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Demystifying Common Immigration Terms: A Beginner’s Guide

The process of immigration can be intimidating, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by complicated laws and procedures. It is important to remember that many resources are available to help you better understand the process. Some legal terms may be challenging to understand, but there is no need to feel anxious; this blog will demystify standard immigration terms for beginners

Basic Immigration Terminology; Let’s Make It Simple For You 

If you are unfamiliar with the legal terms related to immigration, the process can be confusing. We will explain some of the most commonly used immigration terms to make your journey easier to understand.

Let’s get started with an immigration glossary for beginners

Visa:  A visa is a document issued by the U.S. government for foreign citizens who wish to enter the United States, either temporarily or permanently. The type of visa you will need depends on the purpose and length of your stay in the U.S., and it is vital to ensure you have the correct visa before entering the country. 

Green Card: A green card is an official form of identification issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It proves that its holder is a legal permanent resident of the United States, meaning they are authorized to live and work in the country permanently. 

Citizenship:  Citizenship is a legal status generally granting people certain rights, privileges, and responsibilities. Individuals are given this by the nation in which they are born or through naturalization, which occurs when an individual applies for citizenship in another country and meets its requirements. You may acquire citizenship through marriage or other legal processes.

Naturalization: This is the process by which a non-citizen of a country can become a fully legal citizen. The process for naturalization varies from country to country but usually requires that the applicant fulfill specific requirements. 

Immigrant: An immigrant is a person who moves to a different country, usually for permanent residence. Immigrants may proceed with or without legal authorization and often face challenges in their new homes.

Nonimmigrant:  Nonimmigrant is a term used to denote temporary visitors who enter the United States with a valid visa and intend to stay in the country for a specified period. Nonimmigrants come to the United States for many reasons, including employment, education, tourism, or family visits. 

Asylum: This form of protection allows individuals who have fled their home countries due to fear of persecution or harm to remain in another country. It is a legal process by which an individual can be granted refuge and safety from returning to their home country. 

Deportation: This is the process of legally removing an individual from a country. It is when someone has entered a country without permission or violated that nation’s laws. Sometimes, people are deported after their visa application has been denied. 


Refugees: These people have been forced to flee their homes due to persecution, war, or violence. Refugees cannot return home safely and must seek protection in another country. They often face an arduous journey with limited resources.


Adjustment of Status: This is a process by which foreign-born individuals already in the United States can apply for lawful permanent residence (green card) without leaving the country. To be eligible, an immigrant must have entered the U.S. legally and must have an immediate family member who is either a U.S. citizen or a green card holder. The applicant will also need an approved immigrant visa petition, a valid job offer, and current employment or evidence of other means of financial support.


Consular Processing: This is the process of individuals born outside the United States to obtain green cards. Applicants must complete various forms and provide documents such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, and proof that they are not inadmissible for other reasons. After they have been approved to enter the United States, they will be scheduled for an interview at a U.S. consulate or embassy in their home country.


Asylum Application: Asylum is a form of protection that allows individuals to remain in the United States if they are unable or unwilling to return to their home country due to persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution. To apply for asylum, an individual must be physically present in the United States and use it within one year of arriving there. 


Get Legal Counsel With Experienced Immigration Lawyers

Trying to understand the legal jargon of immigration can be intimidating. This is why talking to experienced lawyers to help you explore the opportunities of immigration documentation is essential. We will help you understand common immigration terms and comprehensive legal processes. You shouldn’t have to worry about immigration procedures alone. 


Our immigration lawyers are knowledgeable in many areas, including immigration laws, policies, and government regulations. We have extensive experience with immigration and understand the complexities of the process. We keep up-to-date with all changes in legislation, and our lawyers are experts in their field. Get peace of mind by talking to one of our immigration attorneys today.  


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