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Immigration terminology can be difficult to understand when navigating through any immigration process. This section provides a brief definition of immigration-related terms. We have organized the terms in alphabetical order for easy reference.
FOIA: An abbreviation for the Freedom of Information Act.
Fiancé (e) of U.S. Citizen: A nonimmigrant alien coming to the United States to conclude a valid marriage with a U.S. citizen within ninety days after entry.
Field Offices: Offices found in some Districts that serve a portion of the District's jurisdiction. A Field Office, headed by an Field Office Director, provides many services and enforcement functions. Their locations are determined, in part, to increase convenience to USCIS' customers.
Files Control Office: An USCIS field office--either a district (including USCIS overseas offices) or a suboffice of that district--where alien case files are maintained and controlled.
Fiscal Year: Currently, the twelve-month period beginning October 1 and ending September 30. Historically, until 1831 and from 1843-49, the twelve-month period ending September 30 of the respective year; from 1832-42 and 1850-67, ending December 31 of the respective year; from 1868-1976, ending June 30 of the respective year. The transition quarter (TQ) for 1976 covers the three-month period, July-September 1976.
Foreign Government Official: As a nonimmigrant class of admission, an alien coming temporarily to the United States who has been accredited by a foreign government to function as an ambassador, public minister, career diplomatic or consular officer, other accredited official, or an attendant, servant or personal employee of an accredited official, and all above aliens' spouses and unmarried minor (or dependent) children.
Foreign Information Media Representative: As a nonimmigrant class of admission, an alien coming temporarily to the United States as a bona fide representative of foreign press, radio, film, or other foreign information media and the alien's spouse and unmarried minor (or dependent) children.
Foreign State of Chargeability: The independent country to which an immigrant entering under the preference system is accredited. No more than 7 percent of the family-sponsored and employment-based visas may be issued to natives of any one independent country in a fiscal year. No one dependency of any independent country may receive more than 2 percent of the family-sponsored and employment-based visas issued. Since these limits are based on visa issuance rather than entries into the United States, and immigrant visas are valid for 6 months, there is not total correspondence between these two occurrences. Chargeability is usually determined by country of birth. Exceptions are made to prevent the separation of family members when the limitation for the country of birth has been met.