USCIS - Citizenship & Immigration Services
CBP - Customs and Border Protection
ICE - Immigration & Custom Enforcement
CFR - Code of Federal Regulations
Nonimmigrant Status- foreign national has documented intent to reside temporarily in the U.S., no intent to immigrate permanently. Many visa types, such as students, scholars, tourists require that the individual document non-immigrant intent in order to be eligible for a visa
Immigrant Status- foreign national has indicated intent to immigrate permanently to the U.S. Individuals with immigrant intent are required to obtain the appropriate immigrant visa in order to come to the U.S.
Dual intent-certain nonimmigrant classes, such as H-1B, do not require nonimmigrant intent and allow the foreign national to pursue lawful permanent residence while maintaining a nonimmigrant H-1B status.
I-901 SEVIS fee- paid by all F and J students and scholars prior to visa issuance in the case of an initial attendance to the U.S. prior to September 2004. The current fee is $100.
I-797 Approval Notice - USCIS form indicating approval of a petition filed with USCIS. In the case of an H-1B employee, the employer retains the original I-797 and gives the employee the bottom portion which includes the I-94 card. Any time an H-1B employee travels they should bring the entire original I-797 document.
I-94 Arrival/departure record - The document that identifies the visa classification of legal entry to the U.S. and the allowable period of stay in the U.S.
Passport - Is the identity document for any foreign national while in the U.S.
- It must remain valid during entire stay in the U.S.; should be renewed at least 6 months prior to expiration by the foreign national’s home Consulate/Embassy either located in the U.S. or in their home country
Visa - Gives permission for a foreign national to be considered by CBP for admission to the U.S.
- Visa stamp is located inside the passport
- Individuals can stay in the U.S. with an expired visa as long as the date on the I-94 card has not passed and they are otherwise maintaining statu
- Only need to renew the visa to be eligible for re-entry after travel outside of the U.S.
- A visa cannot be issued or renewed inside of the U.S. (only at a U.S. consulate outside of the borders of the U.S.)
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