Immigration Terms You Need to Know

Understanding Legal Terminology Related to the Immigration Process

Whether you are seeking an adjustment of status or facing deportation, you must understand the terms commonly used in immigration proceedings and your rights. It is in your best interest to retain an attorney as early as possible to ensure that you receive a positive disposition in your case.

At the Law Offices of Anable & Rivera PC, we work with individuals on a wide range of immigration issues. We understand the challenges that our clients face and work endlessly to ensure that they receive the best possible outcome in their case. We are well-versed in complex immigration matters and will help you and your family navigate the process. Contact our office online or call (805) 485-6800 to schedule a consultation. 

What Is an Adjustment of Status?

Adjustment of status is the legal process by which a person can obtain “lawful permanent resident status” or Green Card. There are several steps to obtain an adjustment of status

The first thing you will need to do to achieve an adjustment of status is determine whether you are eligible to apply for a Green Card. You may be eligible through family, employment, refugee status, or several other categories. 

What Is a “Green Card?”

A Green Card or Permanent Resident Card allows you to stay permanently in the U.S. You can legally live and work in the country if you apply for and receive a Green Card. It is also part of the path to citizenship since you will need to be a lawful permanent resident of the United States for at least three to five years to become a naturalized citizen.

What Is a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)?

A lawful permanent resident, also known as a green card holder, is someone who has applied for and been granted permission to legally live and work in the U.S. permanently. 

What Is Naturalization?

Individuals can become citizens of the United States through acquisition (meaning by birth) or naturalization. Naturalization is the legal process used to become a citizen if you were born outside of the U.S. 

As stated above, you will need to have been a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. for at least three to five years to be eligible for naturalization. You must also be at least 18 years of age and meet several other requirements.

If you would like to apply for citizenship, you should speak with a Portland immigration attorney as soon as possible. 

What Is USCIS?

USCIS stands for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. It is the agency responsible for handling most immigration issues, including asylum seekers, applications for naturalization, and the issuance of Green Cards.

What Is Asylum?

Individuals who have faced or fear that they will face persecution may seek protection in the United States through asylum. Asylum is only granted in limited circumstances, such as when the person faces persecution because of their “race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.”

What Is Deportation?

Deportation occurs when someone who has entered the United States illegally is removed from the country. Generally, the person is found to have violated federal immigration law. The deportation process is frustrating and should be handled by an experienced attorney

Do You Need Help with an Immigration Issue in Portland?

If you need help with an immigration issue in Portland, OR, contact our office online or call (805) 485-6800 to schedule a confidential consultation. Our attorneys will help you understand your rights and determine how to move forward with your case. Call now to discuss your legal options. All immigration case evaluations are provided without obligation to retain our firm.