Immigration Dictionary

Legal Terms Explained In Plain English

F-1 VisaStudent.
F-2 VisaSpouse or Child of F-1.
Family First PreferenceFamily First Preference Green Cards are issued to:
  • Unmarried children (age 21 or older) who have at least one U.S. citizen parent
  • Unmarried stepchildren (age 21 or older), if the marriage creating the stepchild relationship took place before the child's 18th birthday
  • U.S. citizens to sponsor the Green Card application of their unmarried foreign born children (age 21 or older)
Family Second PreferenceFamily Second Preference Green Cards are issued to:
  • Foreign nationals married to U.S. Permanent Residents (Green Card holders)
  • Unmarried children (any age) of U.S. Permanent Residents (Green Card holders)
  • Unmarried stepchildren of lawful permanent residents, if the marriage creating the stepchild relationship took place before the child's 18th birthday
Family Third PreferenceFamily Third Preference Green Cards are issued to:
  • Married children (any age) of U.S. citizens
  • Married step children of U.S. citizens, if the marriage creating the stepchild relationship took place before the child's 18th birthday
Family Fourth PreferenceFamily Fourth Preference Green Cards are issued to brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens.
Fiance(e) of US CitizenA nonimmigrant alien coming to the United States to conclude a valid marriage with a US citizen within ninety days after entry..    
Files Control OfficeAn Immigration and Naturalization Service field office - either a district (including INS overseas offices) or a sub-office of that district - where alien case files are maintained and controlled
Fiscal YearCurrently, the twelve-month period beginning October 1 and ending September 30. Historically, until 1831 and from 1843-49, the twelve-month period ending September 30 of the respective year; from 1832-42 and 1850-67, ending December 31 of the respective year; from 1868-1976, ending June 30 of the respective year. The transition quarter (TQ) for 1976 covers the three-month period, July-September 1976.
Foreign Government OfficialAs a nonimmigrant class of admission, an alien coming temporarily to the United States who has been accredited by a foreign government to function as an ambassador, public minister, career diplomatic or consular officer, other accredited official, or an attendant, servant or personal employee of an accredited official, and all above aliens' spouses and unmarried minor (or dependent) children.
Foreign Information Media RepresentativeAs a nonimmigrant class of admission, an alien coming temporarily to the United States as a bona fide representative of foreign press, radio, film, or other foreign information media and the alien's spouse and unmarried minor (or dependent) children.
Foreign State of ChargeabilityThe independent country to which an immigrant entering under the preference system is accredited. No more than 7 percent of the family-sponsored and employment-based visas may be issued to natives of any one independent country in a fiscal year. No one dependency of any independent country may receive more than 2 percent of the family-sponsored and employment-based visas issued. Since these limits are based on visa issuance rather than entries into the United States and immigrant visas are valid for 6 months, there is not total correspondence between these two occurrences.Chargeability is usually determined by country of birth. Exceptions are made to prevent the separation of family members when the limitation for the country of birth has been met.