VIEW RESOURCES

SAVE GLOSSARY

A

Additional Verification

A query based on additional information submitted when the applicant's immigration status could not be verified during the initial verification process.

Adjustment of Status

Describes the process by which a non-immigrant already in the United States becomes a Lawful Permanent Resident. Not to be confused with a "Change of Status", which refers only to non-immigrants changing to another non-immigrant classification.

Admission Number

An 11-digit number that is found on the Arrival- Departure Record (Form I-94) and should not be confused with the Alien Registration Number (A-Number)/Alien ID number.

Alien

Any person who is not a citizen or national of the United States, i.e., non-citizen. This legal term should carry no negative connotations.

Alien File (A-File)

The history file containing data and documentation pertaining to an individual non-citizen and are identified by number (see A-Number below). All non-citizens with Permanent Resident Status have A-files. Non-immigrants usually do not have an A-File, unless they have been processed for removal or Adjustment of Status, i.e., Permanent Resident Status.

Alien Registration Number (A-Number)/Alien ID Number/Alien Number

A unique 7-, 8- or 9-digit number assigned to a non-citizen at the time his or her A-File is created.

Alien Registration Receipt Card, Form I-151

This card was introduced in 1946 and issued to lawful permanent residents. Through 18 years of various revisions, it remained primarily green in color causing it to become known as a "green card." As of March 20, 1996, the Form I-151 is no longer acceptable as evidence of lawful permanent resident status. If a non-citizen is in possession of a Form I-151, it does not revoke his or her lawful permanent resident status; however, the document itself is expired and the applicant should be referred to Department of Homeland Security for a replacement card.

Asylee

A non-citizen already in the United States or at a Port of Entry who is unwilling or unable to return to his/her country because of a well-founded fear of persecution based on the non-citizen's race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social class, or holding a particular political opinion. One who seeks asylum for certain specified reasons. Asylees are not the same as refugees. (Also see definition for refugee).

Automated Status Verification System (ASVS)

The Department of Homeland Security, Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Program's reengineered system of electronically delivering immigration status information to federal, state, and local benefit issuing agencies.

B

C

Certificate of Naturalization (N-550)

Document issued by the Department of Homeland Security to naturalized United States citizens who were naturalized after October 1, 1991.

Certificate of United States Citizenship (N-560 or N-561)

A document issued by the Department of Homeland Security to individuals 1) derived citizenship through parental naturalization; 2) acquired citizenship at birth abroad through United States citizen parent(s); or 3) acquired citizenship through application of United States citizen adoptive parent(s) and who pursuant to Section 341 of the Immigration and Nationality Act have applied for a certificate of citizenship.

Change of Status

The action of changing a non-immigrant's classification, to another non-immigrant classification, e.g., from B-2 - visitor to F-1 - student.

Citizen

A person born in a country or who has become a naturalized citizen of that country.

Conditional Entrant

A refugee. (Refer to the definition for refugee for more information).

Conditional Status

The status temporarily placed on a non-citizen whose permanent resident status is based on marriage of less than 2 years to a United States citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident. Also status given to an immigrant entrepreneur.

Customer Processing System

The Department of Homeland Security database accessed by benefit issuing agencies, licensing agencies, other entities, and employers to verify immigration and employment eligibility status.

D

Department of Homeland Security

The agency responsible for enforcing the laws regulating the admission of non-citizens to the United States and for administrating various immigration benefits, including the naturalization of resident aliens. (Formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Service).

Document Type

Type of immigration documentation presented by the applicant.

Document Verification Request (Form G- 845S)

A form used by benefit issuing agencies, institutions, and licensing issuing bureaus to request secondary verification of a non-citizen's immigration status.

Documented Non-citizen (Alien)

A non-citizen in the United States who is in possession of valid immigration documentation.

Dual Nationality or Citizenship

What a person may have as a result of being born in one country to parents who are citizens of another country.

E

Employment Authorization Card I-688A

Card issued by the Department of Homeland Security to applicants for temporary resident status after their interview for Legalization or special Agricultural Worker status. It is valid until the expiration date stated on the face of the card or on the sticker(s) placed on the back of the card.

Employment Authorization Card I-688B

Card issued by the Department of Homeland Security to non-immigrants who are not permanent residents but have been granted permission to be employed in the United States for a specific period of time. The expiration date is noted on the face of the card.

Employment Authorization Document (EAD) I-766

Document issued to non-citizens who are authorized to work temporarily in the United States.

EWI

Entry Without Inspection.

F

File Control Office (FCO)

An Immigration office where A-files are maintained.

G

Green Card

Form I-551, the Permanent Resident Card or Resident Alien card. A common term used by the public.

H

I

Illegal Alien

A foreign national who (a) entered the United States without inspection or with fraudulent documentation or (b) who, after entering legally as a non-immigrant, violated status and remained in the United States without authority.

Immigrant

A non-citizen admitted to the United States as a Lawful Permanent Resident.

Immigrant Visa

A document issued by a Department of State official at an American Consulate or Embassy authorizing a non-citizen to travel to the United States and to apply for admission as a Lawful Permanent Resident.

Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (INA)

Legislation that defined most immigration statutes now in use and formed the basis for United States immigration law and policies.

Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA)

Act passed by Congress that required the former Immigration and Naturalization Service, now Department of Homeland Security, to establish a system for verifying the immigration status of non-citizen applicants for, and recipients of, certain types of federally funded benefits, and to make the system available to federal, state, and local benefit issuing agencies and institutions that administer such benefits. Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) Legislation passed to deter illegal immigration to the United States, using employer sanctions and status verification, and to allow legalization of specific groups of non-citizens.

Immigration Status

The legal status conferred upon a non-citizen by immigration law.

Immigration Status Verifier (ISV)

A Department of Homeland Security employee who performs immigration status verification duties at local field offices.

Initial Verification

A query of the Verification Information System (VIS) Database. Results will either provide the applicant's immigration status or require you to submit an Additional Verification Request.

J

K

L

Lawful Permanent Resident

A person entering the United States with an immigrant visa or adjusting status, and thus entitled to live and work here.

M

N

Nationality

The state or country to which a person owes legal allegiance. Note that the country of birth does not necessarily correspond to the nationality.

Naturalization

The administrative process whereby a person becomes a United States Citizen after birth and becomes entitled to the certain privileges.

Non-Immigrant

A non-citizen who seeks temporary entry to the United States for a specific purpose. This category includes foreign government officials, visitors for business and pleasure, and students. Some non-immigrants have specialized employment privileges, for example, foreign nationals who are employees of the United States Office of a foreign-owned company.

O

P

Parolee

A non-citizen who appears to be inadmissible to the inspecting officer, but who is allowed to enter the United States under emergency conditions or when the non-citizen's entry is determined to be in the public interest. Although parolees are required to leave when the conditions supporting their parole cease to exist, they may sometimes adjust immigration status. Section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act covers parolee status.

Passport

Any travel document issued by competent authority showing the bearer's origin, identity, and nationality, if any, which is valid for the entry of the bearer into a foreign country.

Pauper

A person dependent on public funds and unwilling or unable to provide for oneself.

Permanent Resident Card, Form I-551

A card issued to a non-citizen lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence after December 1997. Also known as Resident Alien card. (See Green Card).

PRUCOL

A person Permanently Residing in the United States Under the Color Of Law. This is not a status defined by the Immigration And Nationality Act.

Q

R

Record of Disclosure

Record maintained by the Department of Homeland Security as part of the electronic "audit trail" of all queries made through the automated system. The Record of Disclosure includes the following data: Alien Number (A-Number, Admission Number), date and time of query, verification number, benefit issuing agency or institution requesting immigration status information, and the non-citizen's immigration status at the time of inquiry.

Reentry Permit, Form I-327

Issued to Lawful Permanent Residents in lieu of a passport. The re-entry permit guarantees his/her permission to reenter the United States and is valid for a period of 2 years. It is not renewable.

Refugee

Any person who is outside their country of nationality and who is unable or unwilling to return to that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution based on the non-citizen's race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social class, or holding a particular political opinion. Unlike Asylees, Refugees apply for such status at an American Consulate or Embassy (Form I-590). An authorized sponsor in the United States who is liable for the transportation cost and for the general welfare of the refugee once he/she arrives must sponsor them. Unlike applicants for asylum, refugees cannot apply in the United States. (See Asylee) Section 207 of the Immigration And Nationality Act covers this status.

Refugee Travel Document, Form I-571

Issued to Refugees and Asylees in lieu of a passport. The refugee travel document guarantees his/her permission to reenter the United States and is valid for a period of 2 years. It is not renewable.

Resident Alien Card, Form I-551

A card issued to Lawful Permanent Residents before the Permanent Resident Card was created. This card is no longer issued and the first version issued doesn't contain an expiration date.

S

Secondary Verification

A request to validate a non-citizen's immigration status, after or in lieu of automated immigration status verification, using Form G-845S. An Immigration Status Verifier using various automated or manual sources performs verification.

Sponsor

An entity (an individual or group or organization) who assures the financial support of an immigrant, non-immigrant or refugee.

Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Program

An intergovernmental information-sharing program that is available to Federal, state, or local benefit issuing agencies and institutions that are required by law to determine a non-citizen's immigration status before a benefit can be issued.

T

Temporary Worker

Non-citizen workers coming to the United States temporarily to perform services for which a United States Employer is unable to find qualified workers.

U

Undocumented Non-citizen (Alien)

A non-citizen in the United States without proper immigration documentation. He or she is in violation of United States immigration law.

United States Passport

Document issued by the Department of State to United States citizens and nationals.

V

Verification Information System (VIS)

An online system used for the purpose of allowing access to non-citizen immigration data by user agencies or employers for the purpose of verifying the legal status of non-citizens for employment and entitlements.

Verification Number

Each case processed through the Automated Status Verification System is given a unique 15-digit verification number. This number can be used to retrieve the case at a later time.

W

X

Y

Z