Back to Basics: Glossary of Common Immigration Terms


A lot of individuals are interested in the process of obtaining a green card. However, only a very few are familiar with the actual green card process, which can be complicated to understand. The lawful permanent residence has several advantages, and this is partly the reason why it is quite challenging to get US green cards.

To make things less complicated, it is best to consult with Durhman immigration attorneys early on. They can explain the details of a visa application, qualifying for permanent resident status, or eventually applying for citizenship in the United States. Additionally, it would help to be familiar with common terms that you will encounter if you wish to permanently reside in the United States.

This article will cover common terms related to the immigration process, which includes:

  • USCIS Office
  • USCIS Review
  • Adjustment of Status
  • Consular Processing
  • Green Cards
  • Green Card Abandonment
  • Green Card Expiration
  • Green Card Renewal
  • Proof of Permanent Resident Status
  • Removal of Conditions

USCIS Office

Common Immigration TermsUSCIS stands for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, which is the government agency that can issue a green card or permanent residence card to qualified immigrants. They also take care of the dreaded immigration interview and other related processes.

USCIS Review

In certain cases, a request to review a certain decision may be submitted to the Administrative Appeals Office. With the help of your immigration lawyer, you may file the necessary form and pay the application fee for the review to commence. Otherwise, one can instead reapply to become a permanent resident after a denial.

Adjustment of Status

If you are a foreigner getting a green card from within the country, the process of filling out immigration forms and related paperwork is called adjustment of status. This is in contrast to consular processing. Immigration lawyers play a very important role when trying to avoid a denial since they can comprehensively explain to you what to submit and what to do afterward. 

Consular Processing

This is the process of applying for a green card through an embassy or consulate of the United States in a foreign country. It is one way of obtaining an immigrant visa through what is called family-based immigration. Note that the specifics of the immigration process can be quite difficult to learn on your own, and getting legal advice from a reliable immigration attorney in Durham is recommended.

Green Cards

A green card holder is, in essence, a permanent resident of the United States. When you successfully get a green card, you are given certain rights and responsibilities and get to enjoy privileges that come with permanent residency. In the different proceedings related to this, Durhman immigration attorneys can help make things easier.

Green Card Abandonment

Under relevant US immigration laws, a lawful permanent resident may travel and stay abroad only temporarily. A green card could be deemed as abandoned if the cardholder stays in a foreign country or reside outside the United States for more than a year. You could be asked to sign an I-407 and jeopardize your permanent residency status.

Green Card Expiration

A green card generally has a validity of 10 years, and it may be renewed after expiration if the need arises. Having an expired card will not affect your lawful permanent resident status. However, renewing it promptly is advised for you to easily continue enjoying the benefits that come with it.

Green Card Renewal

A foreigner with legal permanent resident status may renew a green card through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS six months before its expiration date. A green card renewal could take more than six months since USCIS processing times vary greatly. It is important to keep in mind that getting a green card renewed can be difficult if you were convicted of an offense that can lead to deportation. Denial is also likely if it is proven that the renewal application was falsified or unlawful.

Proof of Permanent Resident Status

Your permanent residence card is useful when you need to prove your immigration status. This is one of the primary reasons why green cards are issued and must be renewed when expired. Proof of one’s immigration status may be necessary for several instances. It may be required by property owners you want to buy a house from or certain prospective employers, among others.

Removal of Conditions

This is essentially petitioning the immigration court to have the conditions removed. Conditional permanent residents must ‘renew’ their conditional green card either six months before the expiration date or 18 months after arriving at the port of entry. Relevant USCIS forms must be filed and filing and biometrics fees must be paid before ‘actual’ permanent residency is obtained.

For assistance on immigrant visas, green card applications, renewal of a permanent resident card, adjustment of status, or consular processing, give us a call. Contact us at Diener Law to consult with experienced Durham immigration attorneys.

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LA VERDAD SOBRE LOS INMIGRANTES Y LA LEY

truth about immigrants and the law

Lecciones aprendidas ayudando a más de 50,000 inmigrantes en todo el país.

LA VERDAD SOBRE LOS INMIGRANTES Y LA LEY

truth about immigrants and the law

Lecciones aprendidas ayudando a más de 50,000 inmigrantes en todo el país.

LA VERDAD SOBRE LOS INMIGRANTES Y LA LEY

truth about immigrants and the law

Lecciones aprendidas ayudando a más de 50,000 inmigrantes en todo el país.

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THE TRUTH ABOUT IMMIGRANTS & THE LAW

truth about immigrants and the law

Lessons learned helping over 50,000 immigrants nationwide.

THE TRUTH ABOUT IMMIGRANTS & THE LAW

truth about immigrants and the law

Lessons learned helping over 50,000 immigrants nationwide.

THE TRUTH ABOUT IMMIGRANTS & THE LAW

truth about immigrants and the law

Lessons learned helping over 50,000 immigrants nationwide.

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