Moving to a new country with its new customs and culture can be shocking. Learning a new language and adjusting to a new climate and daily way of life are exhausting. Understanding the most commonly used terms can help.
A short glossary of immigration terms
There are some words related to immigration provided by the Colorado Department of Human Services and other agencies that are necessary to know. These are:
- Arrivals- Secondary: This means a refugee who first come to one state but then move to Colorado.
- Asylee: This is a person who is already in the United States who is seeking refugee protection. Typically these people are seeking protection because they are persecuted in their home country because of their race, religion, nationality, political affiliation, or social group.
- Presidential Determination: This is the number of refugees who are allowed into the US by the President. The President consults with congress to determine this number. The number of refugees allowed in is based on humanitarian concerns and what is in the best interest of the US.
- Reception and Placement: Also called R&P. The Department of State works with nine domestic resettlement agencies to resettle refugees. The R& P program gives the resettlement agencies a one-time sum per refugee. This money is used to help meet the cost of living expenses of the refugees.
- Special Immigrant Visa: Iraqi and Afghani people who helped U.S. armed services (as an interpreter, for example) qualify for refugee benefits for up to eight months after they arrive in the U.S.
- VOLAG: A national voluntary agency that helps refugees resettle in the U.S. Every local resettlement program is connected to one of these agencies.
- Naturalization: The process of someone who was born in another country becomes a U.S. citizen. You must be 18 years old and have lived in the U.S. for at least five years. If you are married to a U.S. citizen you must have lived here three years. To naturalize you must show that you can speak English and have a basic understanding of the US government and the nation’s history. The process also requires that you have “good moral character.”
It can be daunting and confusing to try and know every acronym or word that has to do with immigration. The National Conference of State Legislatures offers additional common immigration terms.