Immigration Resources

Immigration Terminology
All of the words and phrases associated with immigration and visas can be very confusing - use this glossary to sort through it all.
Department of Homeland Security
All immigration services and enforcement is under one of the following three areas of the Department of Homeland Security.
Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
Most adjudication of immigrant and non-immigrant benefits will be done by USCIS either at the local USCIS Office or by mailing applications to the USCIS Service Center in Vermont.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
The primary functions of ICE are: Immigration and customs investigations; customs air and marine interdiction, immigration and customs intelligence; detention and removal. The SEVIS program is also under ICE.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
As a single unified border agency CBP is charged with border patrolling, customs service and immigration inspection at the ports of entry. When you enter the U.S., your first contact will be with an agent from CBP.
Vermont Service Center
This is where most applications for benefits are filed. Practical Training, H-1B Petitions, Change of Non-immigrant status are some examples. From the VSC Web site you can find the processing time, case status on application filed with the center and all immigration forms on line.
USCIS Office in Boston
Directions, hours of operation, etc.
U.S. Embassy and Consulate
An excellent resource for looking into specific visa application procedures in your country.
Exchange Visitors Program
Administered by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs under the U.S. Department of State. Information about the program and J-1 regulations is available from the Bureau's Web site.
American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)
If you at some point find that you need assistance from an immigration attorney we strongly recommend that you make sure the attorney you hire is a member of the AILA.


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