Immigration Slang, Acronyms, Abbreviations

• 1st Circuit – U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit (ME, NH, MA, RI)
• 2nd Circuit – U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit (VT, NY, CT)
• 3rd Circuit – U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit (PA, NJ, DE)
• 4th Circuit – U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit (WV, MD, DC, VA, NC, SC)
• 5th Circuit – U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit (MS, LA, TX)
• 6th Circuit – U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit (MI, OH, KY, TN)
• 7th Circuit – U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit (WI, IL, IN)
• 8th Circuit – U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit (ND, SD, NE, MN, IA, MO, AR)
• 9th Circuit – U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit (CA, OR, WA, MT, ID, NV, AZ, AK, HI)
• 10th Circuit – U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit (NM, CO, WY, UT, KS, OK)
• 11th Circuit – U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit (AL, GA, FL)
• 90 day review
• 180 day review
• 204(g)
• 212 – Waiver for Reapplication for Admission after a prior deportation order
• 212(a)(6)(C) – Prior misrepresentation
• 212 (c) – Waiver of Deportability or Removability
• 212 (h) – Waiver: Criminal Grounds of Inadmissibility
• 245 (a) – Adjustment of Status
• 245 (d)
• 245(k)
• 246 – Rescission of Adjustment of Status
• 257 (b)
• 287(g) – allows state and local law enforcement entity to enter into a partnership
• 601 – Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility
• 601A – Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver
• AA – Arriving Alien
• AAO – Administrative Appeals Office
• ABQ – Albuquerque Field Office
• AC21 – American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act
• ACC – Assistant Chief Counsel
• ACG – ACCRA Field Office (Ghana)
• ACM – Administrative Confidential Memorandum
• ACS – American Citizen Services
• ADIS – Arrival and Departure Information System
• Admin. Close – Administrative Closure
• Admitted
• Adoption
• Affidavit of Support
• AFM – Adjudicator’s Field Manual
• AFOD – Acting Field Office Director
• AFOD – Assistant Field Office Director
• AGA – Agana Field Office
• Aggregated Felony
• AILA – American Immigration Lawyers Association
• ALB – Albany Field Office
• Alien – Foreign Born Person living in the U.S.
• ALJ – Administrative Law Judge
• ANC – Anchorage Field Office
• Annulment – Legal procedure for declaring a marriage null and void
• AOR
• AOS – Adjustment of Status
• AP – Advanced Parole
• APA – Administrative Procedures Act
• APIS – Advance Passenger Information System
• Aquila (inspected)
• ASC – Applicant Support Center
• ASISTA – Assistance for Advocates and Attorney facing complex legal problems in advocating for immigrant survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault
• ASP – Adoption Service Provider
• ATD – Alternative to Detention Programs
• ATEP – Alien Transfer Exit Program: This program is a joint effort between ICE and CBP that allows for the transportation of aliens out of an apprehending Southwest Border Patrol Sector for subsequent removal to Mexico through another Southwest Sector.
• ATH – Athens, Greece Field Office
• ATL – Atlanta District Office
• ATS – Automated Targeting System
• ATSA – Aviation and Transportation Security Act
• Authorized by the Attorney General – Describes an exercise of discretion by a public official.
• Authorized stay
• Ava
• B and B
• BAL – Baltimore District Office
• BCJ – Backer County Jail
• BCU – Basic Command Unit
• BEI – Beijing Field Office
• BF – Bona Fide: Term generally used for Adjustment of Status to Green Card on
• BFC – Bible Fellowship Church
• BFC – Business Financial Consultant
• BI ISAP II
• BIA – Board of Immigration Appeals
• Bill of Costs of Instructions of 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals
• Biometrics – Identification of humans by their characteristics or traits
• Bo Cooper Memo
• BOI – Boise Field Office
• BOP – Bureau of Prisons
• Border Patrol
• BOS – Boston District Office
• BSS – Biometric Storage System
• BTB – Beyond the Border
• BTC – “Business Traveler’s Corner” webpage on CBPnetsecure site
• BUF – Buffalo District Office
• CAHO – Chief Administrative Hearing Officer
• Cancel Green Card
• Cancellation under section 240A(b) (1)
• CAP – Criminal Alien Program
• CARRP- Controlled application review and resolution program
• CAVSS – Centralized Area Surveillance System
• CBP – U.S. Customs and Border Protection
• CBP I-95A – Crewman’s Landing Permit (for foreign crewmen between trips)
• CC – Chief Counsel
• CCD – Consular Consolidated Database
• CDH – Community and Detainee Helpline (by ICE)
• CF1 – Spouse of U.S. Citizen, entered as fiancé(e), subject to 2-year conditional residency
• CF2 – Step-child of CF1
• CFPB – Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
• CFR – Code of Federal Regulations
• CG – Coast Guard
• CGRS – Center for Gender and Refugee Studies
• CHA – Charlotte Amalie Field Office
• Chevron Deference – Chevron Deference is allowed only when the agency action “carries the force of law”: The Supreme Court holds that administrative implementation of a particular statutory provision qualifies for Chevron Deference when it appears that Congress delegated authority to the agency generally to make rules carrying the force of law, and that the agency interpretation claiming deference was promulgated in the exercise of that authority.
• Chevron Opinion – Chevron, U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837, 842 (1984)
• CHI – Chicago District Office
• CHILD – Step (under 18), Adopted (under 16), No longer Child over 21
• Chinese Exclusion Act
• CHL – Charleston, SC Field Office
• CHR – Christiansted Field Support Office
• CHS – Charleston, WV Field Support Office
• CIMT – Crime Involving Moral Turpitude
• CIN – Cincinnati Field Office
• CIR – Comprehensive Immigration Reform
• CIS – Citizenship and Immigration Services
• CIV – Customer Identity Verification
• CLASS – Consular Lookout and Support System
• CLE – Cleveland District Office
• CLT – Charlotte Field Office
• CLM – Columbus Field Office
• CM/ECF – Case Management/Electronic Case Files, case management system used by Circuit Courts
• CMA – Computer Matching Agreement
• CNJ – Mount Laurel Field Office
• CNMI – Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
• Conditional Lawful Permanent Residence
• Coyote
• CPDO – Conditional Parole for Deportation Only
• CR – Criminal Record
• CRCL – Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
• CRD – Central Operations Region
• CR7 – Child of U.S. Citizen, subject to 2-year Conditional Residency
• CRCL – Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
• CS&C – Office of Cybersecurity and Communications
• CSC – California Service Center
• CSI – Container Security Initiative
• CSPA – Child Status Protection Act
• CTCEU – Counterterrorism and Criminal Exploitation Unit
• CU6 / CU7
• Custody – In Detention
• CVC – Chula Vista Field Office
• CVF – Crime Victims Fund DA – Deferred Action
• CVTF – Common Vetting Task Force
• DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
• DAL – Dallas District Office
• David Neufeld 2008 Memo – Discusses an exception to the requirement that an alien filing for adjustment of status have a continuous lawful status. For those seeking certain immigrant visas who entered the country lawfully, it was sufficient that they not be out of lawful status for more than periods that aggregate to 180 days.
• DCC – Deputy Chief Counsel
• DEN – Denver District Office
• Deportation
• Derivative Beneficiary
• DET – Detroit District Office
• DHHS – Department of Health and Human Services
• DHS – Department of Homeland Security
• DHS Science & Technology Directorate
• DHS TRIP – DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program
• DO – Deportation Officer
• DO – District Office
• DOJ – Department of Justice
• DOL – Department of Labor
• DOS – Department of State
• DPIAC – Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee
• DSM – Des Moines Field Office
• DSO – Designated School Official
• DSP-150 – USA B1/B2 Border Crossing Card (BCC) for temporary visitors for business or pleasure (B1/B2) who are Mexican citizens residing near the U.S. border
• DUI – Driving under the Influence
• DVD – Dover Field Support Office
• DWAI – Driving while Ability Impaired
• E-Verify – An Internet-based system that compares information from an employee’s Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility.
• EAD – Employment Authorization Document
• EB – Employment-Based
• EB 1
• EB 11
• EB 12
• EB 13
• EB 2
• EB 3
• EB 5
• ECN – Enterprise Collaboration Network
• ECPDO – Early Conditional Parole for Deportation Only
• ECS – Enhanced Cybersecurity Services
• EFTS – Electronic Fingerprint Transmission Specification
• ELP – El Paso Field Office
• EIR – Entrepreneurs in Residence: The Entrepreneurs in Residence model brings together professionals with diverse talents from inside and outside government to work together as a team on outcome-oriented solutions within a short and focused time frame.
• ELIS – Electronic Immigration System
• EMS – Emergency Management System
• Entered
• Entrance
• Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR)
• EO – Executive Order
• EOIR – Executive Office for Immigration Review
• EOIR-42B and EOIR-42A Cancellation of Removal
• eRegistry – Electronic Registry
• ERO – Enforcement and Removal Operations
• ERP – Employee Referral Program
• ESTA – Electronic System for Travel Authorization
• ETA – Employment and Training Administration
• EWI – Entry without Inspection
• Exceptional Hardship
• Exclusion – Prior to the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, the formal term for denial of an alien’s entry into the United States.
• Extraordinary Hardship
• Extreme Hardship
• F1 – Family Preference Category 1: unmarried sons or daughters of US Citizens
• F2A – Family Preference Category 2A: spouses and children of Permanent Residents
• F2B – Family Preference Category 2B: unmarried sons and daughters (21 years or age or older) of Permanent Residents
• F3 – Family Preference Category 3: married sons and daughters of U.S. Citizens
• F4 – Family Preference Category 4: brothers and sisters of adult U.S. Citizens
• FB – Family-based
• FDNS – Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate
• FEMA – Federal Emergency Management Agency
• FIPPs – Fair Information Practice Principles
• FIR – Field Interview Report
• FISMA Score – Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002
• FKG – Frankfurt Field Office
• FLETC – Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers
• Flight Risk – a person or defendant who is likely to flee the state or area to avoid prosecution
• FO – Final Order
• FOD – Field Office Director
• FOIA – Freedom of Information or Privacy Act
• FRAP 39
• Fraud
• FRE – Fresno Field Office
• FPS – Federal Protective Service
• FSA – Fort Smith Field Office
• FY – Fiscal Year
• G-56 – Second Adjustment of Status Interview Notice
• GAO – Government Accountability Office
• GC – Green Card
• GCU – Garden City Field Office
• GEMS – General Counsel Electronic Management System
• GMS – Global Migration Section
• GMT – Guatemala City Field Office
• GRR – Greer Field Support Office
• GZH – Guangzhou Field Office
• H-1B – Nonimmigrant specialty occupation worker
• H-2B – The Labor Certification Program for Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers
• HAR – Hartford Field Office
• HAV – Havana Field Office
• HCM – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Field Office
• HEL – Helena Field Office
• HHW – Honolulu District Office
• HLG – Harlingen Field Office
• HOU – Houston District Office
• Howard Memo – 2005 ICE memorandum regarding exercising prosecutorial discretion to dismiss adjustment cases
• HSI – Homeland Security Investigations
• HSIN – Homeland Security Information Network
• I-17 – Petition for Approval of School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant Student
• I-129 CW – CNMI(Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands)-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker
• I-129 F – Petition for Fiancée
• I-129 H1B – Nonimmigrant Specialty Occupation Worker
• I-129 H2 – Temporary Nonimmigrant Worker
• I-129 H3 – Temporary Nonimmigrant Trainee
• I-129 L – Nonimmigrant Intracompany Transferee
• I-129 O – Nonimmigrant Extraordinary Ability Worker
• I-129 P1, P2, P3 – Athletes, Artists and Entertainers
• I-129 Q – Cultural Exchange Worker
• I-129 R – Nonimmigrant Religious Worker
• I-130 – Petition for Alien Relative
• I-131 – Application for Travel Document
• I-140 – Immigration Petition for Alien Worker
• I-140 EB1 – (A) Alien with Extraordinary Ability
• I-140 EB1 – (B) Outstanding Professor or Researcher
• I-140 EB1 – (C) Multinational Manager or Executive
• I-140 EB2 – (D) Advanced Degree Professional
• I-140 EB2 – (I) National Interest Waiver
• I-140 EB3 – (E) Skilled or Professional Worker
• I-140 EB3 – (G) Other Worker
• I-184 – Alien Crewman Landing Permit and Identification Card (for temporary shore leave while in port)
• I-212 – Application to Reapply for Admission
• I-213 – Record of Deportable Alien
• I-247 – Immigration Detainer
• I-246 – Stay of Deportation or Removal
• I2B
• I-352 – Bond Breach
• I-360 EB4 – Petition for Religious Worker
• I-360 A – Amerasian
• I-360 C – Special Immigrant Juvenile
• I-360 K – Special Immigrant Afghanistan or Iraq National Translator
• I-360 VAWA – Violence Against Women Act Petition
• I-360 E – Special Immigrant Canal Zone
• I-360 F – Special Immigrant Physician
• I-360 H – Special Immigrant Armed Forces Member
• I-360 G – Special Immigrant International Organization Employee
• I-360 L – Special Immigrant Iraq National US Employee
• I-360 M – Special Immigrant Other
• I-485 – Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
• I-485 LIFE – LIFE Act Adjustment Application
• I-485 Dplmt – Section 13 Adjustment Application
• I-485 T – T Visa Nonimmigrant Adjustment
• I-485 U – U Visa Nonimmigrant Adjustment
• I-526 EB5 – Alien Entrepreneur
• I-600 – Petition for Orphan
• I-601 – Application for Waiver of Inadmissibility
• I-612 – Application for 212(e) Waiver
• I-687 – Legalization application for Temporary Residence
• I-690 – Legalization/SAW-Waiver Grounds of Excludability
• I-698 – Legalization Adjustment Application
• I-700 – Special Agricultural Worker
• I-765 – Application for Employment Authorization
• I-800 – Convention Adoption as an Immediate Relative
• I-821 – Temporary Protected Status
• I-831
• I-94 – Arrival/Departure Record
• I-94W – Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure Record
• I-905 – Application to Issue Certificate for Health Care Workers
• I-914 – Application for T Nonimmigrant Status
• I-918 – Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status
• I-924 – Application for Regional Center
• I-929 – Qualifying Family Member of a U Nonimmigrant
• I&A – Office of Intelligence and Analysis
• IAFIS – Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System
• IAP – Immigration Advisory Program
• IAPP – International Association of Privacy Professional
• IC – Intelligence Community
• ICAM – Identiy, Credentialing, and Access Management
• ICE – Immigration and Customs Enforcement
• iCERT – The iCERT Visa Portal System provides a single point-of entry for employers, attorneys, and agents to file and track their employment-based visa applications
• IdM – Identity Management
• IDENT – Automated Biometric Identification System
• IDP – Institutional Disciplinary Panel
• IDP – Identity Proofing Service
• IFM – Inspector’s Field Manual (CBP Officers have been instructed not to refer to the IFM. Officers have been given access to a new, electronic instruction manual that is currently under development and which has not been made publicly available.)
• IGA – Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
• IGB – International Governance Board
• IIR – Intelligence Information Report
• IJ – Immigration Judge
• Illicit Pathways Attack Strategy (IPAS)
• ILRC – Immigration Legal Resource Center
• IMAGE – ICE Mutual Agreement between Government & Employers
• IMP – Imperial Field Support Office
• Immigrant
• Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)
• In Abeyance
• In Absentia
• INA – Immigration and Nationality Act
• INA § 204(c)
• InfoPass – InfoPass is a free service that lets an individual schedule an appointment with a USCIS Immigration Officer by using the internet at any time of day or night
• INP – Indianapolis Field Office
• Inspected
• IPAS – Illicit Pathways Attack Strategy
• IRAC – The Immigration & Refugee Appellate Center
• IR0 – Parent of adult U.S. Citizen
• IR7- Child of U.S. Citizen
• IRI – Interior Repatriation Initiative
• IRTPA – Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004
• ISAA – Information Sharing Access Agreement
• ISAP – Intensive Supervision Appearance Program
• ISCC – Information Sharing Coordinating Council
• ISE – Information Sharing Environment
• ISO – Immigration Services Officer (USCIS)
• ISSGB – Information Sharing and Safeguarding Governance Board
• ITRAC – Importer Trade Activity Reopen
• IWC
• JAC – Jacksonville Field Office
• JAK – Jackson Field Support Office
• JHS – Johannesburg Field Office
• JMTR – Joint Motion to Reopen
• John Moritz Memo
• KAN – Kansas City District Office
• KNG – Kingston, Jamaica Field Office
• Lawful immigrant status
• Lawful status
• Lawful Status – Implies a right protected by law
• LC – Labor Certification
• LDN – London Field Office
• LEA – Law Enforcement Agencies
• Legal status
• LIRS – Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
• LMA – Lima, Peru Field Office
• LOP – Local Operating Procedures
• LOS – Los Angeles Field Office
• Lottery– marriage status if use 3-year exemption
• LOU – Louisville Field Office
• LPR – Lawful Permanent Resident
• LVG – Las Vegas Field Office
• MAN – Manchester Field Office
• MAVNI – A pilot program for expedited naturalization for medical personnel and interpreters enlisted in the military and considered vital to the national interest
• Mead Opinion – United States v. Mead Corp., 533 U.S. 218, 226-27 (2001): The Mead Opinion recognizes that “agencies charged with applying a statute necessarily make all sorts of interpretive choices, and while not all of those choices bind judges to follow them, “an agency’s reasoned views are entitled to respectful consideration.
• Mead Opinion – United States v. Mead Corp., 533 U.S. 218, 226-27 (2001)
• MEM – Memphis Field Office
• Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
• MIA – Miami District Office
• MIL – Milwaukee Field Office
• Motion to Reopen (Court) – Must be filed within 90 days of a final action
• Motion to Reopen (USCIS) – Must be filed within 30 days on a 290B with a FF payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security
• MPH – Manila, Philippines Field Office
• MTR – Monterrey, Mexico Field Office
• MOS- Moscow Field Office
• MOU – Memorandum of Understanding
• N-470 – Application to Preserve Residence
• N-565 – Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document
• N-600 – Certificate of Citizenship
• N-643 – Certificate of Citizenship for Adopted Child
• NAFTA – North America Free Trade Agreement
• NARA – National Archives and Records Administration
• Naturalization
• NBC – National Benefits Center
• NBO – Nairobi, Kenya Field Office
• NCTC – National Counterterrorism Center
• NDI – New Delhi Field Office
• NDS – National Detention Standards
• NEW – New Jersey District Office
• NGO – Non-governmental Organization
• NIF – Notice of Intent to Fine
• NIJ
• NIST – National Institute for Standards and Technology
• NOC – National Operations Center
• NOI – Notice of inspection
• NOID – Notice of Intent to Deny
• NOL – New Orleans District Office
• NOR – Norfolk Field Office
• Notario
• NPPD – National Protection and Programs Directorate
• NPRM – Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
• NPWC – National Prevailing Wage Center
• NRC – National Records Center
• NSC – Nebraska Service Center
• NSTAC – National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee
• NTA – Notice to Appear
• NSTC – National Science and Technology Council
• NPSBN – Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network
• NVC – National Visa Center
• NW
• NYC – New York City District Office
• OBIM – Office of Biometric Identity Management
• OCAHO – Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer
• OCC – Office of the Chief Counsel
• OCIO – Office of the Chief Information Officer
• OCS – Outer Continental Shelf
• ODNI – Office of the Director of National Intelligence
• OFLC – Office of Foreign Labor Certification
• OGC – Office of the General Counsel
• OIG – Office of the Inspector General
• OIP – DOJ Office of Information Policy
• OKC – Oklahoma City Field Office
• OMA – Omaha Field Office
• OMB – Office of Management and Budget
• OPLA – Office Of the Principal Legal Advisor
• OPS – DHS Office of Operations Coordination and Planning
• ORL – Orlando Field Office
• ORR – Office of Refugee Resettlement
• OSC- Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices
• OSUP – Order of Supervision
• PACER
• PACT – Privacy Administrative Coordination Team
• Padilla v. Kentucky – U.S. Supreme Court case on affirmative duty of all lawyers to give the accused the immigration consequences of civil/criminal cases
• PAP – Port-Au-Prince, Haiti Field Office
• Parole Unit
• Paroled
• PBNDS – Performance Based National Detention Standards
• PCR – Privacy Compliance Review
• PD – Priority Date
• PD – Prosecutorial Discretion
• PERM – Permanent Labor Certification Program
• PFR – Petition for Review
• PHI – Philadelphia District Office
• PHO – Phoenix Field Office
• Photo substitute passport photos
• PIA – Privacy Impact Assessment
• PII – Personally identifiable information
• PIHG – Privacy Incident Handling Guidance
• PIT – Pittsburgh Field Office
• PKI – Public Key Infrastructure
• PLCY – Office of Policy
• PM – Policy Memorandum
• PNM – Panama City Field Office
• PNR – Passenger Name Record
• POC – Point of Contact
• POM – Portland, ME Field Office
• POMS – Program Operations Manual System
• POO – Portland, OR Field Office
• PPAT – Privacy Policy and Advocacy Team
• PPD – Presidential Policy Directive
• PPOC – Privacy Point of Contact
• PRA – Privacy Reduction Act
• PRO – Providence Field Office
• PSA – Public Service Announcement
• PSR – Presentence Investigations Report (aka PSI, PSIR)
• PTA – Privacy Threshold Analysis
• Public Charge
• PWD – Prevailing Wage Determination
• Quota Current
• RAIO – Refugee, Asylum, and International Operations Directorate
• RAL – Raleigh-Durham Field Office
• RAPS – Refugees, Asylum and Parole System
• RAPS – Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety
• RCA – Risk Classification Assessment
• Real I.D. Act
• Referral Notice – Referral of asylum I-589 to court, CIS cannot deny an asylum case unless the Alien is in status
• Remand
• REN – Reno Field Office
• Repatriation Initiative (IRI)
• RFE – Request for Further Evidence
• RO – Reports Officer
• ROMC – Reports Officer management Council
• RPI – Registered Provisional Immigrants
• S&T – Science & Technology Directorate
• S.744 – Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act
• SAA – Santa Ana Field Office
• SAC – Sacramento Field Office
• SAJ – San Juan Field Office
• SAN – San Salvador Field Office
• SAO – San Antonio District Office
• SAO – Security Advisory Opinion
• SAOP – Senior Agency Officials for Privacy
• SAR – Suspicious Activity Reporting
• SAUSA – Special Assistant U.S. Attorney
• SAVE – Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements
• SBA – United States Small Business Administration
• SBD – San Bernardino Field Office
• SBU – Sensitive but Unclassified
• SDDO – Supervisory Detention and Deportation Officer
• SDM – Santo Domingo Field Office
• SEA – Seattle Field Office
• Segregation – Solitary Confinement
• SEK – Seoul, South Korea Field Office
• Self Deportation
• SEVIS – Student and Exchange Visitor Information System
• SEVP – Student and Exchange Visitor Program
• SFR – San Francisco Field Office
• SHU – Special Housing Unit
• SIEA – Supervisory Immigration Enforcement Agent
• SIJ – Special Immigration Juvenile
• SIJS – Special Immigration Juvenile Status
• SLC – Salt Lake City Field Office
• SIT – Secondary Inspections Tool
• SIV – Special Immigrant Visa
• Skidmore v. Swift & Co., 323 U.S. 134, 140 (1944) – Under this standard, the “weight of such a judgment in a particular case will depend upon the thoroughness evident in its consideration, the validity of its reasoning, its consistency with earlier and later pronouncements, and all those factors which give it power to persuade, if lacking power to control.”
• SMOUT – Social Media Operational Use Template
• Snakehead
• SND – San Diego Field Office
• SNJ – San Jose Field Office
• SOC – Security Operations Center
• SORN – System of Records Notice
• SOP – Standard operating procedure
• Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (SAUSA)
• SPM – St. Paul Field Office
• SPO – Spokane Field Office
• SS – Secret Service
• SSI – Sensitive Security Information
• SSN – Social Security Number
• SSNAP – Social Security Number Application Process
• STA – St. Albans Field Office
• St c
• Statutory Interpretation
• Stay of Deportation or Removal
• Staying Process
• STL – St. Louis Field Office
• Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime initiative
• Sua Sponte
• SUAS – Small Unmanned Aircraft System
• Successor in Interest
• SWA – state workforce agency
• TA – Trial Attorney
• TAL – Technology Alert List
• TAM – Tampa District Office
• Technically Out of Control
• Temporary Worker
• Terminate
• Termination
• TGU – Tegucigalpa, Honduras Field Office
• Tier 1, 2 – USCIS Customer Support Officers Tier level
• TNC – Tentative Nonconfirmations
• Transit
• Travel Document
• TRIG – terrorism-related grounds of inadmissibility
• TSA – Transportation Security Administration
• TSC – Texas Service Center
• TUC – Tucson Field Office
• TVPA – Trafficking Victims Protection Act
• TVPRA – William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008
• TWIC – Transportation Worker Identification Credential
• U Visa – Victims of Criminal Activity
• U – Unclassified
• UAC – Unaccompanied Alien Children
• UAS – Unmanned Aircraft System
• UDC – Unit Disciplinary Committee
• Unlawfully Present
• US-VISIT – United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology Program
• USC – U.S. Citizen
• USCG – United States Coast Guard
• USCIS – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
• USCRI – U.S. Committee for Refugee and Immigrants
• USDMS
• USSS – U.S. Secret Service
• US-VISIT – United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology
• VAWA – Violence Against Women Act
• VD – Voluntary Departure
• VIBE – Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises
• Visa Mantis Check – Background check by the U. S. State Department to investigate whether a visa applicant intends to violate U.S. laws prohibiting export of sensitive goods, technology, or information
• VNA – Vienna Field Office
• VRA – Visa Reform Act
• VSC – Vermont Service Center
• VWP – Visa Waiver Program
• WAS – Washington District Office
• WB or WT class of admission shown on Admission Stamp in unexpired foreign passport – Visitor for business (WB) or pleasure (WT) under the Visa Waiver Program effective May 2010
• WBP – West Palm Beach Field Office
• WIC – Wichita Field Support Office
• Widow with ICE
• WSC – Western Service Center
• WSE – Worksite Enforcement
• XLA – East Los Angeles Field Support Office
• YAK – Yakima Field Office
• Yates Memo- Ability to pay analyst
• ZAR – Arlington Asylum Office
• ZCH – Chicago Asylum Office
• ZHN – Houston Asylum Office
• ZLA – Los Angeles Asylum Office
• ZMI – Miami Asylum Office
• ZNY – New York Asylum Office
• ZNK – Newark Asylum Office
• ZSF – San Francisco Asylum Office

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Glossary

Immigration law has a number of highly technical terms that may not mean the same thing to the average reader.To inform USCIS.gov users, we provide this glossary of immigration terms and acronyms. This glossary is designed to help you better understand the information provided on this website. The terms described in it do not replace statutory, regulatory, or other definitions provided by law or Department of Homeland Security’s official policies and interpretations of law.

A

Admission Number or I-94 Number — An 11-digit number found on the Form I-94 or Form I-94A Arrival-Departure Record.

Alien — Any person not a citizen or national of the United States.

Alien Registration Number or Alien Number(A Number or A#) — A unique seven-, eight- or nine-digit number assigned to a noncitizen by the Department of Homeland Security. Also see “USCIS Number.”

Arrival-Departure Record (Form I-94/I-94A) — A small white card placed in the passport of an alien when they are admitted or paroled to the United States. This form is also issued to aliens in connection with the approval of an immigration benefit granted from within the United States. The card indicates parole or the immigration status under which the alien was admitted, and, if applicable, how long the alien is authorized to stay in the United States, either with a specific date, or with a notation such as D/S (Duration of Status). See also Duration of Status.

Asylee — An alien in the United States or at a port of entry who is found to be unable or unwilling to return to his or her country of nationality, or to seek the protection of that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution. Persecution or the fear thereof must be based on the alien’s race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

Au Pair Program — A Department of State J-1 cultural exchange program that provides exchange visitors between 18 and 26 years old the chance to participate in the home life of a U.S. host family. All au pair participants provide child care services to the host family and attend a U.S. post-secondary educational institution.

CBP— An abbreviation for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, an agency of the Department of Homeland Security.

Cap-Gap Extension — Allows foreign students seeking to change to H-1B status to extend their status and employment authorization through Sept. 30 of the calendar year for which the H-1B petition is being filed, but only if the employment start date in H-1B status will begin on Oct. 1. The extension is automatically terminated if the petition is rejected, denied or revoked.

Casual domestic employment — Sporadic, irregular or intermittent domestic service provided by an individual in a private home.

Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status (Form DS-2019) — A Department of State-controlled document required to support an application for an exchange visitor visa (J-1) prepared by the program sponsor which can only be produced through the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status — For Academic and Language School (Form I-20)– A Department of Homeland Security-controlled document required to support an application for a student visa (F-1 or M-1) prepared by the sponsoring school which can only be produced through the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

Civil Surgeon – A medically trained, licensed and experienced doctor practicing in the U.S. who is certified by USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service). These medical professionals receive U.S. immigration-focused training in order to provide examinations as required by the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) and USCIS. For medical examinations given overseas, please see Panel Physician.
IMPORTANT: medical examinations will not be recognized if they are given by a doctor in the U.S. who is not a Civil Surgeon; please make sure that your appointment is with a Civil Surgeon or your results and documents will be invalid.

CFR — An abbreviation for the Code of Federal Regulations.

Child

Generally, an unmarried person under 21 years of age who is: a child born in wedlock; a child born through Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) to a non-genetic gestational mother who is also the legal mother under the law of the relevant jurisdiction at the time of birth; a stepchild, provided that the child was under 18 years of age at the time that the marriage creating the stepchild relationship occurred; a legitimated child, provided that the child was legitimated while in the legal custody of the legitimating parent; a child born out of wedlock, when a benefit is sought on the basis of its relationship with its mother, or to its father if the father has or had a bona fide relationship with the child; a child adopted while under 16 years of age who has resided with the adopting parent for at least 2 years and has been in the legal custody of the adopting parent for at least 2 years ; or an orphan, under 16 years of age, who has been adopted abroad by a U.S. citizen or has an immediate-relative visa petition submitted in his/her behalf and is coming to the United States for adoption by a U.S. citizen.

Curricular Practical Training — A program that allows students to accept paid alternative work/study, internships, cooperative education or any other type of required internship or practicum that employers offer though cooperative agreements with the school.

Code of Federal Regulations — A codification of rules published in the Federal Register by the Executive departments and agencies of the federal government. See also Regulations.

Conditional resident — Any alien granted permanent resident status on a conditional basis (for example, a spouse of a U.S. citizen or an immigrant investor) who must petition to remove the conditions of his or her status before the second anniversary of the approval date of his or her conditional status.

(U.S.) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) — An agency of the Department of Homeland Security that is responsible for securing the homeland by preventing the illegal entry of people and goods while facilitating legitimate travel and trade.

DHS — An abbreviation for the Department of Homeland Security

DOJ — An abbreviation for the U.S. Department of Justice

DOL — An abbreviation for the U.S. Department of Labor

DS-2019 — See Certificateof Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status.

Department of Homeland Security — Department of the Executive Branch of the U.S. government charged with homeland security: preventing terrorism and managing risks to critical infrastructure; securing and managing the border; enforcing and administering immigration laws; safeguarding and securing cyberspace; and ensuring resilience to disasters.

Department of Justice — Department of the Executive Branch of the U.S. government with the primary responsibilities to enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.

Department of Labor — Department of the Executive Branch of the U.S. government that fosters and promotes the welfare of the job seekers, wage earners, and retirees of the United States by improving their working conditions, advancing their opportunities for profitable employment, protecting their retirement and health care benefits, helping employers find workers, strengthening free collective bargaining, and tracking changes in employment, prices, and other national economic measurements. In carrying out this mission, the Department administers a variety of Federal labor laws including those that guarantee workers’ rights to safe and healthful working conditions; a minimum hourly wage and overtime pay; freedom from employment discrimination; unemployment insurance; and other income support.

Designated School Official (DSO) — The person designated by the head of a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-approved school to support the Principal Designated School Official and maintain SEVIS records

Disabilities, Employees/Individuals with —Iindividuals with physical or mental impairments that substantially limit one or more of their major life activities, have a record of such impairments, or are regarded as having such impairments.

Discrimination — Unfair treatment because of your race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), citizenship or immigration status, national origin, disability, age (age 40 or older) or genetic information in the workplace or other protected characteristic or activity

Domestic worker— An individual who performs casual domestic employment.

Duration of Status (D/S)- Notation on certain nonimmigrant Forms I-94 indicating that the individual, such as an F-1 nonimmigrant student, is authorized to remain in the United States as long as he or she maintains a valid status,.

EEOC— An abbreviation for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Employee— An individual who provides services or labor for an employer for wages or other remuneration (does not include an independent contractor or those engaged in casual domestic employment, as defined)

Employer— A person or entity, including an agent or anyone acting directly or indirectly in the interest thereof, who engages the services or labor of an employee for wages or other remuneration to perform work in the United States. The term employer includes agricultural recruiters and/or referrers for a fee.In the case of an independent contractor or contract labor or services, the term employer means the independent contractor or contractor and not the person or entity using the contract labor.

Employer sanctions— Series of civil fines or criminal penaltiesfor violation of regulations that prohibit employers from hiring, recruiting or referring for a fee aliens known to be unauthorized to work in the United States, or continuing to employ aliens knowing them to be unauthorized, or hiring an individual without completing Form I-9.

Employment — Any service or labor performed by an employee for an employer within the United States, but not including casual domestic employment or duties performed by nonimmigrant crewmen (D-1 or D-2).

Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766/EAD) — A general term used to describe a card issued by USCIS on Form I-766 with the title “Employment Authorization Card” to aliens who are authorized to work in theUnited States in order to evidence their employment authorization. The card contains a photograph of the individual and sometimes his or her fingerprint. An alien who has been issued this card usually has open-market employment authorization, but there are exceptions.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)— Agency that enforces federal laws that prohibit discrimination against a job applicant or employee because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information

E-Verify — An Internet-based system that compares information from an employee’s Form I-9 to data from Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment authorization.

Exchange visitor – &mbsp;An alien admitted temporarily to the United States in J-1 status as a participant in a program approved by the Secretary of State for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, or receiving training.

Field office— Offices found in some USCIS Districts that serve a portion of the District’s jurisdiction, providing services and enforcement functions

Foreign Student– Either:

F-1 Nonimmigrant Student— A student in F-1 nonimmigrant status (Academic Student) is an alien who has been admitted to the United States as a full-time student at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program. The student must be enrolled in a program or course of study that culminates in a degree, diploma, or certificate and the school must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students; OR

M-1 Nonimmigrant Student &mbsp;-An individual in M-1 nonimmigrant status (Vocational Student) is an alien who has been admitted to the United States to participate in vocational or other nonacademic programs, other than language training.

G

H

Hire— The actual commencement of employment of an employee for wages or other remuneration.

I

I-20— See Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status – For Academic and Language School.

I-94– See Arrival-Departure Record.

ICE — An abbreviation for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency of the Department of Homeland Security

(U.S.) Immigration and Customs Enforcement — The principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, ICE’s primary mission is to promote homeland security and public safety through the criminal and civil enforcement of federal laws governing border control, customs, trade, and immigration.

Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA),Public Law 99-603, 100 Stat. 3359 (enacted November 6, 1986) — An Act of Congress passed into law in order to control and deter illegal immigration to the United States. Its major provisions stipulate legalization of undocumented aliens who had been continuously unlawfully present since 1982, legalization of certain agricultural workers, sanctions for employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers, and increased enforcement at U.S. borders.

Immigration and Nationality Act(INA) — An Act of Congress that, along with other immigration laws, treaties, and conventions of the United States, relates to the immigration, temporary admission, naturalization and removal of aliens

INA — An abbreviation for the Immigration and Nationality Act

INS — An abbreviation of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which was abolished in 2003. Its functions are now performed by three agencies of the Department of Homeland Security– U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), ICE and CBP.

Intermittent — Something that does not occur continuously but is coming and going at intervals.

IRCA– An abbreviation for the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, Public Law 99-603, 100 Stat. 3359 (enacted Nov. 6, 1986).

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Irregular — An occurrence or activity that lacks in continuity or regularity

J

K

L

LPR — An abbreviation for lawful permanent resident

Labor certification— Department of Labor certification required for U.S. employers seeking to employ individuals whose immigration to the United States is based on job skills or nonimmigrant temporary workers coming to perform services for which qualified authorized workers are unavailable in the United States. Labor certification is issued by the Secretary of Labor and contains attestations by U.S. employers of the numbers of U.S. workers available to undertake the employment sought by an applicant, and the effect of the alien’s employment on the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers similarly employed. Determination of labor availability in the United States is made at the time of a visa application and at the location where the applicant wishes to work.

Last Name— Family name or surname

Lawful permanent resident — Any person not a citizen of the United States who is residing the in the U.S. under legally recognized and lawfully recorded permanent residence as an immigrant. Also known as “Permanent Resident Alien,” “Resident Alien Permit Holder,” and “Green Card Holder.”

M

Maiden name —A woman’s last name or family name at birth, before she married

Middle initial –The first letter of the second given name

N

National of the United States— A national of the United States or a person who, though not a citizen of the United States, owes permanent allegiance to the United States (e.g., persons born in American Samoa or Swains Island).

Nonimmigrant — An alien who is admitted to the United States for a specific temporary period of time. There are clear conditions on their stay. There are a large variety of nonimmigrant categories, each exists for a specific purpose and has specific terms and conditions. Nonimmigrant classifications include: foreign government officials, visitors for business and for pleasure, aliens in transit through the United States, treaty traders and investors, students, international representatives, temporary workers and trainees, representatives of foreign information media, exchange visitors, fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens, intracompany transferees, NATO officials, religious workers and some others. Most nonimmigrants can be accompanied or joined by spouses and unmarried minor (or dependent) children.

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) — Public Law 103-182 (Act of December 8, 1993), created special economic and trade relationships for the United States, Canada and Mexico. The TN nonimmigrant classification permits qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to seek temporary entry into the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level. Among the types of professionals who are eligible to seek admission as TN nonimmigrants are accountants, engineers, lawyers, pharmacists, scientists, and teachers.

O

OSC— An abbreviation for the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices, Department of Justice

Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices— A section within the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice that enforces the anti-discrimination provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1324b, which protects U.S. citizens and employment-authorized individuals from employment discrimination based on citizenship or immigration status, or based on national origin with respect to hiring, firing and recruitment or referral for a fee, and discrimination during the employment verification process.

P

Panel Physician – A medically trained, licensed and experienced doctor practicing overseas who is appointed by the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate. These medical professionals receive U.S. immigration-focused training in order to provide examinations as required by the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) and USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services). For medical examinations given in the U.S., please see “Civil Surgeon.”
IMPORTANT: medical examinations will not be recognized if they are given by a doctor in the U.S. who is not a Civil Surgeon; please make sure that your appointment is with a Civil Surgeon or your results and documents will be invalid.

Pattern or Practice— Regular, repeated and intentional acts, but does not include isolated, sporadic or accidental acts

Pay —wages or other remuneration

Permanent Resident — See Lawful permanent resident.

Permanent Resident Alien — See Lawful permanent resident.

Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551)— Also known as the green card or alien registration card, this card is issued by USCIS to aliens as evidence of their lawful permanent resident status in the United States. For Form I-9, it is acceptable as proof of both identity and employment authorization. Although some Permanent Resident Cards contain no expiration date, most are valid for 10 years. Cards held by individuals with conditional permanent resident status are valid for two years.

Port of entry — Any location in the United States or its territories that is designated as a point of entry for aliens and U.S. citizens. All district offices and service centers are also considered ports, because they become locations of entry for aliens adjusting to immigrant status.

PrincipalDesignated SchoolOfficial (PDSO) — An individual designated by the head of an SEVP-approved school to have primary responsibility for students in that program and maintaining SEVIS records

Q

R

Refugee— Generally, any person outside his or her country of nationality who is unable or unwilling to return to that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution. Persecution or the fear must be based on the person’s race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. For a legal definition of refugee, see section 101(a)(42) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

Regulations—Rules issued by an executive authority, such as a government department or agency in the Executive Branch, to carry out the intent of the law. Regulations issued by the Federal Government are first published in the Federal Register, then arranged in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Immigration regulations issued by the Department of Homeland Security are codified in Title 8 CFR, Aliens and Nationality

Remuneration — Anything of value given in exchange for labor or services, including food and lodging.

Responsible Officer (RO) or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) — An official authorized to issue Form DS-2019.

S

SEVIS ID number — Unique identifier printed on each Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 in the top right corner, which consists of an alpha character (N) and up to 11 numbers (e.g., N0002123457).

Specialty occupation— an occupation which requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge in fields of human endeavor including, but not limited to, architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, education, business specialties, accounting, law, theology, and the arts, and which requires the attainment of a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specific specialty, or its equivalent, as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.

Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) — A Department of Homeland Security database developed to collect information on the F, M and J visa holders.

Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)— A government program that collects, maintains and provides information that allows legitimate foreign students or exchange visitors to gain entry into the United States. SEVP uses Web-based technology, known as the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), to track and monitor schools and programs, students, exchange visitors and their dependents throughout the duration of approved participation within the U.S. education system.

Sporadic — Occurring occasionally, singly, or in irregular or random instances

T

Temporary protected status (TPS) — The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. USCIS may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States. Eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country may also be granted TPS. The Secretary may designate a country for TPS due to the following temporary conditions in the country: ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war); an environmental disaster (such as earthquake or hurricane); or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. Grants of TPS are initially made for periods of six to 18 months and may be extended.

U

USCIS — An abbreviation for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, an agency of the Department of Homeland Security.

USCIS Number— A unique, 9-digit number assigned to a noncitizen by the Department of Homeland Securitythat is listed on the front of Permanent Resident Cards (Form I-551) issued after May 10, 2010. See also Alien Registration Number or Alien Number.

U.S.Citizenship and Immigration Services— A federal agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States. Its functions include, but are not limited to, granting employment authorization to eligible aliens, issuing documentation of alien employment authorization, maintaining Form I-9, and administering the E-Verify employment eligibility verification program

United States — the continental United States (including the District of Columbia), Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

V

Visa – A U.S. visa allows the bearer to apply for entry to the U.S. in a certain classification (e.g. student (F), visitor (B), temporary worker (H)). A visa does not grant the bearer the right to enter the United States. The Department of State (DOS) is responsible for visa adjudication at U.S. Embassies and Consulates outside of the U.S. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) immigration inspectors determine admission into, length of stay and conditions of stay in, the U.S. at a port of entry. The information on a nonimmigrant visa only relates to when an individual may apply for entry into the U.S. DHS immigration inspectors will record the terms of your admission on your Arrival/Departure Record (I-94 white or I-94W green) and in your passport.

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List of Acronyms

APSS: Asylum Pre-Screening System

BIA: Board of Immigration Appeals

BSO: Border Services Officer

CBP: Customs and Border Protection

CBSA: Canada Border Services Agency

CCR: Canadian Council for Refugees

CIC: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

DDFM: Detention and Deportation Officers’ Field Manual

DHS: Department of Homeland Security

DOJ: Department of Justice

DRO: Detention and Removal Operations

EOIR: Executive Office for Immigration Review

FOSS: Field Operations Support System

GBA: Gender-based analysis

HQASM: Headquarters Asylum Division

ICE: Immigration and Customs Enforcement

INA: Immigration and Nationality Act

IRB: Immigration and Refugee Board

IRPA: Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

IRPR: Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations

NGO: Non-governmental organization

OCIJ: Office of the Chief Immigration Judge

OPPM: Operating Policies and Procedures Memorandum

PCS: Public Communications Services

POE: Port of entry

SAO: Supervisory Asylum Officer

TRP: Temporary resident permit

TSI: Threshold Screening Interview

TSR: Temporary suspension of removal

UNHCR: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

USCIS: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

__________________

US Immigration Abbreviations and Acronyms
AAO
Administrative Appeals Office (formerly the Administrative Appeals Unit (AAU))
AC
Associate Commissioner (of INS)
AC21
ACE
Accelerated Citizen Examination
ACPA
Assistant Chief Patrol Agent
ACWIA
American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998
AD
Approval Date
ADD
Assistant District Director. Also, ADDE (Examinations); ADDI (Investigations); ADDM
(Management)
ADIT
Alien Documentation, Identification and Telecommunications system (ADIT photos are no longer used)
AEDPA
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
AFACS
A-Files Accountability and Control System
AFAIK
As Far As I Know
A – File
Alien File
AG
Attorney General of the United States
AILA
American Immigration Lawyers Association
AILF
American Immigration Law Foundation
ALC
Alien Labor Certification
ALJ
Administrative Law Judge
AMIS
Asset Management Information System
A – Number
Alien Number
AO
1. Administrative Officer
2. Asylum Officer
3. Adjudication Officer
AOC
Asylum Officer Corps
AOIC
Assistant Officer-in-Charge
AOS
1. Adjustment of Status (USCIS definition)
2. Affidavit of Support (Dept of State definition)
ARC
Alien Registration Card (also called Permanent Resident Card or Green Card)
A/S
AP
1. Advance Parole
2. Administrative Processing
AR
Administrative Review
ASC
Application Support Center (fingerprinting location)
ASVI
Alien Status Verification Index
AVLOS
Automated Visa Lookout System
AWO
Affirmance Without Opinion
BALCA
Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals
BAR
Board of Appellate Review
BCA
Bureau of Consular Affairs
BCC
I-186 or I-586 Nonresident Alien Border Crossing Card
BCIS
Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (now USCIS)
BEC
Backlog Elimination Center
BIA
Board of Immigration Appeals
Biometrics
Fingerprints, signatures, photographs and other material used to personally
and uniquely identify a person
BIT
Bilateral Investment Treaty
BOP
Bureau of Prisons; also, Burden of Proof
BP
Border Patrol
CAT
United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or DegradingTreatment or Punishment
CBP
(U. S.) Customs and Border Protection
CCA
Child Citizenship Act
CFR
Code of Federal Regulations
CGFNS
Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools
CIJ
Chief Immigration Judge
CIS
1. Central Index System
2. Citizenship and Immigration Services (more commonly known as USCIS)
3. Center for Immigration Studies
CLAIMS
Computer Linked Application Information Management System
CLN
Certificate of Loss of Nationality
CMT
Crime of Moral Turpitude (also known as Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT))
CO
1. Certifying Officer (of DOL)
2. Consulate Officer
COA
Class of Admission
COB
Country of Birth
COC
Country of Citizenship
ConOff
Consular Officer
CORAP
Central Office of Refugee, Asylum and Parole
COS
Change of Status
CP
CPR
CPT
Curricular Practical Training
CR
Conditional Resident
C/S
Change of Status
CSC
CSPA
Child Status Protection Act
CUSA
CWOP
D&D
Detention and Deportation
DAO
1. District Adjudication Officer
2. Deputy Adjudications Officer
DCF
DCPA
Deputy Chief Patrol Agent
DD
District Director
DDD
Deputy District Director
DED
Deferred Enforced Departure
DFS
Designated Fingerprint Service
DHS
Department of Homeland Security
DO
1. District Office
2. Deportation Officer
DOB
Date of Birth
DOD
Date of Defense
DOE
Date of Entry
DOJ
Department of Justice
DOL
Department of Labor
DORA
Dallas Office Rapid Adjustment of Status
DOS
Department of State
DOT
Dictionary of Occupational Titles
D/S
Duration of Status
DSO
Designated School Official
DV
Diversity Visa Lottery Program
EAC
Eastern Adjudication Center (now Vermont Service Center)
EAD
EAJA
Equal Access to Justice Act
ENFORCE
Enforcement Case Tracking System
EOIR
Executive Office for Immigration Review
EOS
Extension of Stay
ER
Expedited Removal
E/S
Extension of Status or Stay
ETA
Employment and Training Administration
EVD
Extended Voluntary Departure
EVL
EWI
Entry Without Inspection
EWIC
Essential Worker Immigration Coalition
FAM
Foreign Affairs Manual
FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
FARES
Fees and Applications Receipt and Entry System
FCCPT
Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy
FCN
Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation
FCO
File Control Office
FED. REG.
Federal Register
FGM
Female Genital Mutilation
FMG
Foreign Medical Graduate
FOIA
Freedom of Information Act
FP
FR
Federal Register
FSN
Foreign Service National
FSO
Foreign Service Officer
FTA
Free Trade Agreement
FTO
Free Trade Officer
GAL
General Administration Letter of DOL
GC
GEMS
General Counsel Management System
GPO
Government Printing Office
Greencard
HB
House Bill
HQ
Head Quarters
HR
House Report
HRIFA
Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act
IA
Immigration Agent
IBIS
Interagency Border Inspection System
ICE
(U.S. ) Immigration and Customs Enforcement
ICMS
Investigations Case Management System
ID
Interview Date
IDENT
Automated Fingerprint Identification System
IE
Immigration Examiner
iEAD
IFM
Inspector’s Field Manual
IG
Inspector General
II
Immigration Inspector
IIO
Immigration Information Officer
IIRAIRA
Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (also IIRIRA)
IJ
Immigration Judge
ILT
AILA’s Immigration Law Today
IMBRA
International Marriage Brokers Act
IMFA
Immigration Marriage Fraud Amendments Act
IMHO
In My Humble Opinion
IMMACT90
Immigration Act of 1990
IMO
In My Opinion
INA
Immigration and Nationality Act
INFOPASS
Online appointment system to take an appointment with local immigration officer
INS
Immigration and Naturalization Service (now USCIS)
INSERTS
Immigration and Naturalization Service Early Research and Transmittal System
INSPASS
INS Passenger Accelerated Service System
INTCA
Immigration and Nationality Technical Corrections Act of 1994
INV
Investigations
IO
Immigration Officer
IR
1. Interpreter Releases
2. Immediate Relative
IRCA
Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986
IRS
International Revenue Service
IVACS
Immigrant Visa Applicant Control System
IV
Immigrant Visa
LAPR
Lawfully Admitted for Permanent Residence
LAU
Legalization Appeals Unit
LAW
Lawfully Authorized or Admitted Worker
LCA
Labor Condition Application
LC
LIFE
Legal Immigration and Family Equity Act of 2000
LIN
Northern Service Center (now Nebraska Service Center)
LPR
LWOP
Leave WithOut Pay
LUD
MRD
Machine Readable Document
MSC
Missouri Service Center (National Service Center)
MS&D
Maintenance of Status and Departure bond
MTINA
Miscellaneous and Technical Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments of 1991
MTR
Motion To Reopen
NACARA
Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act
NACS
Naturalization Automated Casework System
NAFTA
North American Free Trade Agreement
NAILS
National Automated Immigration Lookout System
NATZ
Naturalization
NBC
National Benefits Center
NBCOTA
Noncitizen Benefit Clarification and Other Technical Amendments Act of 1998
NBCOT
National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapists
NOA
Notice of Action. The notice that you receive after filing an application with USCIS.
NOIF
Notice of Intent to Fine
NC
Name Check
ND
Notice Date. The when your application was entered into the USCIS database.
NG
NewsGroup
NIV
NIW
NOF
Notice of Findings
NOID
Notice of Intent to Deny
NOIR
Notice of Intent to Revoke
NRC
National Record Center
NSC
NSEERS
National Security Entry Exit Registration System
NTA
Notice to Appear
NVC
National Visa Center
OARS
Outlying Area Reporting Station
OCAHO
Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer
ODP
Orderly Departure Program
OES
Occupational Employment Statistics
OI
Operations Instructions
OIC
Officer-in-Charge
OIL
Office of Immigration Litigation of DOJ’s Civil Division
OMB
Office of Management and Budget
O*NET
Occupational Information Network
ONO
Office of Naturalization Operations (now ISD)
OOH
Occupational Outlook Handbook (DOL)
OPT
Optional Practical Training
O/S
Out of Status, or overstay
OSC
Order to Show Cause; also, Office of Special Counsel
OTM
Other than Mexican
PA
1. (Border) Patrol Agent
2. Privacy Act
PCC
PD
PERM
PISS
Pre-INS Submission Syndrome
PLC
POE
PP
PR
PRC
Permanent Resident Card (also called an Alien Registration Card or Green Card)
PT
Practical Training
QDE
Qualified Designated Entity
RAW
Replenishment Agricultural Worker
RC
Regional Commissioner of USCIS
RD
1. Receipt Date. The date application received by USCIS

2. Regional Director of USCIS
RFE
Request for Evidence
RFI
Request for Initial Evidence
RIR
Reduction in Recruitment Labor Certification Procedure
RN
Registered Nurse
RO
Responsible Officer of J- 1 Exchange Visitor Program
ROW
Rest Of the World
RSC
Regional Service Center
RTD
RVIS
Remote Video Inspection System
SAO
Security Advisory Opinion
SAO
Supervisory Adjudication Officer
SA
Special Agent
SAW
Special Agricultural Worker
SB
Senate Bill
SC
SDAO
Supervisory District Adjudications Officer
SENTRI
Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection
SEVIS
Student and Exchange Visitor Information System
SIE
Supervisory Immigration Examiner
SII
Supervisory Immigration Inspector
SIO
1. Supervisory Immigration Officer;
2. Special Inquiry Officer(former title for Immigration Judges)
SK
Specialized Knowledge for L Visa
SO
Significant Other
SRC
Southern Regional Center (now Texas Service Center)
SR
Senate Report
SVP
Specific Vocational Preparation
SSA
Social Security Administration
SSN
SWA
State Workforce Agency
TA
Trial Attorney
TAG
Technical Assistance Guide No. 656-Labor Certifications (1981)
TAL
Technology Alert List
TCN
Third Country National
TPCR
Transition Period Custody Rules
TPS
Temporary Protected Status
TN
Trade NAFTA
TSA
Transportation Security Administration
TSC
TWOV
Transit Without Visa
UNHCR
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
UPL
Unauthorized Practice of Law
US-VISIT
United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology Program
USA PATRIOT Act
Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Requiredto Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001
USC
1. U.S. Code
2. U.S Citizen
USCIS
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly INS)
USCS
U.S. Customs Service
VAWA
Violence Against Women Act
VB
VD
Voluntary Departure
VO
Visa Office
VOLAG
Volunteer Agency
VSC
VTC
Video Teleconferencing
VWPP
Visa Waiver Pilot Program
VWP
WAC
Western Adjudication Center (now California Service Center)

Immigration Slang, Acronyms, Abbreviations

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