Immigration Terminology and
Links to Informative Immigration Sites:

Some common mistaken, and misused, terms:

“Green Card” – used in reference to permanent resident alien status. One does not apply for a “card” and the card one is given upon approval as a permanent resident alien is merely prima facie evidence that the card holder possesses permanent resident status. This card is more properly known as a resident alien card or alien registration receipt card. It is not green and hasn’t been for at least 60 years.

“Sponsor” – used in reference to an individual, particularly an American citizen, obtaining permanent resident status for any alien simply by “standing up” for them. This is completely inaccurate. The term is applied, in current law, only to a person filing an Affidavit to provide financial support to an individual who is immigrating based upon an approved petition from an eligible family member or from an employer with a certified offer of employment for a particular alien.

“Visa” – used to refer to one’s immigration status. In reality a visa is merely a travel permit, issued by a United States consular officer overseas. It allows a person to travel to the United States (but not to remain here) during the period of its validity. Immigration status is conferred by immigration officers at the port of entry and how long one will be allowed to stay and in what immigration category is determined at that time, not by the consular officer issuing the visa.

Links for general immigration information:

Immigration Lawyers on the Web:

Links to relevant government websites:

“Immigration Service”:

Department of State:

Department of Labor:

This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.