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Immigration Dictionary

As a nonimmigrant class of admission, an alien coming temporarily to the United States to perform agricultural labor or services, as defined by the Secretary of Labor.


Any person not a citizen or national of the United States.

Alien labor certification programs are generally designed to assure that the admission of foreign workers to work in the United States on a permanent or temporary basis will not adversely affect the job opportunities, wages and working conditions of American workers.

Alternate Chargeability

Foreign national born in an ineligible country may participate in the Green Card Lottery by alternatively claiming chargeability to the country of birth of a spouse or a parent.

  • Claiming chargeability to spouseís country of birth: You can claim your spouse's country of birth as your native country provided your spouse was born in an eligible country.
  • Claiming chargeability to parentís country of birth: You can claim your parent's country of birth as your native country provided neither of your parents was a permanent resident in the country of your birth when you were born.

Amerasian (Vietnam)

Immigrant visas are issued to Amerasians under Public Law 100-202 (Act of 12/22/87), which provides for the admission of aliens born in Vietnam after January 1, 1962, and before January 1, 1976, if the alien was fathered by a U.S. citizen. Spouses, children, and parents or guardians may accompany the alien.

Amerasian Act

Public Law 97-359 (Act of 10/22/82) provides for the immigration to the United States of certain Amerasian children. In order to qualify for benefits under this law, an alien must have been born in Cambodia, Korea, Laos, Thailand, or Vietnam after December 31, 1950, and before October 22, 1982, and have been fathered by a US citizen.


The person who formally requests a Green Card or nonimmigrant visa is an applicant. In cases where the Green Card or Nonimmigrant visa requires the filing of a petition, unless the petition is approved, foreign nationals may not become applicants.


Application is a formal request made for a Green Card or a nonimmigrant visa. In most cases, an application for a Green Card or a nonimmigrant visa cannot be made unless the foreign national obtains proof that he/she is qualified through an approved petition. In certain cases, only an application is needed and the petition is not required to obtain a visa.

Application Support Centers

INS Offices fingerprint applicants for immigration benefits. Some INS applications, such as the Application for Naturalization or the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, require the INS to conduct a FBI fingerprint background check on the applicant. Most applicants that require a background check will be scheduled to appear at a specific Application Support Center (ASC) or Designated Law Enforcement Agency (DLEA) for fingerprinting.


The arrest of a removable alien by the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Each apprehension of the same alien in a fiscal year is counted separately.

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