Integrity Legal

16th Apr 2009

One of the more confusing aspects of US Immigration from the perspective of laypeople is deciphering all of the legalese that US Immigration attorneys use when writing about US visas. To clear up some of the confusion, this post defines some of the most used jargon so that the average reader researching American Immigration can better understand the subject matter.

USCIS: The Acronym for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. The government entity formerly known as the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service). USCIS is the office that adjudicates petitions for immigration benefits.

K1 Visa: The K1 Visa is a Fiance Visa in that it allows the unmarried fiance of a US Citizen entry into the United States for 90 days for the sole purpose of marrying the US Citizen (who filed the petition for the visa) and adjusting status in the United States.

I-129f: The K1 visa application filed and adjudicated at a USCIS service center.

Immigrant Visas: Visas that confer permanent residence upon entry (in the context of this blog this term is used interchangeably with the terms IR-1 and CR-1)

IR-1 Visa: a visa that confers permanent residence upon entry to the USA of an immediate relative of a US Citizen (for the purpose of this blog the IR-1 is generally used to refer to a visa for Thai-American married couples who have been married for more than 2 years.)

CR-1 Visa: Conditional Resident Visa, a visa that confers conditional permanent residence to the visa holder (for the purposes of this blog this term is generally used for marriage visas in which the underlying marriage has lasted less than 2 years in duration).

I-130 petition: the application form for obtaining an Immigrant Visa. It is filed and adjudicated at USCIS.

K-3 Visa: a K-3 Visa is a non-immigrant marriage visa originally designed as an expedited marriage visa when the I-130 petition was taking as long as 3 years to process. It requires a dual filing, and underlying I-130 petition as well as a subsequent I-129f petition in order to obtain the expedited visa.

Direct Consular Filing: refers to the method of directly filing a visa petition with a consulate or Embassy in a foreign country. Sometimes the term “Direct Consular Filing” is used interchangeably with the term “local filing.”

Local Filing: Generally, for the purposes of this blog this term is used when describing the method of filing an immigration petition at the USCIS district office overseas (Specifically the USCIS Bangkok District Office).

Adjustment of Status: Adjustment of status or AOS is the procedure of converting a non-immigrant visa holder into Lawful permanent residence (Green Card holder).

Advance Parole: An immigration travel document that allows an alien, with an adjustment of status application pending, to leave the USA and still keep their status from being canceled upon departure from the USA. Advance parole is necessary where a fiance has entered the United States on a K1 Visa and subsequently leaves before an adjustment of status is complete.

Green Card: A colloquial term for the document proving lawful permanent residence.

United States: According to the Immigration and Nationality Act of the United States, the definition of United States, “when used in a geographical sense, means the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands of the United States.

Reentry Permit: A permit needed for a Lawful Permanent Resident who wishes to remain outside of the USA for a prolonged period of time. The reentry permit is necessary in order to mitigate against the presumption of abandonment of adjustment of status when a permanent resident leaves the United States.

I-134 affidavit of support: the affidavit of support necessary for the K1 Fiance visa, this affidavit shows that the US Citizen will be able to support the fiancee at the statutorily prescribed level.

I-864 affidavit of support: the affidavit of support used in conjunction with the Immigrant Visas for showing that a US Citizen can support his wife at the statutorily prescribed level.

Joint Sponsor: A person who jointly sponsors a visa beneficiary should the US Citizen petitioner not meet the statutory requirements to sponsor a beneficiary on his own.

For more information on US Visas Generally please see USA Visa Thailand

Note: None of the above should be used in lieu of legal advice from a competent licensed attorney in the readers jurisdiction

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