E Visa Law

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 8 CFR  214.2(e) Treaty Traders and Investors


   
(1) Treaty trader . An alien, if otherwise admissible, may be classified as a nonimmigrant treaty trader (E-1) under the provisions of section 101(a)(15)(E)(i) of the Act if the alien:

    (i) Will be in the United States solely to carry on trade of a substantial nature, which is international in scope, either on the alien's behalf or as an employee of a foreign person or organization engaged in trade principally between the United States and the treaty country of which the alien is a national, taking into consideration any conditions in the country of which the alien is a national which may affect the alien's ability to carry on such substantial trade; and

    (ii) Intends to depart the United States upon the expiration or termination of treaty trader (E-1) status.

(2) Treaty investor . An alien, if otherwise admissible, may be classified as a nonimmigrant treaty investor (E-2) under the provision of section 101(a)(15)(E)(ii) of the Act if the alien:

    (i) Has invested or is actively in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States, as distinct from a relatively small amount of capital in a marginal enterprise solely for the purpose of earning a living;

    (ii) Is seeking entry solely to develop and direct the enterprise; and

    (iii) Intends to depart the United States upon the expiration or termination of treaty investor (E-2) status.

(3) Employee of treaty trader or treaty investor . An alien employee of a treaty trader, if otherwise admissible, may be classified as E-1, and an alien employee of a treaty investor, if otherwise admissible, may be classified as E-2 if the employee is in or is coming to the United States to engage in duties of an executive or supervisory character, or, if employed in a lesser capacity, the employee has special qualifications that make the alien's services essential to the efficient operation of the enterprise. The employee must have the same nationality as the principal alien employer. In addition, the employee must intend to depart the United States upon the expiration or termination of E-1 or E-2 status. The principal alien employer must be:

    (i) A person in the United States having the nationality of the treaty country and maintaining nonimmigrant treaty trader or treaty investor status or, if not in the United States, would be classifiable as a treaty trader or treaty investor; or

    ii) An enterprise or organization at least 50 percent owned by persons in the United States having the nationality of the treaty country and maintaining nonimmigrant treaty trader or treaty investor status or who, if not in the United States, would be classifiable as treaty traders or treaty investors.

(4) Spouse and children of treaty trader or treaty investor . The spouse and child of a treaty trader or treaty investor accompanying or following to join the principal alien, if otherwise admissible, may receive the same classification as the principal alien. The nationality of a spouse or child of a treaty trader or treaty investor is not material to the classification of the spouse or child under the provisions of section 101(a)(15)(E) of the Act. (Corrected 11/6/97; 62 FR 60122 )

(5) Nonimmigrant intent . An alien classified under section 101(a)(15)(E) of the Act shall maintain an intention to depart the United States upon the expiration or termination of E-1 or E-2 status. However, an application for initial admission, change of status, or extension of stay in E classification may not be denied solely on the basis of an approved request for permanent labor certification or a filed or approved immigrant visa preference petition.

(6) Treaty country . A treaty country is, for purposes of this section, a foreign state with which a qualifying Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, or Navigation or its equivalent exists with the United States. A treaty country includes a foreign state that is accorded treaty visa privileges under section 101(a)(15)(E) of the Act by specific legislation.

(7) Treaty country nationality . The nationality of an individual treaty trader or treaty investor is determined by the authorities of the foreign state of which the alien is a national. In the case of an enterprise or organization, ownership must be traced as best as is practicable to the individuals who are ultimately its owners.

(8) Terms and conditions of E treaty status -


    (i) Limitations on employment . The Service determines the terms and conditions of E treaty status at the time of admission or approval of a request to change nonimmigrant status to E classification. A treaty trader, treaty investor, or treaty employee may engage only in employment which is consistent with the terms and conditions of his or her status and the activity forming the basis for the E treaty status.

    (ii) Subsidiary employment . Treaty employees may perform work for the parent treaty organization or enterprise, or any subsidiary of the parent organization or enterprise. Performing work for subsidiaries of a common parent enterprise or organization will not be deemed to constitute a substantive change in the terms and conditions of the underlying E treaty employment if, at the time the E treaty status was determined, the applicant presented evidence establishing:

        (A) The enterprise or organization, and any subsidiaries thereof, where the work will be performed; the requisite parent-subsidiary relationship; and that the subsidiary independently qualifies as a treaty organization or enterprise under this paragraph;

        (B) In the case of an employee of a treaty trader or treaty investor, the work to be performed requires executive, supervisory, or essential skills; and  
        (C) The work is consistent with the terms and conditions of the activity forming the basis of the classification.


    (iii) Substantive changes . Prior Service approval must be obtained where there will be a substantive change in the terms or conditions of E status. In such cases, a treaty alien must file a new application on Form I-129 and E supplement, in accordance with the instructions on that form, requesting extension of stay in the United States. In support of an alien's Form I-129 application, the treaty alien must submit evidence of continued eligibility for E classification in the new capacity. Alternatively, the alien must obtain from a consular officer a visa reflecting the new terms and conditions and subsequently apply for admission at a port-of-entry. The Service will deem there to have been a substantive change necessitating the filing of a new Form I-129 application in cases where there has been a fundamental change in the employing entity's basic characteristics, such as a merger, acquisition, or sale of the division where the alien is employed.

    (iv) Non-substantive changes . Prior approval is not required, and there is no need to file a new Form I-129, if there is no substantive, or fundamental, change in the terms or conditions of the alien's employment which would affect the alien's eligibility for E classification. Further, prior approval is not required if corporate changes occur which do not affect the previously approved employment relationship, or are otherwise non-substantive. To facilitate admission, the alien may:

        (A) Present a letter from the treaty-qualifying company through which the alien attained E classification explaining the nature of the change;

        (B) Request a new Form I-797, Approval Notice, reflecting the non-substantive change by filing with the appropriate Service Center Form I-129, with fee, and a complete description of the change, or;

        (C) Apply directly to State for a new E visa reflecting the change. An alien who does not elect one of the three options contained in paragraph (e)(8)(iv) (A) through (C) of this section, is not precluded from demonstrating to the satisfaction of the immigration officer at the port-of-entry in some other manner, his or her admissibility under section 101(a)(15)(E) of the Act.

    (v) Advice . To ascertain whether a change is substantive, an alien may file with the Service Center Form I-129, with fee, and a complete description of the change, to request appropriate advice. In cases involving multiple employees, an alien may request that a Service Center determine if a merger or other corporate restructuring requires the filing of separate applications by filing a single Form I-129, with fee, and attaching a list of the related receipt numbers for the employees involved and an explanation of the change or changes. Where employees are located within multiple jurisdictions, such a request for advice must be filed with the Service Center in Lincoln, Nebraska.


    (vi) Approval . If an application to change the terms and conditions of E status or employment is approved, the Service shall notify the applicant on Form I-797. An extension of stay in nonimmigrant E classification may be granted for the validity of the approved application. The alien is not authorized to begin the new employment until the application is approved. Employment is authorized only for the period of time the alien remains in the United States. If the alien subsequently departs from the United States, readmission in E classification may be authorized where the alien presents his or her unexpired E visa together with the Form I-797, Approval Notice, indicating Service approval of a change of employer or of a change in the substantive terms or conditions of treaty status or employment in E classification, or, in accordance with 22 CFR 41.112(d) , where the alien is applying for readmission after an absence not exceeding 30 days solely in contiguous territory.


    (vii) An unauthorized change of employment to a new employer will constitute a failure to maintain status within the meaning of section 237(a)(1)(C)(i) of the Act. In all cases where the treaty employee will be providing services to a subsidiary under this paragraph, the subsidiary is required to comply with the terms of 8 CFR part 274a .

(9) Trade-definitions . For purposes of this paragraph: Items of trade include but are not limited to goods, services, international banking, insurance, monies, transportation, communications, data processing, advertising, accounting, design and engineering, management consulting, tourism, technology and its transfer, and some news-gathering activities. For purposes of this paragraph, goods are tangible commodities or merchandise having extrinsic value. Further, as used in this paragraph, services are legitimate economic activities which provide other than tangible goods.

Trade is the existing international exchange of items of trade for consideration between the United States and the treaty country. Existing trade includes successfully negotiated contracts binding upon the parties which call for the immediate exchange of items of trade. Domestic trade or the development of domestic markets without international exchange does not constitute trade for purposes of section 101(a)(15)(E) of the Act. This exchange must be traceable and identifiable. Title to the trade item must pass from one treaty party to the other.

(10) Substantial trade . Substantial trade is an amount of trade sufficient to ensure a continuous flow of international trade items between the United States and the treaty country. This continuous flow contemplates numerous transactions over time. Treaty trader status may not be established or maintained on the basis of a single transaction, regardless of how protracted or monetarily valuable the transaction. Although the monetary value of the trade item being exchanged is a relevant consideration, greater weight will be given to more numerous exchanges of larger value. There is no minimum requirement with respect to the monetary value or volume of each individual transaction. In the case of smaller businesses, an income derived from the value of numerous transactions which is sufficient to support the treaty trader and his or her family constitutes a favorable factor in assessing the existence of substantial trade.

(11) Principal trade . Principal trade between the United States and the treaty country exists when over 50 percent of the volume of international trade of the treaty trader is conducted between the United States and the treaty country of the treaty trader's nationality.

(12) Investment . An investment is the treaty investor's placing of capital, including funds and other assets (which have not been obtained, directly or indirectly, through criminal activity), at risk in the commercial sense with the objective of generating a profit. The treaty investor must be in possession of and have control over the capital invested or being invested. The capital must be subject to partial or total loss if investment fortunes reverse. Such investment capital must be the investor's unsecured personal bu siness capital or capital secured by personal assets. Capital in the process of being invested or that has been invested must be irrevocably committed to the enterprise. The alien has the burden of establishing such irrevocable commitment. The alien may use any legal mechanism available, such as the placement of invested funds in escrow pending admission in, or approval of, E classification, that would not only irrevocably commit funds to the enterprise, but might also extend personal liability protection t o the treaty investor in the event the application for E classification is denied.

(13) Bona fide enterprise . The enterprise must be a real, active, and operating commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking which produces services or goods for profit. The enterprise must meet applicable legal requirements for doing business in the particular jurisdiction in the United States.

(14) Substantial amount of capital . A substantial amount of capital constitutes an amount which is:

    (i) Substantial in relationship to the total cost of either purchasing an established enterprise or creating the type of enterprise under consideration;  
    (ii) Sufficient to ensure the treaty investor's financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise; and

    (iii) Of a magnitude to support the likelihood that the treaty investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise. Generally, the lower the cost of the enterprise, the higher, proportionately, the investment must be to be considered a substantial amount of capital.

(15) Marginal enterprise . For purposes of this section, an enterprise may not be marginal. A marginal enterprise is an enterprise that does not have the present or future capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the treaty investor and his or her family. An enterprise that does not have the capacity to generate such income, but that has a present or future capacity to make a significant economic contribution is not a marginal enterprise. The projected future income-generating capacity should gen erally be realizable within 5 years from the date the alien commences the normal business activity of the enterprise.


(16) Solely to develop and direct . An alien seeking classification as a treaty investor (or, in the case of an employee of a treaty investor, the owner of the treaty enterprise) must demonstrate that he or she does or will develop and direct the investment enterprise. Such an applicant must establish that he or she controls the enterprise by demonstrating ownership of at least 50 percent of the enterprise, by possessing operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device, or by other means.

(17) Executive and supervisory character . The applicant's position must be principally and primarily, as opposed to incidentally or collaterally, executive or supervisory in nature. Executive and supervisory duties are those which provide the employee ultimate control and responsibility for the enterprise's overall operation or a major component thereof. In determining whether the applicant has established possession of the requisite control and responsibility, a Service officer shall consider, where applicable:

    (i) That an executive position is one which provides the employee with great authority to determine the policy of, and the direction for, the enterprise;

    (ii) That a position primarily of supervisory character provides the employee supervisory responsibility for a significant proportion of an enterprise's operations and does not generally involve the direct supervision of low-level employees, and;

    (iii) Whether the applicant possesses executive and supervisory skills and experience; a salary and position title commensurate with executive or supervisory employment; recognition or indicia of the position as one of authority and responsibility in the overall organizational structure; responsibility for making discretionary decisions, setting policies, directing and managing business operations, supervising other professional and supervisory personnel; and that, if the position requires some routine work usually performed by a staff employee, such functions may only be of an incidental nature.

(18) Special qualifications . Special qualifications are those skills and/or aptitudes that an employee in a lesser capacity brings to a position or role that are essential to the successful or efficient operation of the treaty enterprise. In determining whether the skills possessed by the alien are essential to the operation of the employing treaty enterprise, a Service officer must consider, where applicable:

    (i) The degree of proven expertise of the alien in the area of operations involved; whether others possess the applicant's specific skill or aptitude; the length of the applicant's experience and/or training with the treaty enterprise; the period of training or other experience necessary to perform effectively the projected duties; the relationship of the skill or knowledge to the enterprise's specific processes or applications, and the salary the special qualifications can command; that knowledge of a foreign language and culture does not, by itself, meet the special qualifications requirement, and;

    (ii) Whether the skills and qualifications are readily available in the United States. In all cases, in determining whether the applicant possesses special qualifications which are essential to the treaty enterprise, a Service officer must take into account all the particular facts presented. A skill that is essential at one point in time may become commonplace at a later date. Skills that are needed to start up an enterprise may no longer be essential after initial operations are complete and running smoot hly. Some skills are essential only in the short-term for the training of locally hired employees. Under certain circumstances, an applicant may be able to establish his or her essentiality to the treaty enterprise for a longer period of time, such as, in connection with activities in the areas of product improvement, quality control, or the provision of a service not yet generally available in the United States. Where the treaty enterprise's need for the applicant's special qualifications, and therefore, t he applicant's essentiality, is time-limited, Service officers may request that the applicant provide evidence of the period for which skills will be needed and a reasonable projected date for completion of start-up or replacement of the essential skilled workers.

(19) Period of admission . Periods of admission are as follows:  



    (i) A treaty trader or treaty investor may be admitted for an initial period of not more than 2 years.

    (ii) The spouse and minor children accompanying or following to join a treaty trader or treaty investor shall be admitted for the period during which the principal alien is in valid treaty trader or investor status. The temporary departure from the United States of the principal trader or investor shall not affect the derivative status of the dependent spouse and minor unmarried children, provided the familial relationship continues to exist and the principal remains eligible for admission as an E nonimmigr ant to perform the activity.

    (iii) Unless otherwise provided for in this chapter, an alien shall not be admitted in E classification for a period of time extending more than 6 months beyond the expiration date of the alien's passport.

(20) Extensions of stay . Requests for extensions of stay may be granted in increments of not more than 2 years. A treaty trader or treaty investor in valid E status may apply for an extension of stay by filing an application for extension of stay on Form I-129 and E Supplement, with required accompanying documents, in accordance with § 214.1 and the instructions on that form.

    (i) For purposes of eligibility for an extension of stay, the alien must prove that he or she:

        (A) Has at all times maintained the terms and conditions of his or her E nonimmigrant classification;

        (B) Was physically present in the United States at the time of filing the application for extension of stay; and

        (C) Has not abandoned his or her extension request.

    (ii) With limited exceptions, it is presumed that employees of treaty enterprises with special qualifications who are responsible for start-up operations should be able to complete their objectives within 2 years. Absent special circumstances, therefore, such employees will not be eligible to obtain an extension of stay.

    (iii) Subject to paragraph (e)(5) of this section and the presumption noted in paragraph (e)(22)(ii) of this section, there is no specified number of extensions of stay that a treaty trader or treaty investor may be granted.

(21) Change of nonimmigrant status .


    (i) An alien in another valid nonimmigrant status may apply for change of status to E classification by filing an application for change of status on Form I-129 and E Supplement, with required accompanying documents establishing eligibility for a change of status and E classification, in accordance with 8 CFR part 248 and the instructions on Form I-129 and E Supplement.

    (ii) The spouse or minor children of an applicant seeking a change of status to that of treaty trader or treaty investor alien shall file concurrent applications for change of status to derivative treaty classification on the appropriate Service form. Applications for derivative treaty status shall:

        (A) Be approved only if the principal treaty alien is granted treaty alien status and continues to maintain that status;

        (B) Be approved for the period of admission authorized in paragraph (e)(20) of this section.

(22) Denial of treaty trader or treaty investor status to citizens of Canada or Mexico in the case of certain labor disputes .  
   


    (i) A citizen of Canada or Mexico may be denied E treaty trader or treaty investor status as described in section 101(a)(15)(E) of the Act and section B of Annex 1603 of the NAFTA if:

        (A) The Secretary of Labor certifies to or otherwise informs the Commissioner that a strike or other labor dispute involving a work stoppage of workers in the alien's occupational classification is in progress at the place where the alien is or intends to be employed; and

        (B) Temporary entry of that alien may affect adversely either:

            ( 1 ) The settlement of any labor dispute that is in progress at the place or intended place of employment, or

            ( 2 ) The employment of any person who is involved in such dispute.

    (ii) If the alien has already commenced employment in the United States and is participating in a strike or other labor dispute involving a work stoppage of workers, whether or not such strike or other labor dispute has been certified by the Secretary of Labor, or whether the Service has been otherwise informed that such a strike or labor dispute is in progress, the alien shall not be deemed to be failing to maintain his or her status solely on account of past, present, or future participation in a strike o r other labor dispute involving a work stoppage of workers, but is subject to the following terms and conditions:

        (A) The alien shall remain subject to all applicable provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and regulations promulgated in the same manner as all other E nonimmigrants; and

        (B) The status and authorized period of stay of such an alien is not modified or extended in any way by virtue of his or her participation in a strike or other labor dispute involving a work stoppage of workers.

    (iii) Although participation by an E nonimmigrant alien in a strike or other labor dispute involving a work stoppage of workers will not constitute a ground for deportation, any alien who violates his or her status or who remains in the United States after his or her authorized period of stay has expired will be subject to deportation.

    (iv) If there is a strike or other labor dispute involving a work stoppage of workers in progress, but such strike or other labor dispute is not certified under paragraph (e)(22)(i) of this section, or the Service has not otherwise been informed by the Secretary that such a strike or labor dispute is in progress, the Commissioner shall not deny entry to an applicant for E status.

(Paragraph (e) revised effective 11/12/97; 62 FR 48138 ) (Paragraph (e)(8) corrected 9/25/97; 62 FR 50435 ) (Paragraph (e)(22) revised 1/9/98; 63 FR 1331 )


This information can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations.

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).
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Customer Service Statement to Visa Applicants
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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.

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Nonimmigrant Visas: