I-130 Petition for Alien Relative: A USCIS immigration for that is filed by a US citizen petitioner on behalf of their alien relative. In combination with other documentation, it is used to eventually obtain lawful permanent residence for the alien relative.
I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status: The USCIS form that is used by an alien living in the US to adjust their status to lawful permanent residence.
I-797 Notice of Action: The I-797 Notice of Action is a document that the USCIS will send to you in response for an application for immigration benefits. It will notify you whether your application has been approved or denied, to confirm that the USCIS received your fee payment, to request supplementary evidence, to schedule or reschedule an interview, or to schedule or reschedule an appointment.
I-94 Arrival/Departure Record: A document issued by US immigration authorities that keeps track of your arrivals and departures from the US. It can be used to prove that you entered the US legally and that your current immigration status is valid. It is best to keep this document with your passport, because its loss could cause you difficulty. You can check your I-94 travel history online on the US Customs and Border Protection website.
Illegal Alien: Also known as an undocumented immigrant. An alien who entered the US illegally or who has violated the terms of his immigration status (by overstaying his visa, for example).
Immediate Relative: A close relative of a US citizen, including spouse, unmarried children who are under 21, and parents of adult US citizens. Being an immediate relative of a US citizen confers certain immigration benefits.
Immigrate: To relocate permanently to another country. A tourist, for example, does not immigrate by entering the country for a temporary period.
Immigration Marriage Fraud Amendments of 1986: Amendments to a US immigration statute that limits aliens who immigrate due to marriage to conditional permanent residence if they had been married less than two years at the time that their application to immigrate was approved. After two years they may have the condition removed by proving that the marriage is valid.
Immigrant: The term “immigrant” can refer to lawful permanent residents of the US or naturalized US citizens, or it can refer to any alien currently in the US, depending on the context. The first definition is more commonly used.
Immigrant Visa: A visa for an alien with the intention to live permanently in the US. The visa simply allows the alien to enter the US; it does not in itself permit the alien to remain indefinitely (although immigrant visas are typically accompanied by an immigration status that allows for permanent residence).
Immigration: The process of immigrating to the US (moving permanently to the US from another country).
Immigration Benefit: Any benefit granted to an alien that is related to immigration — a visa, a right to remain in the US for a definite or indefinite period, employment authorization, etc.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): The U.S. government agency with the responsibility to enforce US immigration laws. Like the USCIS, it is part of the Department of Homeland Security.
Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS): The INS is no longer in existence. Roughly speaking, it could be referred to as the predecessor to the USCIS, although its responsibilities were considerably broader.
Immigration Categories: US immigration law creates six major immigration categories — immediate relatives, family preference, employment, green card lottery, asylum-based and refugees. Which category you are in is relevant to the rules for entering and remaining in the US and becoming a lawful permanent resident.
Immigration Law: The entire body of US law that is related to immigration, This includes statues, regulations, policies and court decisions.. Immigration law is an important area of legal practice.
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA): An immigraton statute that went into effect in 1965. It is most noted for its abolition of race and national origin as important criteria for immigration. This law established a preference for family members of US citizens and aliens with employment skills that are likely to benefit the US.
Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986: An immigration statute that is designed to prevent illegal immigration to the US and to legalize certain long-term residents of the US whose presence was illegal. It established penalties against employers who knowingly hired illegal aliens and provided for greater enforcement of immigration laws at US borders.
Immigration Act of 1990: A US immigration statute that went into effect in 1990. This statute increased certain numerical quotas that limited legal immigration to the US, changed the rules for naturalization, and reformed the grounds for removal and exclusion.
Immigration Judge: An in immigration judge is a licensed attorney who is appointed as a judge for the Executive Office for Immigration Review., a government department that hears immigration appeals and conducts deportation proceedings.
Immigration Status: Immigration status refers to the legal classification justifying your entry and presence in the US — student,k immediate relative of a US citizen, etc. Each status has its own rules. Your immigration status is different from your visa. Your visa is the legal “key” that you use to enter the US, while your immigration status is the justification for remaining in the US for a certain length of time.
Inadmissible: An alien is inadmissible if he fails to meet the legal conditions for admission to the US. Aliens who are found inadmissible may be denied entry to the US and placed in removal proceedings. In some cases the alien may be immediately deported. If an inadmissible alien applies for a US visa abroad, the visa will be denied.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS): The U.S. government agency that is responsible for tax collection. If you have been living in the US, you may be required to submit IRS tax returns in applications for certain types of immigration benefits.
Intracompany Transferee: An immigration status that allows you to work in the US if you have been working for an international company for a specified length of time and you have been transferred to the US office of that company or its subsidiary or affiliate. This immigration status is generally available only to managers and professionals.