Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Abbreviations and terms defined

I thought it would be a good idea to give a short list of the abbreviations I've used in the past and the ones I might use in the future, to help clear things up and to give explanations of some of the terms I've used.

A# - alien registration number

AoS - Affidavit of Support (I-864 form to prove that Ben can financially support me)

AVR - Automated Voice Response (system that can be called at the NVC number which has different messages saying when your case was assigned a number, when packages were reviewed, case complete, etc)

Beneficiary - foreign spouse who is getting petitioned for (in this case, me)

CC - case complete at NVC

CO - consular officer (person at the embassy that interviews the beneficiary)

CR-1 - conditional residency visa for spouses that have been married less than 2 years (the visa we're applying for, green card is good for up to 2 years, can be renewed for a 10 year green card near the end of the 2 year mark)

CSC - California Service Center (a center of USCIS where our case was sent to)

DoS -  Department of State

EP - electronic processing

GC - green card

IIN - invoice identification number (get this at the NVC stage, needed to sign in to payment portal to pay fees)

IR-1 - visa for spouses that have been married for more than 2 years, issued a 10 year green card

IV - immigrant visa

K1 - visa for fiance/fiancees

K3 - visa for spouses, administratively closed since February 1, 2010 (this is the visa that the immigration officer on August 28 told me to apply for even though I told him it was pointless)

LPR -  legal permanent resident

NOA 1 - first notice of action (it's a form from USCIS that informs us they have received our petition)

NOA 2 - second notice of action (it's a form from USCIS that informs us our petition has been approved and will be sent to NVC)

NVC - National Visa Center (where approved petitions get sent to for further investigation, two bills are paid for online and two different packages of forms have to be sent in)

Petitioner - USC or LPR spouse who petitions for a non-US citizen (in this case, Ben)

POE - port of entry (the land border to get into the USA/Canada or the border at an airport)

RFE - request for evidence (means USCIS or NVC want more information/documents to be sent in, this slows down the process and something that is avoided and not wanted during the whole process)

SIF - 'sign-in fail' (means you can't log into the payment portal at the NVC stage anymore, very good indication that your case is complete at NVC)

SSN - social security number

"Touch" - last updated on the USCIS website (term created on the VisaJourney forums for when something happens to our file at USCIS, could either just be moved or someone looks at it, can figure out if you were "touched" by logging in with the username/password on USCIS for a specific petition)

TSC - Texas Service Center (another center of USCIS that handles petitions)

USC - United States citizen

USCIS - United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (department that handles petitions for visas, they then send petitions to different centers, depending on the type of visa that is applied for)

VSC - Vermont Service Center (another center of USCIS that handles petitions)

VJ - VisaJourney (not technically immigration-related, but this is the number 1 website I use and visit multiple times per day)

Also, here's a very quick run-down of the different forms we have to send in:

First step in visa process:
G-1145 - an optional form sent in with the I-130 package, lets you know electronically (by email and/or text message) that the I-130 package has been received
G-325A - biographic information, need one for both beneficiary and petitioner, sent in with the I-130 package
I-130 - the first package sent in, the form is a petition for an alien relative (spouse, child, parents, etc), establishes that there is indeed a connection between the petitioner and the beneficiary

Second step in visa process:
DS-3032 - an email sent by the beneficiary to NVC to inform them that all mail and correspondence be sent to the petitioner in the USA
I-864 - the second package, form to show that the petitioner can financially support the beneficiary
DS-230 - the third package sent in, application for an immigrant visa, part 2 of this form is signed at the interview

After receiving the visa:
I-751 - a form sent within 90 days of the 2 year mark of entering the US with a visa to remove the conditions, after this form is sent in and approved, a 10 year green card is received
N-400 - a form sent in after a couple of years to apply for U.S. citizenship (after 3 years if married, after 5 years if not)

I already explained in a previous post about the I-130 package. In the following blog entries, I will go into more depth of the other forms we have to send in.

I hope this entry cleared up some terms and will help in the future when I use the above abbreviations/terms.


P.S. Yesterday was Ben and I's four-month anniversary. Unfortunately, for the second month in a row, we were apart for it. As long as we're together for our one-year anniversary. I'm praying and hoping that by May 21, I'll be in South Dakota.


  1. Hi Saylin:
    I am applying for my mom. IR5 parent catagory. She is Iranian. I am filing DS-230 and the supporting documents.
    At your website you mentioned that:
    -copy of passport bio page of beneficiary
    -original birth certificate, plus a photocopy**
    -original marriage certificate, plus a photocopy**
    -original police certificate***, plus a photocopy**
    I went to website and here is eaxct copy:
    After you collect your financial forms and supporting financial evidence, you and each family member immigrating with you to the United States should collect original or certified copies of civil documents to support your visa application. 
    The original civil documents must be issued by an appropriate authority.
    In addition to the original civil documents, you must also provide a photocopy of each civil document.
    All documents not written in English, or in the official language of the country in which you are applying for a visa, must be accompanied by certified translations. The translation must include a statement signed by the translator stating that the:
    Translation is accurate, and
    Translator is competent to translate.
    So, I do not have the originals of marriage certificate and birth sertiificate, just copied but I used a proffesional translator and notarized based on what they said, ( certified copies of civil documents)
    Also they specifically mention that if I am applying for my parent, I do not need police recors.
    This is the exact wording fromwebsite, Iran section.
    Available but unreliable. Police certificates are issued by the General Department of Penal Records and Pardon Amnesty (Idar-e Kul Sajl-e Kifari va Afva Bakhshudagi ). However, police records are not required for immigrant visa applicants because posts cannot verify them. Clean record certificates can be obtained in Iran or from Iranian Embassies and Consulates and the physical appearance of the certificate changes significantly depending on which authority issued
    I want you to confirm what I read is correct and what I am submitting will not delay my application process. Do I need real copies of birth, marriage certificate and police record or not.

    1. Please be aware, you're commenting on a post that is over four years old. Things have drastically changed since I first wrote these entries. If you go to my more recent posts, you'll find a link to a wiki I wrote on VJ that I maintain and is kept up to date.
      I believe you're the same person that commented on another [old] post, in which I replied to you there about your other questions.