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Glossary & Relevant Links

Explanations of a selection of terms and abbreviations,
plus links to external resources.

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  • AOS – Adjustment of Status. This is where an individual whilst in the U.S. applied to adjust their status to a ‘Lawful Permeant Resident’ (green card holder).
  • Affidavit of Support – is a contract an individual signs agreeing to use their financial resources to support the intending immigrant named on the affidavit. The individual who signs the affidavit of support becomes the sponsor once the intended immigrant becomes a lawful permanent resident. The sponsor is usually the petitioner who filed an immigrant petition on behalf of the intending immigrant. An affidavit of support is a legally enforceable contract, and the sponsor’s responsibility usually lasts until the family member or other individual either becomes a U.S. citizen, or is credited with 40 quarters of work (usually 10 years).
  • BIA – Board of Immigration Appeals
  • COS – Change of Status
  • Consular Processing – If you are outside the U.S., you may visit your local American consulate to apply for a green card. Although this process is often quicker than AOS, you may not be able to enter the U.S. whilst your paperwork is pending.
  • EOS – Extension of Status
  • DOL – Department of Labor
  • DOS – Department of State
  • DHS – Department of Homeland Security
  • Dual Intent – Dual intent is a feature of certain U.S. visas, (namely, H-1B, K, L, V, O, P, and E), which allows individuals to hold an intent to immigrate to the U.S., whilst being in the country in a nonimmigrant status. This is very helpful as it allows individuals to enter the U.S. whilst simultaneously seeking lawful permanent resident status. Otherwise, nonimmigrant visa holders may be presumed to have an immigrant intent and run the risk of being denied entry into the U.S.. It must be remembered that it is a central requirement for nonimmigrant eligibility that the individual may not intend to remain permanently in the U.S.
  • EAD – Employment Authorization Document
  • Minimum Wage – This is the lowest allowable rate of pay at which an employee can be paid.
  • EOIR – Executive Office of Immigration Review, aka, Immigration Court.
  • PERM – Program Electronic Review Management – The Department of Labor uses an electronic system called, ‘Program Electronic Review Management’, to process applications received from employers for permanent labor certification. 
  • Priority Date – The Priority Date (PD) (depending on the type of case) is typically the filing date of the I-140, or the filing date for the ETA 9089 (Labor Certification).
  • Prevailing Wage – A prevailing wage generally refers to the rate of pay that contractors and vendors must offer their employees when doing business with a government agency. This requirement reduces the ability of employers to ‘low ball’ their proposed costs for government contracts to the disadvantage of their employees. This wage can be referenced in the below link – ‘Foreign Labor Certification Center’.
  • Living Wage – This is the lowest wage at which subsistence needs can be met by an employee.
  • SEVP – Student and Exchange Visitor Program
  • USCIS/CIS/INS – United States citizenship and immigration Service – Immigration Authority.
  • Unlawful Presence – Unlawful presence is the period of time when you are in the U.S. without being admitted or paroled, or when you are not in a “period of stay authorized by the Secretary.” There are bars that one may suffer if unlawful presence is accumulated.

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