CFR 112(d).
    We Want You to Know

    Visa News
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    Visa denial based upon immigrant intent defined in Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

    Immigrant intent becomes an issue when an applicant outside or inside USA seeks a benefit (such as a visa, when outside USA, or a change of status, when within USA) that does not allow an applicant to possess the intention of residing permanently in USA ("immigrant intent"). For example, an applicant for a visitor's visa must not have the intention to reside in USA permanently. Their visa can be refused if they have immigrant intent.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it intends to revoke (cancel) approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a pending case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it plans to remove approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it plans to remove approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The term often refers to the Designated Degree program requiring a degree in one of these fields of study. STEM programs, in recognition of their importance to US interests, are awarded special consideration in certain areas under US immigration laws.

    A Returning Resident Permit, or SB-1 Visa, is what a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or Green Card holder) can get to return to the United States after being out of the country for more than one year. When an LPR leaves the United States, they must return within a year. If they stay more than a year, they must obtain a Returning Resident Permit in order to return. This also applies to those who remain outside of the country longer than is allowed by their reentry permit.
    You apply for a returning residence visa through the consulate in your home country. There, you have to explain in quite some detail the genuine reason for your inability to return to USA within one year. It is discretionary upon the consulate whether they are convinced by the genuineness of your response or not.
    For more information, see this State Department’s webpage: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1333.html

    A Returning Resident Permit, or SB-1 Visa, is what a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or Green Card holder) can get to return to the United States after being out of the country for more than one year. When an LPR leaves the United States, they must return within a year. If they stay more than a year, they must obtain a Returning Resident Permit in order to return. This also applies to those who remain outside of the country longer than is allowed by their reentry permit.
    You apply for a returning residence visa through the consulate in your home country. There, you have to explain in quite some detail the genuine reason for your inability to return to USA within one year. It is discretionary upon the consulate whether they are convinced by the genuineness of your response or not.
    For more information, see this State Department’s webpage: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1333.html

    U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. Consists of two houses: Senate and the House of Representatives.

    One of the two houses of U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. The other is the House of Representatives.

    One of the two houses of U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. The other is the Senate.

    Default Web Links group

    Immigration.com Client Testimonials

    This content is tagged for employers and Human Resources professionals responsible for hiring foreign professionals/workers in USA

    US Department of Labor is charged with protecting the labor market and investigation and enforcement activities related to that.

    Immigration and Custom Enforcement. This agency used to be a part of old INS. When DHS was formed, enforcement personnel of US Customs Service and INS were combined to form ICE, which is now responsible for a large part of immigration enforcement activity.

    Department of State (State Department) is responsible for issuing visas, which are a permission to travel to USA.

    A method to obtain green card used to avoid the need for PERM based labor certification.

    Customs and Border Protection. This agency was spun off from old INS. CBP is responsible for inspecting people when they land at airports, docks and land borders.

    To qualify for an A-1 (or A-2 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government.  The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

    To qualify for an A-2 (or A-1 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government. The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

    Consulates all over the world issue visas - a permission to enter USA for a specific purpose. Consulates are a part of the State Department (DOS - Department of State).

    Bangladesh Immigration

    Indonesia Immigration

    I-94 aka Arrival Departure Record is what governs your status in the USA. An expired I-94 can lead to bar from entering USA for 3 to 10 years.See details on "Unlawful Presence".

    When used in relation to immigration, this is another name for being LEGALLY present in the USA

    This is a complicated term. Very simply (there is a lot more to it), you could have your status expire and still be authorized to stay in USA awaiting the outcome of a legally filed petition. This is something less than "Status" but much better than "Unlawful Presence."

    This is another complicated concept with some very serious consequences. Briefly, if you have been unlawfully present in USA for more than 180 days, you cannot come back to USA for 3 years and if unlawfully present for a year or more, you cannot come back for 10 years. Very generally speaking unlawful presence begins after expiration of the I-94 or after having been asked by the govt. to leave USA.

    These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

    These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

    Adjustment of Status

    Includes topics of loss of physical green card papers or the card itself as well as loss of green card through abandonment and criminal activity.

    When used in relation to immigration, this is another name for extending your status.

    Employees working in USA

    Personal employees, attendants and servants of A-1 and A-2 visa holders.

    EB4 category is for religious workers.

    “Priority Date” determines your place in the queue for waiting for green card in the categories where there is a wait. When the govt. has reached your PD, it is said to be “current.” For family-based green cards, PD is the date your I-130 was filed; for PERM-based cases, the date your PERM was filed; for employment-based cases other than through PERM (like EB-1 cases), PD is the date your I-140 was filed. DOS publishes the movement of the PD queue every month in the Visa Bulletin: http://www.immigration.com/visa-bulletin

    A publication of the US State Department that keeps track of the green card backlogs and informs us which "Priority Dates" are current so the applicants can expect to get through the last step of their green card processing. This is published every month around the 14th and tells us the availability for the following month. Note that certain categories of applicants ("immediate relatives") such as spouse of a US citizen are not shown in the visa bulletin because they are entitled to have their applications considered without any wait.

    Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (now USCIS)

    Central Intelligence Agency

    Department of Homeland Security

    Department of Justice

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Immigration and Naturalization Service (now reconstituted into USCIS)

    Internal Revenue Service

    Office of Management and Budget

    Social Security Administration

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Earlier known as INS. USCIS is responsible for providing immigration benefits to applicants. Homepage http://wwww.uscis.gov

    American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998.

    Approval Date (When your application was approved)

    Alien Documentation, Identification & Telecommunications System

    Assistant Field Office Director

    Abbreviation for American Immigration Lawyers Association.

    Adjudications Officer

    Administrative Review

    Application Support Center: offers biometric services including fingerprinting services

    Birth Certificate

    Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (now USCIS)

    Board of Immigrant Appeals

    Biometrics (include Digital photo, index finger print and your digital signature). This is needed for the production of Green Card.

    Customs and Border Protection

    Central Intelligence Agency

    Citizenship and Immigration Services

    Consulate Officer

    Consular Processing

    Conditional Permanent Resident

    Curricular Practical Training

    Central Regional Office

    California Service Center

    Cancelled Without Prejudice

    Deputy Field Office Director

    Department of Homeland Security

    Drivers License

    Department of Motor Vehicles

    Department of Justice

    Department of Labor

    Dallas Office Rapid Adjustment of Status

    Department of State

    Detention and Removal Operations

    Diversity Visa (a.k.a. Green Card Lottery)

    Eastern Application Center

    Employment Authorization Document (I-765, approval to work while waiting for Adjustment of Status - AOS Approval)

    Electronic Data Systems

    Executive Office of Immigration Review

    Expedited Removal

    Eastern Regional Office

    Entered Without Inspection

    Foreign Affairs Manual

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Field Office Director

    Finger Print

    File Transfer Request

    Green Card

    Immigration Judge

    International Marriage Brokers Act

    Immigration and Nationality Act

    Is an online appointment so you can go to your DO if you have a doubt or want to know something about your case in person or to request your interim EAD

    Immigration and Naturalization Service (now called USCIS)

    Immigration officer / Interviewing officer

    Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

    Internal Revenue Service

    Internet Service Provider

    Immigrant Visa

    Immigrant Visa Applicant Control System

    John F. Kennedy International Airport

    Kentucky Consular Center

    Labor Condition Application

    Lawful Permanent Resident

    Lawful Permanent Resident Alien

    Last Update Date on your on-line portfolio at USCIS website. It is the date when they last took action on your application, could be anything.

    Machine Readable Data

    Machine Readable Passport

    Machine Readable Visa

    Missouri Service Center

    Notice Date (When USCIS notified you that they received your application)

    National Data Entry Center

    Non Immigrant Visa

    Notice of Action is your receipt/letter that you received after you filed your forms (indicates I-797C)

    Notice of Proposed Rule Making

    Notice To Appear

    Nebraska Service Center

    National Visa Center

    New York District Office

    Office of Management and Budget

    Optional Practical Training

    Other Than Mexican

    Police Clearance Certificate

    Priority Date

    Port of Entry

    Permanent Resident (Also LPR - Legal Permanent Resident)

    Quality Assurance

    Receipt Date (When USCIS received your application)

    Remote Adjudications Center

    Request for Evidence

    Request for Initial Evidence

    Service Center (this is used with a prefix, eg CSC - California Service Center; MSC - Missouri Service Center, that is the address from where you will received your NOA (Notice of Action))

    Supervisory Detention & Deportation Officer

    Student Exchange Visitor Information System

    Student and Exchange Visitor Program

    Social Security Administration

    Social Security Number

    State Workforce Agency

    When the UCSIS "Touches" your petition or file it means that an action was taken which required your file to be physically touched or moved. Example: Your file is touched when it is given to an adjudicator to process.

    Temporary Protected Status

    Texas Service Center

    Transit Without Visa

    US Citizen

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

    System in airports that captures biometrics of people entering the country

    Voluntary Return

    Vermont Service Center

    Visa Waiver Program

    Western Application Center

    Western Regional Office

    Alien's Change of Address Form

    NAFTA Professional visa

    NAFTA Professional Dependant visa

    Pre-Flight Inspection

    PERM Processing: Program Electronic Review Management

    Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

    Interim EAD

    Application to Replace Permanent Residence Card

    Employment Eligibility Verification

    Affidavit of Support

    Application for Employment Authorization

    Green Card

    Application To Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

    Welcome Notice

    Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

    Affidavit of Support

    Application for Travel Document

    Advance Parole or AP (Form I-131): The authorization to travel outside the US while your adjustment of status is pending. Note, Form I-131 is also used for Reentry Permit, an application by a US green card holder to be away from USA for over one year.

    Administrative Appeals Office

    Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. Under the prior rules, an F-1 student could be authorized to receive up to a total of 12 months of practical training either before (pre-) and/or after (post-) completion of studies.

    This is an abbreviation for test_term and can be deleted

    AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

    AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

    American Immigration Lawyers Association

    Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

    The process though which a person within USA obtains a change in their status to green card holder. This is usually the last step for (most not all) green card process.

    Includes Zoologists, Botanists

    Includes occupations in biochemistry, cytology, genetics, physiology

    Fashion Models

    Hotel management and related professions

    An alternative to obtaining the last step in the green card through the consulates outside USA. This is an alternative to adjustment of status.

    DOD (Department of Defense) project visas.

    Includes CPA's CA's and all other accountants and auditors

    Violence Against Women Act

    Child Status Protection Act

    Labor Condition Application. This is a part of some nonimmigrant visa applications process including H-1 visas. Not to be confused with "Labor Certification" also known as PERM, which is a part of the green card process. An LCA, or Labor Condition Application, is required to be submitted to and certified by the U.S. Department of Labor as a part of an H-1B application. The LCA serves to ensure that U.S. wages will not be depressed by the hiring of the H-1B employee and that the H-1B worker will not be exploited. In the LCA, the employer guarantees that it will pay the H-1B worker the required wage, which is the greater of the prevailing wage or the actual wage paid to other employees in the same position; that the H-1B employee will not displace a U.S. worker; and that the employment will not adversely affect the working conditions of workers similarly employed in the area of intended employment.

    Also known as CIS Ombudsman, this office provides recommendations for resolving individual and employer problems with the USCIS. As mandated by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 § 452, CIS Ombudsman is an independent office that reports directly to the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security. http://www.dhs.gov/xabout/structure/editorial_0482.shtm

    PERM audits typically involve questions from the USDOL regarding the PERM filing.

    Used mostly in the context of the last step in green card processing (Adjustment of Status), preadjudication means USCIS is proceeding to make decision on the file even though priority date is not yet current. The idea is that way when the PD gets current, all they need to do is send approval notice and then the green card. So if the AOS is preadjudicated, you still need to wait for the PD to become current.

    Petition for a conditional resident who obtained status through marriage to apply to remove the conditions on his or her residence.

    Vermont Service Center

    California Service Center

    Nebraska Service Center

    Texas Service Center

    Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) is one of the three adjudicative bodies within the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). It has jurisdiction over three types of civil penalty cases: employer sanctions (INA § 274A - 8 USC § 1324a), unfair immigration-related employment practices (INA § 274B - 8 USC § 1324b), and immigration-related document fraud (INA § 274C - 8 USC § 1324c).

    Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals is an adjudicative agency that decides in appeal PERM and wage disputes.

    Certifying Officer is the highest Department of Labor officer for a region. They are charged, amongst other things, with the responsibility to adjudicate PERM and LCA cases.

    Fraud Detection and National Security. FDNS was created to strengthen the ability of the U.S. Citizenship and
    Immigration Services (USCIS) to provide the right benefit to the right person at the right time, and no benefit to the wrong person.

    Citizenship in USA can be obtained through naturalization or through birth in USA.

    The process through which a person becomes a US Citizen.

    N-470 helps you preserve your stay abroad for naturalization under certain circumstances. So, even though you are living outside USA, you can accumulate that time for naturalization.

    Electronic System for Travel Authorization

    Congressional Research Service. A "think tank" that provides reports to members of Congress on a variety of topics relevant to current political events.

    Missouri Service Center (MSC) was transitioned into the National Benefits Center (NBC). The NBC was established to serve as the hub and conduit for USCIS local field offices by completing all pre-interview processing of Forms generally requiring an interview. This pre-processing includes conducting background security checks, performing initial evidence reviews, adjudication of associated I-765 and I-131 applications (filed with the I-485 or separately), denial of adjustment of status cases for applicants who are statutorily ineligible, and forwarding scheduled cases to the USCIS local office for adjudication. In employment based cases, transfer to NBC usually means an interview can be expected. This can occur even if PD is retrogressed.

    Online Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application can only be used by visa applicants applying at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate which has converted to the new electronic fully online form and process. For more information visit travel.state.gov DS-160 informational webpage for a listing of embassy locations using Form DS-160. Next, visit one of the U.S. Embassy websites using the Form DS-160 and where you will apply, to review detailed nonimmigrant visa how-to-apply instructions, in addition to these FAQs.

    1. Where can I find the DS-160?
    You can access the DS-160 from the Consular Electronic Application Center website or from the link on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website.

    The mission of the Employment and Training Administration is to contribute to the more efficient functioning of the U.S. labor market by providing high quality job training, employment, labor market information, and income maintenance services primarily through state and local workforce development systems.

    A form issued by school for applicants to obtain a Student Visa.

    A form issued by school or sponsor for applicants to obtain a J Visa.

    United Kingdom

    Cyprus Immigration

    Japan

    France

    Germany

    Ireland

    Kuwait Immigration

    Saudi Arabia Immigration

    United Arab Emirates Immigration

    Singapore Immigration

    Chile Immigration

    China Immigration new

    Egypt Immigration

    France Immigration

    Malaysia Immigration

    Maldives Immigration

    Malta Immigration

    Mauritius Immigration

    Nepal Immigration

    Norway Immigration

    New Zealand Immigration

    Romania Immigration

    South Africa Immigration

    South Korea Immigration

    Sweden Immigration

    Switzerland immigration

    Trinidad immigration

    In April of 1994, the Department of State opened a permanent Immigrant Visa processing facility at the National Visa Center (NVC) in Portsmouth, NH. The NVC processes all approved immigrant visa petitions after they are received from Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security (CIS) and retains them until the cases are ready for adjudication by a consular officer abroad.

    Every month, the Visa Office (VO) establishes Qualifying Dates that determine if a petition will be eligible for processing. Qualifying Dates are the latest priority dates that can be processed for certain visa categories. An immigrant visa petition can only become ready for further processing when the Qualifying Date in the appropriate visa category has advanced up to the priority date of the petition. Petitions may remain at NVC for several months or for many years depending on the visa category and country of birth of the visa applicant.

    NVC’s Role

    The NVC is responsible for the collection of visa application fees and visa application documentation. When an applicant's priority date meets the most recent Qualifying Date, the NVC will contact the applicant and petitioner with instructions for submitting the appropriate processing fees. After the appropriate processing fees are paid, the NVC will again contact the applicant and petitioner to request that the necessary immigrant visa documentation be submitted to the NVC.

    The U.S. Department of State's official site for U.S. visa information

    InfoPass is an Internet-based system that enables the public to go online to schedule appointments with immigration information officers at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices. If you have a complex immigration question or need that is best addressed by a trained USCIS officer in person, InfoPass offers a convenient alternative to waiting in line for assistance. InfoPass is a secure Internet site.

    8 C.F.R. ง 214.3(l)(1)(ii):

    (l) Designated official.

    (1) Meaning of term Designated Official. As used in งง 214.1(b), 214.2(b),
    214.2(f), 214.2(m), and 214.4, a Designated Official, Designated School
    Official (DSO), or Principal Designated School Official (PDSO), means a
    regularly employed member of the school administration whose office is
    located at the school and whose compensation does not come from commissions
    for recruitment of foreign students. An individual whose principal
    obligation to the school is to recruit foreign students for compensation
    does not qualify as a designated official. The PDSO and any other DSO must
    be named by the president, owner, or head of a school or school system. The
    PDSO and DSO may not delegate this designation to any other person.

    (i) A PDSO and DSO must be either a citizen or lawful permanent resident of
    the United States.

    (ii) Each campus must have one PDSO. The PDSO is responsible for updating
    SEVIS to reflect the addition or deletion of any DSO on his or her
    associated campus. SEVP will use the PDSO as the point of contact on any
    issues that relate to the school's compliance with the regulations, as well
    as any system alerts generated by SEVIS. SEVP may also designate certain
    functions in SEVIS for use by the PDSO only. The PDSO of the main campus is
    the only DSO authorized to submit a Form I-17 for recertification. The PDSO
    and DSO will share the same responsibilities in all other respects.

    (iii) Each school may have up to 10 designated officials at any one time,
    including the PDSO. In a multi-campus school, each campus may have up to 10
    designated officials at any one time including a required PDSO. In a private
    elementary or public or private secondary school system, however, the entire
    school system is limited to 10 designated officials at any one time
    including the PDSO.

    The DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, is a fully integrated online application form that is used to collect the necessary application information from a person seeking a nonimmigrant visa for temporary travel to the United States.

    OFLC processes labor certification applications for employers seeking to bring foreign workers into the United States and grants certifications in those cases where employers can demonstrate that there are not sufficient U.S. workers available, willing and qualified to perform the work at wages that meet or exceed the prevailing wage paid for the occupation in the area of intended employment.

    Designated School Official is a school officer designated to work with students and act as a representative of USCIS/ICE in certain matters.

    Student and Exchange Visitor Information System www.ice.gov/sevis.

    SEVIS is an Internet-based system that maintains accurate and current information on non-immigrant students (F and M visa), exchange visitors (J visa), and their dependents (F-2, M-2, and J-2). SEVIS enables schools and program sponsors to transmit electronic information and event notifications via the Internet, to the ICE and Department of State (DOS) throughout a student or exchange visitor’s stay in the United States. The system will reflect international student or exchange visitor status changes, such as admission at Port of Entry (POE), change of address, change in program of study, and other details. SEVIS will also provide system alerts, event notifications, and basic reports to the end-user schools, programs, and Immigration related field offices.

    SEVP acts as the bridge for government organizations that have an interest in information on foreign students. SEVP helps the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State monitor school and exchange programs and F, M and J category visitors. SEVP administers the F and M visa categories, while the Department of State manages the J exchange visitor program.
    SEVP uses the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a web-based solution, to track and monitor schools and programs, students, exchange visitors and their dependents while approved to participate in the U.S. education system.
    SEVP collects, maintains and provides the information so that only legitimate foreign students or exchange visitors gain entry to the United States. The result is an easily accessible information system that provides timely information to the Department of State, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
    For more details, please visit the link, http://www.ice.gov/sevis/

    Introduction:

    VIBE is a web-based adjudication tool used by USCIS to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ alien workers. VIBE uses commercially available data from an independent information provider (IIP) to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ certain alien workers. Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) is the current IIP for this program.

    This service is available to US based, privately held companies only. It is free of charge, and petitioning employers may access this process via D&B’s iUpdate for U.S. government customers -- a free, password-protected and encrypted online service tool offered by D&B.

    Please note that USCIS does not expect or require petitioners to contact D&B or pay any fees associated with creating or updating an existing record. Employers who wish to update their information through D&B directly may be subject to direct marketing by the organization or encounter D&B representatives who may suggest a purchase of the firm’s products and services.

    Purpose of VIBE:

    The purpose behind VIBE is to increase the efficiency of the visa petitioning process by reducing the amount of documents employers have to submit with each petition in order to prove eligibility. Furthermore, USCIS will also be able to reduce the number of RFEs issued to otherwise eligible petitioners.

    An important point to note is that USCIS will not deny a petition based solely on information from VIBE without at least first giving the petitioner an opportunity to respond to the RFEs or NOIDs issued by USCIS.

    Please note that whether or not you choose to create a record or update your record with D&B, you must respond to any RFE or NOID received from USCIS. Failure to respond could result in the denial of your petition. Furthermore, it is necessary to resolve relevant inconsistencies in the information provided by the employer, on one hand, and information available on VIBE, on the other.

    Employment Authorization Document. This is evidence that a person is authorized to work in USA. People undergoing Adjustment of Status (AOS or I-485 process) are entitled to an EAD.

    Specific information related to our team and this site.

    Deferred Action is consent by the Government not to deport (remove) an otherwise deport-able individual. Usually it is given for humanitarian reasons and work authorization is also provided. Unlawful presence is stopped during deferred action, but any unlawful presence already accrued does not get wiped away. Deferred action is not a visa or a full legal status.

    Automatic Visa Revalidation - Definition from Travel.state.gov

    Re-entering the U.S. with a Valid I-94 Form & Expired Visa is Limited
    What Is Automatic Revalidation?

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has the authority and the responsibility over the admission of travelers to the U.S. Under the automatic revalidation provision of immigration law, certain temporary visitors holding expired nonimmigrant visas who seek to return to the U.S. may be admitted at a U.S. port of entry by CBP, if they meet certain requirements, including, but not limited to the following:

    Nonimmigrants who departed the U.S. for brief travel to Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island (for F and J nonimmigrants) for thirty days or less;
    Nonimmigrants with a valid (unexpired) Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, endorsed by DHS.

    More Information about Automatic Revalidation

    For more information about automatic revalidation provisions and reentry to the U.S., visit the International Visitors webpage and the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. Students and Exchange Visitors should review additional important information about travel outside the U.S. and reentry procedures on the DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website.

    Automatic revalidation is not the same as applying for a new visa. If you apply for a new nonimmigrant visa, you cannot take advantage of automatic revalidation.
    Who Must Reapply for and Be Reissued a Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate?

    This webpage explains which travelers must reapply and be reissued visas when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, in order to gain admission to reenter the U.S.

    Many nonimmigrants will need to reapply and be reissued visas to reenter the U.S. when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, because automatic revalidation applies to limited categories of travelers. Refer to the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. The following temporary visitors whose nonimmigrant visas have expired, but who have valid I-94 forms, must reapply for and be issued nonimmigrant visas prior to their reentry to the U.S., if one or more of the following situations exists (this is not a complete listing):

    The nonimmigrant traveler with an expired nonimmigrant visa (but valid Form I-94):

    Applied for a new visa which has not yet been issued;
    Applied for a new visa and was denied;
    Has been outside of the United States for more than thirty days;
    Has traveled to a country other than Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island which is not included in the automatic revalidation provisions;
    Is a national of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designated country, including Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Sudan. Review more about State Sponsors of Terrorism and FAQs on this website;
    Is in possession of an F student visa or J exchange visitor visa and has traveled to Cuba;
    Is in possession of an M student visa and has traveled to a location outside the U.S., other than Canada and Mexico.

    Additional Resources – Laws

    The automatic revalidation provision of U.S. immigration law is described in both 8 CFR 214.1(b) and 22 CFR 112(d).
    We Want You to Know

    Visa News
    Adoption Alerts
    Diversity Visa
    Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
    Iraqis & Afghans-SIV
    Business Visa Center
    Customer Service Statement to Visa Applicants
    Fraud Warning

    Visa denial based upon immigrant intent defined in Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

    Immigrant intent becomes an issue when an applicant outside or inside USA seeks a benefit (such as a visa, when outside USA, or a change of status, when within USA) that does not allow an applicant to possess the intention of residing permanently in USA ("immigrant intent"). For example, an applicant for a visitor's visa must not have the intention to reside in USA permanently. Their visa can be refused if they have immigrant intent.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it intends to revoke (cancel) approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a pending case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it plans to remove approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) is a notice the government issues when it plans to remove approval of a case that it has already approved. This happens when the government notices that the case either should not have been approved initially or, subsequent to the approval, has become revocable. This notice gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why the government should not revoke the approval.

    NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) is a notice the government issues when it intends to deny a case and gives us a last chance to present evidence and arguments why it should not be denied.

    Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The term often refers to the Designated Degree program requiring a degree in one of these fields of study. STEM programs, in recognition of their importance to US interests, are awarded special consideration in certain areas under US immigration laws.

    A Returning Resident Permit, or SB-1 Visa, is what a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or Green Card holder) can get to return to the United States after being out of the country for more than one year. When an LPR leaves the United States, they must return within a year. If they stay more than a year, they must obtain a Returning Resident Permit in order to return. This also applies to those who remain outside of the country longer than is allowed by their reentry permit.
    You apply for a returning residence visa through the consulate in your home country. There, you have to explain in quite some detail the genuine reason for your inability to return to USA within one year. It is discretionary upon the consulate whether they are convinced by the genuineness of your response or not.
    For more information, see this State Department’s webpage: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1333.html

    A Returning Resident Permit, or SB-1 Visa, is what a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or Green Card holder) can get to return to the United States after being out of the country for more than one year. When an LPR leaves the United States, they must return within a year. If they stay more than a year, they must obtain a Returning Resident Permit in order to return. This also applies to those who remain outside of the country longer than is allowed by their reentry permit.
    You apply for a returning residence visa through the consulate in your home country. There, you have to explain in quite some detail the genuine reason for your inability to return to USA within one year. It is discretionary upon the consulate whether they are convinced by the genuineness of your response or not.
    For more information, see this State Department’s webpage: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1333.html

    U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. Consists of two houses: Senate and the House of Representatives.

    One of the two houses of U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. The other is the House of Representatives.

    One of the two houses of U.S. Legislature responsible for making laws. The other is the Senate.

    Default Web Links group

    We host free calls for the community every other Thursday at 12:30 pm Eastern Standard Time.  All are welcome to call in phone 202-800-8394 and ask their questions.

    This content is tagged for employers and Human Resources professionals responsible for hiring foreign professionals/workers in USA

    US Department of Labor is charged with protecting the labor market and investigation and enforcement activities related to that.

    Immigration and Custom Enforcement. This agency used to be a part of old INS. When DHS was formed, enforcement personnel of US Customs Service and INS were combined to form ICE, which is now responsible for a large part of immigration enforcement activity.

    Department of State (State Department) is responsible for issuing visas, which are a permission to travel to USA.

    A method to obtain green card used to avoid the need for PERM based labor certification.

    Customs and Border Protection. This agency was spun off from old INS. CBP is responsible for inspecting people when they land at airports, docks and land borders.

    To qualify for an A-1 (or A-2 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government.  The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

    To qualify for an A-2 (or A-1 visa), you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of your national government to engage solely in official activities for that government. The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not in itself the defining factor in determining if you qualify for an A visa; the particular duties or services that will be performed must be governmental in character or nature, as determined by the United States Department of State, in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature, or traveling as tourists, require some other appropriate visa, and do not qualify for A visas.

    Consulates all over the world issue visas - a permission to enter USA for a specific purpose. Consulates are a part of the State Department (DOS - Department of State).

    Bangladesh Immigration

    Indonesia Immigration

    I-94 aka Arrival Departure Record is what governs your status in the USA. An expired I-94 can lead to bar from entering USA for 3 to 10 years.See details on "Unlawful Presence".

    When used in relation to immigration, this is another name for being LEGALLY present in the USA

    This is a complicated term. Very simply (there is a lot more to it), you could have your status expire and still be authorized to stay in USA awaiting the outcome of a legally filed petition. This is something less than "Status" but much better than "Unlawful Presence."

    This is another complicated concept with some very serious consequences. Briefly, if you have been unlawfully present in USA for more than 180 days, you cannot come back to USA for 3 years and if unlawfully present for a year or more, you cannot come back for 10 years. Very generally speaking unlawful presence begins after expiration of the I-94 or after having been asked by the govt. to leave USA.

    These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

    These are topics related to appeals and motions for reconsideration or reopening of decisions (MTR) by govt. agencies such as USCIS, USDOL, etc.

    Adjustment of Status

    Includes topics of loss of physical green card papers or the card itself as well as loss of green card through abandonment and criminal activity.

    When used in relation to immigration, this is another name for extending your status.

    Employees working in USA

    Personal employees, attendants and servants of A-1 and A-2 visa holders.

    EB4 category is for religious workers.

    “Priority Date” determines your place in the queue for waiting for green card in the categories where there is a wait. When the govt. has reached your PD, it is said to be “current.” For family-based green cards, PD is the date your I-130 was filed; for PERM-based cases, the date your PERM was filed; for employment-based cases other than through PERM (like EB-1 cases), PD is the date your I-140 was filed. DOS publishes the movement of the PD queue every month in the Visa Bulletin: http://www.immigration.com/visa-bulletin

    A publication of the US State Department that keeps track of the green card backlogs and informs us which "Priority Dates" are current so the applicants can expect to get through the last step of their green card processing. This is published every month around the 14th and tells us the availability for the following month. Note that certain categories of applicants ("immediate relatives") such as spouse of a US citizen are not shown in the visa bulletin because they are entitled to have their applications considered without any wait.

    Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (now USCIS)

    Central Intelligence Agency

    Department of Homeland Security

    Department of Justice

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Immigration and Naturalization Service (now reconstituted into USCIS)

    Internal Revenue Service

    Office of Management and Budget

    Social Security Administration

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Earlier known as INS. USCIS is responsible for providing immigration benefits to applicants. Homepage http://wwww.uscis.gov

    American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998.

    Approval Date (When your application was approved)

    Alien Documentation, Identification & Telecommunications System

    Assistant Field Office Director

    Abbreviation for American Immigration Lawyers Association.

    Adjudications Officer

    Administrative Review

    Application Support Center: offers biometric services including fingerprinting services

    Birth Certificate

    Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (now USCIS)

    Board of Immigrant Appeals

    Biometrics (include Digital photo, index finger print and your digital signature). This is needed for the production of Green Card.

    Customs and Border Protection

    Central Intelligence Agency

    Citizenship and Immigration Services

    Consulate Officer

    Consular Processing

    Conditional Permanent Resident

    Curricular Practical Training

    Central Regional Office

    California Service Center

    Cancelled Without Prejudice

    Deputy Field Office Director

    Department of Homeland Security

    Drivers License

    Department of Motor Vehicles

    Department of Justice

    Department of Labor

    Dallas Office Rapid Adjustment of Status

    Department of State

    Detention and Removal Operations

    Diversity Visa (a.k.a. Green Card Lottery)

    Eastern Application Center

    Employment Authorization Document (I-765, approval to work while waiting for Adjustment of Status - AOS Approval)

    Electronic Data Systems

    Executive Office of Immigration Review

    Expedited Removal

    Eastern Regional Office

    Entered Without Inspection

    Foreign Affairs Manual

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Field Office Director

    Finger Print

    File Transfer Request

    Green Card

    Immigration Judge

    International Marriage Brokers Act

    Immigration and Nationality Act

    Is an online appointment so you can go to your DO if you have a doubt or want to know something about your case in person or to request your interim EAD

    Immigration and Naturalization Service (now called USCIS)

    Immigration officer / Interviewing officer

    Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

    Internal Revenue Service

    Internet Service Provider

    Immigrant Visa

    Immigrant Visa Applicant Control System

    John F. Kennedy International Airport

    Kentucky Consular Center

    Labor Condition Application

    Lawful Permanent Resident

    Lawful Permanent Resident Alien

    Last Update Date on your on-line portfolio at USCIS website. It is the date when they last took action on your application, could be anything.

    Machine Readable Data

    Machine Readable Passport

    Machine Readable Visa

    Missouri Service Center

    Notice Date (When USCIS notified you that they received your application)

    National Data Entry Center

    Non Immigrant Visa

    Notice of Action is your receipt/letter that you received after you filed your forms (indicates I-797C)

    Notice of Proposed Rule Making

    Notice To Appear

    Nebraska Service Center

    National Visa Center

    New York District Office

    Office of Management and Budget

    Optional Practical Training

    Other Than Mexican

    Police Clearance Certificate

    Priority Date

    Port of Entry

    Permanent Resident (Also LPR - Legal Permanent Resident)

    Quality Assurance

    Receipt Date (When USCIS received your application)

    Remote Adjudications Center

    Request for Evidence

    Request for Initial Evidence

    Service Center (this is used with a prefix, eg CSC - California Service Center; MSC - Missouri Service Center, that is the address from where you will received your NOA (Notice of Action))

    Supervisory Detention & Deportation Officer

    Student Exchange Visitor Information System

    Student and Exchange Visitor Program

    Social Security Administration

    Social Security Number

    State Workforce Agency

    When the UCSIS "Touches" your petition or file it means that an action was taken which required your file to be physically touched or moved. Example: Your file is touched when it is given to an adjudicator to process.

    Temporary Protected Status

    Texas Service Center

    Transit Without Visa

    US Citizen

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

    System in airports that captures biometrics of people entering the country

    Voluntary Return

    Vermont Service Center

    Visa Waiver Program

    Western Application Center

    Western Regional Office

    Alien's Change of Address Form

    NAFTA Professional visa

    NAFTA Professional Dependant visa

    Pre-Flight Inspection

    PERM Processing: Program Electronic Review Management

    Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

    Interim EAD

    Application to Replace Permanent Residence Card

    Employment Eligibility Verification

    Affidavit of Support

    Application for Employment Authorization

    Green Card

    Application To Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

    Welcome Notice

    Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

    Affidavit of Support

    Application for Travel Document

    Advance Parole or AP (Form I-131): The authorization to travel outside the US while your adjustment of status is pending. Note, Form I-131 is also used for Reentry Permit, an application by a US green card holder to be away from USA for over one year.

    Administrative Appeals Office

    Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. Under the prior rules, an F-1 student could be authorized to receive up to a total of 12 months of practical training either before (pre-) and/or after (post-) completion of studies.

    This is an abbreviation for test_term and can be deleted

    AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

    AC21 is the name given to a law that provides for several matters including the ability to change jobs while an employment-based green card is pending (I-485 AC21 portability) and to start working for an H-1B employer as soon as transfer petition is filed with the USCIS.

    American Immigration Lawyers Association

    Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

    The process though which a person within USA obtains a change in their status to green card holder. This is usually the last step for (most not all) green card process.

    Includes Zoologists, Botanists

    Includes occupations in biochemistry, cytology, genetics, physiology

    Fashion Models

    Hotel management and related professions

    An alternative to obtaining the last step in the green card through the consulates outside USA. This is an alternative to adjustment of status.

    DOD (Department of Defense) project visas.

    Includes CPA's CA's and all other accountants and auditors

    Violence Against Women Act

    Child Status Protection Act

    Labor Condition Application. This is a part of some nonimmigrant visa applications process including H-1 visas. Not to be confused with "Labor Certification" also known as PERM, which is a part of the green card process. An LCA, or Labor Condition Application, is required to be submitted to and certified by the U.S. Department of Labor as a part of an H-1B application. The LCA serves to ensure that U.S. wages will not be depressed by the hiring of the H-1B employee and that the H-1B worker will not be exploited. In the LCA, the employer guarantees that it will pay the H-1B worker the required wage, which is the greater of the prevailing wage or the actual wage paid to other employees in the same position; that the H-1B employee will not displace a U.S. worker; and that the employment will not adversely affect the working conditions of workers similarly employed in the area of intended employment.

    Also known as CIS Ombudsman, this office provides recommendations for resolving individual and employer problems with the USCIS. As mandated by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 § 452, CIS Ombudsman is an independent office that reports directly to the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security. http://www.dhs.gov/xabout/structure/editorial_0482.shtm

    PERM audits typically involve questions from the USDOL regarding the PERM filing.

    Used mostly in the context of the last step in green card processing (Adjustment of Status), preadjudication means USCIS is proceeding to make decision on the file even though priority date is not yet current. The idea is that way when the PD gets current, all they need to do is send approval notice and then the green card. So if the AOS is preadjudicated, you still need to wait for the PD to become current.

    Petition for a conditional resident who obtained status through marriage to apply to remove the conditions on his or her residence.

    Vermont Service Center

    California Service Center

    Nebraska Service Center

    Texas Service Center

    Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) is one of the three adjudicative bodies within the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). It has jurisdiction over three types of civil penalty cases: employer sanctions (INA § 274A - 8 USC § 1324a), unfair immigration-related employment practices (INA § 274B - 8 USC § 1324b), and immigration-related document fraud (INA § 274C - 8 USC § 1324c).

    Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals is an adjudicative agency that decides in appeal PERM and wage disputes.

    Certifying Officer is the highest Department of Labor officer for a region. They are charged, amongst other things, with the responsibility to adjudicate PERM and LCA cases.

    Fraud Detection and National Security. FDNS was created to strengthen the ability of the U.S. Citizenship and
    Immigration Services (USCIS) to provide the right benefit to the right person at the right time, and no benefit to the wrong person.

    Citizenship in USA can be obtained through naturalization or through birth in USA.

    The process through which a person becomes a US Citizen.

    N-470 helps you preserve your stay abroad for naturalization under certain circumstances. So, even though you are living outside USA, you can accumulate that time for naturalization.

    Electronic System for Travel Authorization

    Congressional Research Service. A "think tank" that provides reports to members of Congress on a variety of topics relevant to current political events.

    Missouri Service Center (MSC) was transitioned into the National Benefits Center (NBC). The NBC was established to serve as the hub and conduit for USCIS local field offices by completing all pre-interview processing of Forms generally requiring an interview. This pre-processing includes conducting background security checks, performing initial evidence reviews, adjudication of associated I-765 and I-131 applications (filed with the I-485 or separately), denial of adjustment of status cases for applicants who are statutorily ineligible, and forwarding scheduled cases to the USCIS local office for adjudication. In employment based cases, transfer to NBC usually means an interview can be expected. This can occur even if PD is retrogressed.

    Online Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application can only be used by visa applicants applying at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate which has converted to the new electronic fully online form and process. For more information visit travel.state.gov DS-160 informational webpage for a listing of embassy locations using Form DS-160. Next, visit one of the U.S. Embassy websites using the Form DS-160 and where you will apply, to review detailed nonimmigrant visa how-to-apply instructions, in addition to these FAQs.

    1. Where can I find the DS-160?
    You can access the DS-160 from the Consular Electronic Application Center website or from the link on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website.

    The mission of the Employment and Training Administration is to contribute to the more efficient functioning of the U.S. labor market by providing high quality job training, employment, labor market information, and income maintenance services primarily through state and local workforce development systems.

    A form issued by school for applicants to obtain a Student Visa.

    A form issued by school or sponsor for applicants to obtain a J Visa.

    United Kingdom

    Cyprus Immigration

    Japan

    France

    Germany

    Ireland

    Kuwait Immigration

    Saudi Arabia Immigration

    United Arab Emirates Immigration

    Singapore Immigration

    Chile Immigration

    China Immigration new

    Egypt Immigration

    France Immigration

    Malaysia Immigration

    Maldives Immigration

    Malta Immigration

    Mauritius Immigration

    Nepal Immigration

    Norway Immigration

    New Zealand Immigration

    Romania Immigration

    South Africa Immigration

    South Korea Immigration

    Sweden Immigration

    Switzerland immigration

    Trinidad immigration

    In April of 1994, the Department of State opened a permanent Immigrant Visa processing facility at the National Visa Center (NVC) in Portsmouth, NH. The NVC processes all approved immigrant visa petitions after they are received from Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security (CIS) and retains them until the cases are ready for adjudication by a consular officer abroad.

    Every month, the Visa Office (VO) establishes Qualifying Dates that determine if a petition will be eligible for processing. Qualifying Dates are the latest priority dates that can be processed for certain visa categories. An immigrant visa petition can only become ready for further processing when the Qualifying Date in the appropriate visa category has advanced up to the priority date of the petition. Petitions may remain at NVC for several months or for many years depending on the visa category and country of birth of the visa applicant.

    NVC’s Role

    The NVC is responsible for the collection of visa application fees and visa application documentation. When an applicant's priority date meets the most recent Qualifying Date, the NVC will contact the applicant and petitioner with instructions for submitting the appropriate processing fees. After the appropriate processing fees are paid, the NVC will again contact the applicant and petitioner to request that the necessary immigrant visa documentation be submitted to the NVC.

    The U.S. Department of State's official site for U.S. visa information

    InfoPass is an Internet-based system that enables the public to go online to schedule appointments with immigration information officers at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices. If you have a complex immigration question or need that is best addressed by a trained USCIS officer in person, InfoPass offers a convenient alternative to waiting in line for assistance. InfoPass is a secure Internet site.

    8 C.F.R. ง 214.3(l)(1)(ii):

    (l) Designated official.

    (1) Meaning of term Designated Official. As used in งง 214.1(b), 214.2(b),
    214.2(f), 214.2(m), and 214.4, a Designated Official, Designated School
    Official (DSO), or Principal Designated School Official (PDSO), means a
    regularly employed member of the school administration whose office is
    located at the school and whose compensation does not come from commissions
    for recruitment of foreign students. An individual whose principal
    obligation to the school is to recruit foreign students for compensation
    does not qualify as a designated official. The PDSO and any other DSO must
    be named by the president, owner, or head of a school or school system. The
    PDSO and DSO may not delegate this designation to any other person.

    (i) A PDSO and DSO must be either a citizen or lawful permanent resident of
    the United States.

    (ii) Each campus must have one PDSO. The PDSO is responsible for updating
    SEVIS to reflect the addition or deletion of any DSO on his or her
    associated campus. SEVP will use the PDSO as the point of contact on any
    issues that relate to the school's compliance with the regulations, as well
    as any system alerts generated by SEVIS. SEVP may also designate certain
    functions in SEVIS for use by the PDSO only. The PDSO of the main campus is
    the only DSO authorized to submit a Form I-17 for recertification. The PDSO
    and DSO will share the same responsibilities in all other respects.

    (iii) Each school may have up to 10 designated officials at any one time,
    including the PDSO. In a multi-campus school, each campus may have up to 10
    designated officials at any one time including a required PDSO. In a private
    elementary or public or private secondary school system, however, the entire
    school system is limited to 10 designated officials at any one time
    including the PDSO.

    The DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, is a fully integrated online application form that is used to collect the necessary application information from a person seeking a nonimmigrant visa for temporary travel to the United States.

    OFLC processes labor certification applications for employers seeking to bring foreign workers into the United States and grants certifications in those cases where employers can demonstrate that there are not sufficient U.S. workers available, willing and qualified to perform the work at wages that meet or exceed the prevailing wage paid for the occupation in the area of intended employment.

    Designated School Official is a school officer designated to work with students and act as a representative of USCIS/ICE in certain matters.

    Student and Exchange Visitor Information System www.ice.gov/sevis.

    SEVIS is an Internet-based system that maintains accurate and current information on non-immigrant students (F and M visa), exchange visitors (J visa), and their dependents (F-2, M-2, and J-2). SEVIS enables schools and program sponsors to transmit electronic information and event notifications via the Internet, to the ICE and Department of State (DOS) throughout a student or exchange visitor’s stay in the United States. The system will reflect international student or exchange visitor status changes, such as admission at Port of Entry (POE), change of address, change in program of study, and other details. SEVIS will also provide system alerts, event notifications, and basic reports to the end-user schools, programs, and Immigration related field offices.

    SEVP acts as the bridge for government organizations that have an interest in information on foreign students. SEVP helps the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State monitor school and exchange programs and F, M and J category visitors. SEVP administers the F and M visa categories, while the Department of State manages the J exchange visitor program.
    SEVP uses the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a web-based solution, to track and monitor schools and programs, students, exchange visitors and their dependents while approved to participate in the U.S. education system.
    SEVP collects, maintains and provides the information so that only legitimate foreign students or exchange visitors gain entry to the United States. The result is an easily accessible information system that provides timely information to the Department of State, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
    For more details, please visit the link, http://www.ice.gov/sevis/

    Introduction:

    VIBE is a web-based adjudication tool used by USCIS to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ alien workers. VIBE uses commercially available data from an independent information provider (IIP) to validate basic information about companies petitioning to employ certain alien workers. Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) is the current IIP for this program.

    This service is available to US based, privately held companies only. It is free of charge, and petitioning employers may access this process via D&B’s iUpdate for U.S. government customers -- a free, password-protected and encrypted online service tool offered by D&B.

    Please note that USCIS does not expect or require petitioners to contact D&B or pay any fees associated with creating or updating an existing record. Employers who wish to update their information through D&B directly may be subject to direct marketing by the organization or encounter D&B representatives who may suggest a purchase of the firm’s products and services.

    Purpose of VIBE:

    The purpose behind VIBE is to increase the efficiency of the visa petitioning process by reducing the amount of documents employers have to submit with each petition in order to prove eligibility. Furthermore, USCIS will also be able to reduce the number of RFEs issued to otherwise eligible petitioners.

    An important point to note is that USCIS will not deny a petition based solely on information from VIBE without at least first giving the petitioner an opportunity to respond to the RFEs or NOIDs issued by USCIS.

    Please note that whether or not you choose to create a record or update your record with D&B, you must respond to any RFE or NOID received from USCIS. Failure to respond could result in the denial of your petition. Furthermore, it is necessary to resolve relevant inconsistencies in the information provided by the employer, on one hand, and information available on VIBE, on the other.

    Employment Authorization Document. This is evidence that a person is authorized to work in USA. People undergoing Adjustment of Status (AOS or I-485 process) are entitled to an EAD.

    Specific information related to our team and this site.

    Deferred Action is consent by the Government not to deport (remove) an otherwise deport-able individual. Usually it is given for humanitarian reasons and work authorization is also provided. Unlawful presence is stopped during deferred action, but any unlawful presence already accrued does not get wiped away. Deferred action is not a visa or a full legal status.

    Automatic Visa Revalidation - Definition from Travel.state.gov

    Re-entering the U.S. with a Valid I-94 Form & Expired Visa is Limited
    What Is Automatic Revalidation?

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has the authority and the responsibility over the admission of travelers to the U.S. Under the automatic revalidation provision of immigration law, certain temporary visitors holding expired nonimmigrant visas who seek to return to the U.S. may be admitted at a U.S. port of entry by CBP, if they meet certain requirements, including, but not limited to the following:

    Nonimmigrants who departed the U.S. for brief travel to Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island (for F and J nonimmigrants) for thirty days or less;
    Nonimmigrants with a valid (unexpired) Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, endorsed by DHS.

    More Information about Automatic Revalidation

    For more information about automatic revalidation provisions and reentry to the U.S., visit the International Visitors webpage and the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. Students and Exchange Visitors should review additional important information about travel outside the U.S. and reentry procedures on the DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website.

    Automatic revalidation is not the same as applying for a new visa. If you apply for a new nonimmigrant visa, you cannot take advantage of automatic revalidation.
    Who Must Reapply for and Be Reissued a Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate?

    This webpage explains which travelers must reapply and be reissued visas when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, in order to gain admission to reenter the U.S.

    Many nonimmigrants will need to reapply and be reissued visas to reenter the U.S. when their existing visas have expired, even if they are in possession of valid I-94 forms, because automatic revalidation applies to limited categories of travelers. Refer to the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet on the CBP website. The following temporary visitors whose nonimmigrant visas have expired, but who have valid I-94 forms, must reapply for and be issued nonimmigrant visas prior to their reentry to the U.S., if one or more of the following situations exists (this is not a complete listing):

    The nonimmigrant traveler with an expired nonimmigrant visa (but valid Form I-94):

    Applied for a new visa which has not yet been issued;
    Applied for a new visa and was denied;
    Has been outside of the United States for more than thirty days;
    Has traveled to a country other than Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island which is not included in the automatic revalidation provisions;
    Is a national of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designated country, including Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Sudan. Review more about State Sponsors of Terrorism and FAQs on this website;
    Is in possession of an F student visa or J exchange visitor visa and has traveled to Cuba;
    Is in possession of an M student visa and has traveled to a location outside the U.S., other than Canada and Mexico.

    Additional Resources – Laws

    The automatic revalidation provision of U.S. immigration law is described in both 8 CFR 214.1(b) and 22 CFR 112(d).
    We Want You to Know

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    Visa denial based upon immigrant intent defined in Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

    Immigrant intent becomes an issue when an applicant outside or inside USA seeks a benefit (such as a visa, when outside USA, or a change of status, when within USA) that does not allow an applicant to possess the intention of residing permanently i