Glossary

Use this glossary to find a definition or explanation for a term related to immigration. Start by searching for the term or clicking on the letter your word begins with. You may also view all terms.

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C


Glossary

Convicted (Conviction)

Found guilty of a crime.

Glossary

Country of Citizenship

It is usually the country where a person was born, where their parents were born, or where they became a citizen.

D


Glossary

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

A program for people who came to the U.S. as children. DACA allowed a person to stay in the U.S. and get a temporary work permit. People can apply to renew DACA, but it is​ too late to apply for the first time.
Glossary

Department of Justice (DOJ)

The U.S. Department of Justice decides which non-profit organizations and which of their staff members can help immigrants with their immigration cases.

Glossary

Deported (Deportation)

When someone is:

  • ordered to leave the country, or
  • removed from the country.

See also: "Removal"

Glossary

Documents

Official papers that prove an event or status, like birth or marriage certificates.

Glossary

DOJ Accredited Representative

A DOJ Rep is a person who is authorized to help immigrants with their immigration cases. All DOJ Reps have special training and immigration experience. To know if someone is accredited, look for their name on the Department of Justice (DOJ) list.

Glossary

DOJ Recognition and Accreditation

The Department of Justice (DOJ) decides which non-profits and which of their legal service providers are qualified to help immigrants. They use these key terms: recognized and accredited. A nonprofit organization that qualifies to provide services to immigrants is called recognized. A person who works at a recognized non-profit who is qualified to provide legal services to immigrants is called accredited.

Glossary

Domestic Violence

Abuse or threats of abuse in an intimate relationship (people who are or were married, domestic partners, dating, living together, or have a child together).

E


Glossary

Emotional Abuse

Repeated bad conduct, threats, insults or other actions that hurt another person emotionally.

Glossary

Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

A special card from USCIS, also called a work permit, lets a person work in the U.S. Citizens and people with green cards do not need an Employment Authorization Document.

Glossary

Expedited Removal

When someone trying to enter the U.S. at a border or airport is sent back right away because they do not have the needed documents to enter the U.S. This can affect that person's future attempts to visit or immigrate to the U.S.

F


Glossary

Family-based Immigration

When a family member is a U.S. citizen or has a green card, they can apply for certain family members to get their green cards.

Glossary

Finances

Information about a person’s economic situation.

Glossary

Fraud

Something that is fake, but tricks people to think it is real. Some kinds of fraud are crimes.

G


Glossary

GED

A test you can take to prove you have the same knowledge as a high school graduate.

Glossary

Green Card

A common way to refer to an Alien Registration Card, which is the document given to a person who is a permanent resident of the U.S.

I


Glossary

Immediate Relative

Certain family members of U.S. citizens may come to the U.S. without a waiting period. These immediate relatives are the citizen's:

  • spouse,
  • parents, if the citizen is 21 or older, and
  • unmarried children under 21.

A citizen may apply for other relatives, but there is a waiting period. A green card holder may apply for relatives, but there will be a waiting period. There are not enough visas for all relatives to come right away.

Glossary

Immigrant

A person who comes from another country to live in the U.S.

Glossary

Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE for short) is the government office that enforces laws about who can be in the U.S. ICE removes or deports people who do not have permission to stay in the U.S.

Glossary

Immigration Court

A court that only decides immigration cases, such as whether a person can stay in the U.S. or not.

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