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Common Immigration Terms

Whether you’re preparing your application or in the midst of a sponsorship process, this glossary can help you understand the key immigration forms and terms you might encounter.

Common Immigration Terms

I-94 – Arrival-Departure Record Card
I-130 – Petition for Alien Relative
I-485 – Application to Register Permanent Residence
I-589 – Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal
I-864 – Affidavit of Support
N-400 – Application for naturalization
G-28 – Form issued by USCIS indicating that an applicant has selected a legal representative to handle applications, petitions, and appeals related to immigration.
Adjustment of status – Adjustment of status is the term for the process of applying for and receiving lawful permanent residence within the United States.
Civil Surgeon – A civil surgeon is simply a medical doctor who has been authorized by the Department of Homeland Security to perform the necessary medical examination for the adjustment of status process.
Consular Processing – Consular processing is the process of applying for an immigrant visa outside of the United States.
Department of Homeland Security – The Department of Homeland Security, also known as DHS, is an agency of the federal government whose purpose is provide for the security of the United States.
Lawful Permanent Residence – Lawful permanent residence (“LPR”) is the immigration status of one who has been granted permission to live and work in the U.S. indefinitely.
Naturalization – Naturalization is the immigration process by which a non-U.S. citizen obtains U.S. citizenship.
Status – Your status determines how long you are allowed to stay in the United States and what activities you are permitted to do while you are in the United States.
Visa – A visa is an entry document that allows you to seek entry to the United States. A visa is a physical document that is affixed to your passport.


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