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Immigration Dictionary

Approval Notice

The INS issues an Approval Notice (Form I-797) if it approves the petition or form filed with it.

Change of Address Form to report the change of address of an alien in the United States

Arrival-Departure Record

An INS Form I-94 (Arrival-Departure Record) shows the date you arrived in the United States and the "Admitted Until" date, the date when your authorized period of stay expires.

You will receive an INS Form I-94 from an INS inspector when arriving in the United States at a land border port-of-entry or from an airline or ship representative when arriving at an air or sea port-of-entry by aircraft or ship. The form must be completed and presented to an INS inspector who may ask you questions about the purpose of your trip, how long you will be in the United States, and your residence abroad.

When you leave the country, you should give the INS Form I-94 to your airline or ship representative, or, if you are departing over a land border, give it to a Mexican or Canadian immigration inspector. An INS Form I-94 that has been approved by an INS inspector can prove that you arrived in the country legally and that you have not stayed beyond the period of stay authorized. In addition, turning in INS Form I-94 to the proper authorities when you leave the country can prove that you did not violate U.S. laws by staying in the country too long. Proof that you are willing to obey U.S. immigration laws will be very important if you again want to travel to the U.S. as an immigrant or nonimmigrant in the future.

An alien in the United States or at a port of entry who is found to be unable or unwilling to return to his or her country of nationality, or to seek the protection of that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution. Persecution or the fear thereof must be based on the alien's race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. For persons with no nationality, the country of nationality is considered to be the country in which the alien last habitually resided. Asylees are eligible to adjust to lawful permanent resident status after one year of continuous presence in the United States. These immigrants are limited to 10,000 adjustments per fiscal year.


A sworn statement made by employers to the Department of Labor before being able to bring foreign workers to the U.S. for work. The attestation may include statements that the employer is making an effort to hire more U.S. citizens, or it will pay foreign workers the same wages as paid to U.S. workers.

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