Intelligence Law Glossary - Immigrant [HTML-Only]


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Immigrant

Statutory Law

8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15) (2010) (Title 8—Chapter 12: Immigration and Nationality)

(a) As used in this Act—
   (15) The term "immigrant" means every alien except an alien who is within one of the following classes of nonimmigrant aliens—
      (A)
         (i) an ambassador, public minister, or career diplomatic or an ambassador, public minister, or career diplomatic or consular officer who has been accredited by a foreign government recognized de jure by the United States and who is accepted by the President or by the Secretary of State, and the members of the alien's immediate family;
         (ii) upon a basis of reciprocity, other officials and employees who have been accredited by a foreign government recognized de jure by the United States, who are accepted by the Secretary of State, and the members of their immediate families; and
         (iii) upon a basis of reciprocity, attendants, servants, personal employees, and members of their immediate families, of the officials and employees who have a nonimmigrant status under (i) and (ii) above;
      (B) an alien (other than one coming for the purpose of study or of performing skilled or unskilled labor or as a representative of foreign press, radio, film, or other foreign information media coming to engage in such vocation) having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning and who is visiting the United States temporarily for business or temporarily for pleasure;
      (C) an alien in immediate and continuous transit through the United States, or an alien who qualifies as a person entitled to pass in transit to and from the United Nations Headquarters District and foreign countries, under the provisions of paragraphs (3), (4), and (5) of section 11 of the Headquarters Agreement with the United Nations (61 Stat. 758) [22 U.S.C. § 287 note];
      (D)
         (i) an alien crewman serving in good faith as such in a capacity required for normal operation and service on board a vessel, as defined in section 258(a) [8 U.S.C. § 1288(a)] (other than a fishing vessel having its home port or an operating base in the United States), or aircraft, who intends to land temporarily and solely in pursuit of his calling as a crewman and to depart from the United States with the vessel or aircraft on which he arrived or some other vessel or aircraft;
         (ii) an alien crewman serving in good faith as such in any capacity required for normal operations and service aboard a fishing vessel having its home port or an operating base in the United States who intends to land temporarily in Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and solely in pursuit of his calling as a crewman and to depart from Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Island with the vessel on which he arrived;
      (E) an alien entitled to enter the United States under and in pursuance of the provisions of a treaty of commerce and navigation between the United States and the foreign state of which he is a national, and the spouse and children of any such alien if accompanying or following to join him: (i) solely to carry on substantial trade, including trade in services or trade in technology, principally between the United States and the foreign state of which he is a national; (ii) solely to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which he has invested, or of an enterprise in which he is actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital; or (iii) solely to perform services in a specialty occupation in the United States if the alien is a national of the Commonwealth of Australia and with respect to whom the Secretary of Labor determines and certifies to the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State that the intending employer has filed with the Secretary of Labor an attestation under section 212(t)(1) [8 U.S.C. § 1182(t)(1)];
      (F) (i) an alien having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning, who is a bona fide student qualified to pursue a full course of study and who seeks to enter the United States temporarily and solely for the purpose of pursuing such a course of study consistent with section 214(l) at an established college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program in the United States, particularly designated by him and approved by the Attorney General after consultation with the Secretary of Education, which institution or place of study shall have agreed to report to the Attorney General the termination of attendance of each nonimmigrant student, and if any such institution of learning or place of study fails to make reports promptly the approval shall be withdrawn, (ii) the alien spouse and minor children of any alien described in clause (i) if accompanying or following to join such an alien, and (iii) an alien who is a national of Canada or Mexico, who maintains actual residence and place of abode in the country of nationality, who is described in clause (i) except that the alien's qualifications for and actual course of study may be full or part-time, and who commutes to the United States institution or place of study from Canada or Mexico;
      (G) (i) a designated principal resident representative of a foreign government recognized de jure by the United States, which foreign government is a member of an international organization entitled to enjoy privileges, exemptions, and immunities as an international organization under the International Organizations Immunities Act (59 Stat. 669), accredited resident members of the staff of such representatives, and members of his or their immediate family;
         (ii) other accredited representatives of such a foreign government to such international organizations, and the members of their immediate families;
         (iii) an alien able to qualify under (i) or (ii) above except for the fact that the government of which such alien is an accredited representative is not recognized de jure by the United States, or that the government of which he is an accredited representative is not a member of such international organization, and the members of his immediate family;
         (iv) officers, or employees of such international organizations, and the members of their immediate families;
         (v) attendants, servants, and personal employees of any such representative, officer, or employee, and the members of the immediate families of such attendants, servants, and personal employees;
      (H) [Caution: For expiration of amendments made to this subparagraph by Act Nov. 12, 1999, P.L. 106-95, see § 2(e) of such Act, which appears as 8 U.S.C. § 1182 note.] an alien (i)(a) [Deleted] (b) subject to section 212(j)(2) [8 U.S.C. § 1182(j)(2)] who is coming temporarily to the United States to perform services (other than services described in subclause (a) during the period in which such subclause applies and other than services described in subclause (ii)(a) or in subparagraph (O) or (P)) in a specialty occupation described in section 214(i)(1) [8 U.S.C. § 1184(i)(1)] or as a fashion model, who meets the requirements for the occupation specified in section 214(i)(2) [8 U.S.C. § 1184(i)(2)] or, in the case of a fashion model, is of distinguished merit and ability, and with respect to whom the Secretary of Labor determines and certifies to the Attorney General that the intending employer has filed with the Secretary an application under section 212(n)(1) [8 U.S.C. § 1182(n)(1)], or (b1) who is entitled to enter the United States under and in pursuance of the provisions of an agreement listed in section 214(g)(8)(A) [8 U.S.C. § 1184(g)(8)(A)], who is engaged in a specialty occupation described in section 214(i)(3) [8 U.S.C. § 1184(i)(3)], and with respect to whom the Secretary of Labor determines and certifies to the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State that the intending employer has filed with the Secretary of Labor an attestation under section 212(t)(1) [8 U.S.C. § 1182(t)(1)], or (c) who is coming temporarily to the United States to perform services as a registered nurse, who meets the qualifications described in section 212(m)(1) [8 U.S.C. § 1182(m)(1)], and with respect to whom the Secretary of Labor determines and certifies to the Attorney General that an unexpired attestation is on file and in effect under section 212(m)(2) [8 U.S.C. § 1182(m)(2)] for the facility (as defined in section 212(m)(6)) [8 U.S.C. § 1182(m)(6)]) for which the alien will perform the services; or (ii)(a) having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning who is coming temporarily to the United States to perform agricultural labor or services, as defined by the Secretary of Labor in regulations and including agricultural labor defined in section 3121(g) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 [26 U.S.C. § 3121(g)], agriculture as defined in section 3(f) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 203(f)), and the pressing of apples for cider on a farm, of a temporary or seasonal nature, or (b) having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning who is coming temporarily to the United States to perform other temporary service or labor if unemployed persons capable of performing such service or labor cannot be found in this country, but this clause shall not apply to graduates of medical schools coming to the United States to perform services as members of the medical profession; or (iii) having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning who is coming temporarily to the United States as a trainee, other than to receive graduate medical education or training; and the alien spouse and minor children of any such alien specified in this paragraph if accompanying him or following to join him;
      (I) upon a basis of reciprocity, an alien who is a bona fide representative of foreign press, radio, film, or other foreign information media, who seeks to enter the United States solely to engage in such vocation, and the spouse and children of such a representative, if accompanying or following to join him;
      (J) an alien having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning who is a bona fide student, scholar, trainee, teacher, professor, research assistant, specialist, or leader in a field of specialized knowledge or skill, or other person of similar description, who is coming temporarily to the United States as a participant in a program designated by the Director of the United States Information Agency, for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, or receiving training and who, if he is coming to the United States to participate in a program under which he will receive graduate medical education or training, also meets the requirements of section 212(j) [8 U.S.C. § 1182(j)], and the alien spouse and minor children of any such alien if accompanying him or following to join him;
      (K) subject to subsections (d) and (p) of section 214 [8 U.S.C. § 1184], an alien who—
         (i) is the fiancee or fiance of a citizen of the United States (other than a citizen described in section 204(a)(1)(A)(viii)(I) [8 U.S.C. § 1154(a)(1)(A)(viii)(I)]) and who seeks to enter the United States solely to conclude a valid marriage with the petitioner within ninety days after admission;
         (ii) has concluded a valid marriage with a citizen of the United States (other than a citizen described in section 204(a)(1)(A)(viii)(I) [8 U.S.C. § 1154(a)(1)(A)(viii)(I)]) who is the petitioner, is the beneficiary of a petition to accord a status under section 201(b)(2)(A)(i) [8 U.S.C. § 1151(b)(2)(A)(i)] that was filed under section 204 [8 U.S.C. § 1154] by the petitioner, and seeks to enter the United States to await the approval of such petition and the availability to the alien of an immigrant visa; or
         (iii) is the minor child of an alien described in clause (i) or (ii) and is accompanying, or following to join, the alien;
      (L) subject to section 214(c)(2) [8 U.S.C. § 1184(c)(2)], an alien who, within 3 years preceding the time of his application for admission into the United States, has been employed continuously for one year by a firm or corporation or other legal entity or an affiliate or subsidiary thereof and who seeks to enter the United States temporarily in order to continue to render his services to the same employer or a subsidiary or affiliate thereof in a capacity that is managerial, executive, or involves specialized knowledge, and the alien spouse and minor children of any such alien if accompanying him or following to join him;
      (M) (i) an alien having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning who seeks to enter the United States temporarily and solely for the purpose of pursuing a full course of study at an established vocational or other recognized nonacademic institution (other than in a language training program) in the United States particularly designated by him and approved by the Attorney General, after consultation with the Secretary of Education, which institution shall have agreed to report to the Attorney General the termination of attendance of each non-immigrant nonacademic student and if any such institution fails to make reports promptly the approval shall be withdrawn, (ii) the alien spouse and minor children of any alien described in clause (i) if accompanying or following to join such an alien, and (iii) an alien who is a national of Canada or Mexico, who maintains actual residence and place of abode in the country of nationality, who is described in clause (i) except that the alien's course of study may be full or part-time, and who commutes to the United States institution or place of study from Canada or Mexico;
      (N) (i) the parent of an alien accorded the status of special immigrant under paragraph (27)(I)(i) (or under analogous authority under paragraph (27)(L)), but only if and while the alien is a child, or
         (ii) a child of such parent or of an alien accorded the status of a special immigrant under clause (ii), (iii), or (iv) of paragraph (27)(I) (or under analogous authority under paragraph (27)(L));
      (O) an alien who—
         (i) has extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim or, with regard to motion picture and television productions a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement, and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation, and seeks to enter the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability;
         (ii) (I) seeks to enter the United States temporarily and solely for the purpose of accompanying and assisting in the artistic or athletic performance by an alien who is admitted under clause (i) for a specific event or events,
            (II) is an integral part of such actual performance,
            (III) (a) has critical skills and experience with such alien which are not of a general nature and which cannot be performed by other individuals, or (b) in the case of a motion picture or television production, has skills and experience with such alien which are not of a general nature and which are critical either based on a pre-existing longstanding working relationship or, with respect to the specific production, because significant production (including pre- and post-production work) will take place both inside and outside the United States and the continuing participation of the alien is essential to the successful completion of the production, and
            (IV) has a foreign residence which the alien has no intention of abandoning; or
         (iii) is the alien spouse or child of an alien described in clause (i) or (ii) and is accompanying, or following to join, the alien;
      (P) an alien having a foreign residence which the alien has no intention of abandoning who—
         (i) (a) is described in section 214(c)(4)(A) [8 U.S.C. § 1184(c)(4)(A)] (relating to athletes), or (b) is described in section 214(c)(4)(B) [8 U.S.C. § 1184(c)(4)(B)] (relating to entertainment groups);
         (ii) (I) performs as an artist or entertainer, individually or as part of a group, or is an integral part of the performance of such a group, and
            (II) seeks to enter the United States temporarily and solely for the purpose of performing as such an artist or entertainer or with such a group under a reciprocal exchange program which is between an organization or organizations in the United States and an organization or organizations in one or more foreign states and which provides for the temporary exchange of artists and entertainers, or groups of artists and entertainers;
         (iii) (I) performs as an artist or entertainer, individually or as part of a group, or is an integral part of the performance of such a group, and
            (II) seeks to enter the United States temporarily and solely to perform, teach, or coach as such an artist or entertainer or with such a group under a commercial or noncommercial program that is culturally unique; or
         (iv) is the spouse or child of an alien described in clause (i), (ii), or (iii) and is accompanying, or following to join, the alien;
      (Q) an alien having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning who is coming temporarily (for a period not to exceed 15 months) to the United States as a participant in an international cultural exchange program approved by the Secretary of Homeland Security for the purpose of providing practical training, employment, and the sharing of the history, culture, and traditions of the country of the alien's nationality and who will be employed under the same wages and working conditions as domestic workers;
      (R) an alien, and the spouse and children of the alien if accompanying or following to join the alien, who—
         (i) for the 2 years immediately preceding the time of application for admission, has been a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide nonprofit, religious organization in the United States; and
         (ii) seeks to enter the United States for a period not to exceed 5 years to perform the work described in subclause (I), (II), or (III) of paragraph (27)(C)(ii);
      (S) subject to section 214(k) [8 U.S.C. § 1184(k)], an alien—
         (i) who the Attorney General determines—
            (I) is in possession of critical reliable information concerning a criminal organization or enterprise;
            (II) is willing to supply or has supplied such information to Federal or State law enforcement authorities or a Federal or State court; and
            (III) whose presence in the United States the Attorney General determines is essential to the success of an authorized criminal investigation or the successful prosecution of an individual involved in the criminal organization or enterprise; or
         (ii) who the Secretary of State and the Attorney General jointly determine—
            (I) is in possession of critical reliable information concerning a terrorist organization, enterprise, or operation;
            (II) is willing to supply or has supplied such information to Federal law enforcement authorities or a Federal court;
            (III) will be or has been placed in danger as a result of providing such information; and
            (IV) is eligible to receive a reward under section 36(a) of the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 [22 U.S.C. § 2708(a)],
      and, if the Attorney General (or with respect to clause (ii), the Secretary of State and the Attorney General jointly) considers it to be appropriate, the spouse, married and unmarried sons and daughters, and parents of an alien described in clause (i) or (ii) if accompanying, or following to join, the alien;
      (T) (i) subject to section 214(o) [8 U.S.C. § 1184(o)], an alien who the Secretary of Homeland Security, or in the case of subclause (III)(aa) the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, determines—
            (I) is or has been a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons, as defined in section 103 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 [22 U.S.C. § 7102];
            (II) is physically present in the United States, American Samoa, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or at a port of entry thereto, on account of such trafficking, including physical presence on account of the alien having been allowed entry into the United States for participation in investigative or judicial processes associated with an act or a perpetrator of trafficking;
            (III) (aa) has complied with any reasonable request for assistance in the Federal, State, or local investigation or prosecution of acts of trafficking or the investigation of crime where acts of trafficking are at least one central reason for the commission of that crime;
               (bb) in consultation with the Attorney General, as appropriate, is unable to cooperate with a request described in item (aa) due to physical or psychological trauma; or
               (cc) has not attained 18 years of age; and
            (IV) the alien would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm upon removal; and
         (ii) if accompanying, or following to join, the alien described in clause (i)—
            (I) in the case of an alien described in clause (i) who is under 21 years of age, the spouse, children, unmarried siblings under 18 years of age on the date on which such alien applied for status under such clause, and parents of such alien;
            (II) in the case of an alien described in clause (i) who is 21 years of age or older, the spouse and children of such alien; or
            (III) any parent or unmarried sibling under 18 years of age of an alien described in subclause (I) or (II) who the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the law enforcement officer investigating a severe form of trafficking, determines faces a present danger of retaliation as a result of the alien's escape from the severe form of trafficking or cooperation with law enforcement.
         (iii) [Deleted]
      (U)
         (i) subject to section 214(p) [8 U.S.C. § 1184(p)], an alien who files a petition for status under this subparagraph, if the Secretary of Homeland Security determines that—
            (I) the alien has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of criminal activity described in clause (iii);
            (II) the alien (or in the case of an alien child under the age of 16, the parent, guardian, or next friend of the alien) possesses information concerning criminal activity described in clause (iii);
            (III) the alien (or in the case of an alien child under the age of 16, the parent, guardian, or next friend of the alien) has been helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful to a Federal, State, or local law enforcement official, to a Federal, State, or local prosecutor, to a Federal or State judge, to the Service, or to other Federal, State, or local authorities investigating or prosecuting criminal activity described in clause (iii); and
            (IV) the criminal activity described in clause (iii) violated the laws of the United States or occurred in the United States (including in Indian country and military installations) or the territories and possessions of the United States;
         (ii) if accompanying, or following to join, the alien described in clause (i)—
            (I) in the case of an alien described in clause (i) who is under 21 years of age, the spouse, children, unmarried siblings under 18 years of age on the date on which such alien applied for status under such clause, and parents of such alien; or
            (II) in the case of an alien described in clause (i) who is 21 years of age or older, the spouse and children of such alien; and
         (iii) the criminal activity referred to in this clause is that involving one or more of the following or any similar activity in violation of Federal, State, or local criminal law: rape; torture; trafficking; incest; domestic violence; sexual assault; abusive sexual contact; prostitution; sexual exploitation; female genital mutilation; being held hostage; peonage; involuntary servitude; slave trade; kidnapping; abduction; unlawful criminal restraint; false imprisonment; blackmail; extortion; manslaughter; murder; felonious assault; witness tampering; obstruction of justice; perjury; or attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above mentioned crimes; or
      (V) subject to section 214(q) [8 U.S.C. § 1184(q)], an alien who is the beneficiary (including a child of the principal alien, if eligible to receive a visa under section 203(d) [8 U.S.C. § 1153(d)]) of a petition to accord a status under section 203(a)(2)(A) [8 U.S.C. § 1153(a)(2)(A)] that was filed with the Attorney General under section 204 [8 U.S.C. § 1154] on or before the date of the enactment of the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act [enacted Dec. 21, 2000], if—
         (i) such petition has been pending for 3 years or more; or
         (ii) such petition has been approved, 3 years or more have elapsed since such filing date, and—
            (I) an immigrant visa is not immediately available to the alien because of a waiting list of applicants for visas under section 203(a)(2)(A) [8 U.S.C. § 1153(a)(2)(A)]; or
            (II) the alien's application for an immigrant visa, or the alien's application for adjustment of status under section 245 [8 U.S.C. § 1255], pursuant to the approval of such petition, remains pending.