Adjustment of Status (I-485) - The final stage of the green card process involving the filing of paperwork with the USCIS within the U.S., rather than filing at an embassy or consulate abroad, known as consular processing. Applicants may only file for adjustment of status if they are inside the United States, a visa is immediately available, and they are not barred from doing so do to an immigration violation, entry without inspection, criminal conduct, or other reasons.
Application/ Form- refers to a formal request for a green card or nonimmigrant visa. In the case of most green cards and nonimmigrant visas, an application cannot be made until one obtains proof that one is qualified through an approved petition. In some cases, a petition is not required and only an application is needed.
Applicant- refers to the person who makes a formal request for a green card or nonimmigrant visa. In some cases, one cannot be an applicant until a petition is approved. Depending on where one is in the overall immigration process, one can be called an applicant or beneficiary.
Petitioner/ Sponsor- refers to the U.S. person or
business who makes the formal request that one be
legally recognized as qualified for a green card or
nonimmigrant visa. The petitioner can be a U.S.
citizen, green card holder, or U.S. business.
Beneficiary- refers to the individual who benefits from a petition by becoming qualified to make an application for a green card or visa.
Department of State- is the U.S. government entity that operates U.S. embassies and consulates. It is the DOS that determines who is entitled to a visa or green card when the application is filed outside the U.S. at U.S. embassies or consulates. The USCIS under the Department of Justice regulates immigration processing inside the U.S.
I-94 Card- This used to be a small green or white card given to all nonimmigrants when they enter the U.S. The I-94 card serves as evidence that a nonimmigrant has entered the country legally and also governs the non-immigrant's authorized period of stay in the U.S. It has recently been replaced by an electronic version and can be retrieved and printed by going on to the website and following the instructions.
Immediate Relative- refers to spouses of U.S. citizens, children under 21 with at least one U.S. parent, or parents of children over 21 who are U.S. citizens. If you are an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, you are eligible to receive a green card immediately.
Inadmissible- refers to potential immigrants who are disqualified from obtaining visas or green cards because they are judged by the U.S. government to be in some way undesirable. Inadmissibility is usually based on criminal, financial, or national security grounds. In many cases, inadmissibility can be overcome.
Naturalization- refers to foreign individuals who take legal action to become U.S. citizens. A naturalized U.S. citizen has virtually the same rights as a native-born American citizen. Almost everyone who goes through naturalization must first have held a green card for several years.
Parole or Advanced Parole- allows a person, under certain circumstances, to enter or re-enter the United States for humanitarian purposes, even when he or she does not meet technical visa requirements.
Permanent Resident- is a non-U.S. citizen who has been given permission to live permanently in the U.S. Permanent resident and green card holder refers to exactly the same thing.
Removal (formerly deportation)- refers to a legal proceeding in a U.S. Immigration Court to decide whether or not an individual will be allowed to remain in the U.S. If an individual is found removable, he or she can then be forced to leave the U.S. Those who are removed or deported are barred from returning to the U.S. for at least five years unless a special waiver is granted by the USCIS.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”)
Clients can go here to:
• Find a Civil Surgeon (Doctor)
• Check Case Status Online
• Info Pass Appointment
• Change of address
IF YOU MOVE: As required by law, INA § 262 and 261, 8 CFR Part 265, almost all non-United States Citizens must file a change of address within 10 days of moving by completing a Form AR-11. You can now do this online at
If you are a legal US resident, present in the US and need to have your foreign passport renewed, or if you are just interested in visiting another country and not sure whether or not you need a visa, this website may be helpful: www.embassy-finder.com.
Green Card- is a popular term used to describe the Alien gistration Receipt Card, a card that proves one is a United States Permanent Resident. The green card (actually pink) allows you to re-enter the U.S. without a visa, work without a work permit, and allows you to permanently reside in the U.S. unless you abandon your U.S. residence or commit certain types of crimes.