Atlys Visa Glossary


Adjustment Of Status

'Adjustment of Status' is a process in the United States for an individual to change their legal status from a non-immigrant (like a tourist or student) to a permanent resident (green card holder). This process is crucial for those who decide to reside permanently in the U.S. and is typically pursued without returning to their home country.

Administrative Processing

Administrative Processing' is a commonly used term in the context of visa applications, particularly by the U.S. Department of State, to describe a situation where an application requires additional time for decision-making beyond the usual processing period.


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Asylum is the protection offered by a country to an individual who has fled their own country, providing them a safe place to reside, usually because they were in danger of being hurt or treated badly. This could be because of their race, religion, nationality, being part of a certain social group, or their political opinions. Countries that agree to provide asylum ensure that the person can live safely without fear of being sent back to where they were in danger.


Bilateral Agreement

A 'Bilateral Agreement' in the context of visas is a mutual agreement between two countries, often pertaining to visa policies. These agreements can include visa waivers, simplified visa application processes, or specific visa types, aiming to facilitate easier travel or residency options for citizens of the involved countries.


'Biometrics' in the context of visa applications refers to the collection and verification of unique physical characteristics, such as fingerprints and facial features, for identity verification purposes. This technology is widely used by immigration authorities to enhance security, prevent identity fraud, and streamline the visa application process.

Bona Fide

'Bona Fide' in the context of visas and immigration refers to the genuine and sincere intention behind an applicant’s reason for travel or immigration, without any intent of deceit or fraud. For instance, a bona fide tourist visa applicant genuinely intends to visit for tourism purposes only and not to seek employment or stay indefinitely.

Business Visa

A 'Business Visa' is a type of visa specifically intended for individuals engaging in business activities, such as meetings, conferences, or short-term training, in a foreign country. Unlike work visas, it doesn't permit employment by an organization in the host country but allows for business-related travel for a limited period.



Citizenship is like being part of a big team or family in a country. It means you belong to a certain place and have the right to live there, vote, and enjoy benefits like healthcare and education. Countries sometimes have different rules for citizenship, like being born or having parents from there.

Consular Processing

'Consular Processing' is the procedure of applying for and obtaining a visa through a consulate or embassy of the destination country, typically located in the applicant's home country or region. This process involves submitting a visa application, attending an interview (if required), and providing necessary documentation to obtain the appropriate visa.


A consulate is a section of one country's government operating within another country, typically in a major city other than the capital. It serves as a resource for citizens of its own country who might need assistance abroad, such as replacing a lost passport. Additionally, consulates facilitate better communication and collaboration between their home country and the host country. The official leading the consulate is usually referred to as a Consul.

Cultural Exchange Visa

A 'Cultural Exchange Visa' is a type of visa that allows individuals to travel to a foreign country to participate in cultural exchange programs. These programs typically include au pairs, educational exchanges, or artist performances, aiming to promote mutual understanding and cultural interaction between countries.

Customs Declaration

A 'Customs Declaration' is a form filled out by travelers entering a country, declaring items they are bringing into the country. This includes goods for personal use, gifts, or items of commercial value. It's essential for ensuring compliance with the country's import regulations, including limits on certain goods and declaring items subject to duties or taxes.



Deportation is the formal removal of a foreign national from a country for violating immigration laws, such as overstaying a visa, committing a crime, or failing to comply with visa conditions. The process is carried out by immigration authorities and can result in the individual being barred from re-entry for a certain period or indefinitely.

Diplomatic Visa

A Diplomatic Visa is a special category of visa issued to foreign diplomats and officials for official duties in the host country. This visa type often grants certain privileges and immunities under international law, such as exemption from certain taxes and legal processes.

Document Verification

Document Verification in the visa application process involves the authentication of documents submitted by applicants, such as passports, financial statements, and invitation letters. This step is crucial to prevent fraud and ensure the reliability of the information provided in the application.



An 'Embassy' is a diplomatic mission located in the capital city of a foreign country, representing the government of the embassy's home country. It plays a vital role in international relations, offering services like visa processing, consular support for citizens, and fostering diplomatic ties. Embassies also assist travelers and expatriates from their home country in various situations, making them crucial for individuals living or traveling abroad.


Expatriates, or 'expats' for short, are people who live in a country that is not their home country. Imagine moving to a new country for work, study, or maybe for an adventure; that's what expatriates do. They come from all over the world and can live, work, and study in different countries, bringing their cultures and experiences with them. Expats often move for jobs, to experience new cultures, or to be with family.

Expedited Processing

'Expedited Processing' is a service offered by some immigration authorities to process visa applications more quickly than the standard timeframe. This service, often available for an additional fee, is beneficial in urgent or special circumstances, such as emergency travel or business obligations requiring prompt travel.


Grace Period

A 'Grace Period' in visa terms refers to a set duration of time granted to visa holders after their visa expires, during which they can either depart the host country, adjust their status, or in some cases, rectify their visa situation without facing immediate penalties like deportation or fines.


Humanitarian Visa

A 'Humanitarian Visa' is a special type of visa granted to individuals who need to travel to another country for humanitarian reasons. This can include escaping conflict, natural disasters, or extreme situations in their home country. It's designed to offer protection and temporary refuge under urgent humanitarian circumstances.


I-94 Form

The 'I-94 Form', officially known as the Arrival/Departure Record, is a crucial document for non-immigrant visitors in the United States. It provides evidence of a legal entry into the country and the terms of the visitor's stay.

Indefinite Leave to Remain

'Indefinite Leave to Remain' (ILR) permits people to live in a country without any time limit. It means you can stay in the country as long as you like, work, study, and access public services just like people born there. You get this status after you've lived in the country for a certain period, showing you're a part of the community. Applying for ILR involves filling out an application and meeting specific requirements, like knowing the language and the country's culture.

Invitation Letter

An 'Invitation Letter' for visa applications is a document written by someone in the destination country inviting the visa applicant. It often includes details about the purpose of the visit, such as tourism, business meetings, or family reunions, and the expected duration of the stay. This letter can play a crucial role in supporting visa applications by providing additional context for the visit.


J-1 Visa

A 'J-1 Visa' is a non-immigrant visa issued by the United States to individuals participating in work-and-study-based exchange visitor programs. These programs are designed for educational and cultural exchange, including opportunities for students, scholars, trainees, teachers, and others to gain experience in the U.S.


K-1 Visa

A 'K-1 Visa' is a special U.S. visa granted to the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen. It allows the foreign fiancé(e) to travel to the United States to marry their U.S. citizen partner within 90 days of arrival. After the marriage, the foreign citizen can apply for permanent residence (a Green Card) in the U.S.

K-2 Visa

A 'K-2 Visa' is a special kind of visa for the children of a K-1 Visa holder. This visa is for children under 21 years old and unmarried, allowing them to go with their parents to the United States. The parent must be getting a K-1 Visa to marry a U.S. citizen. The children can live in the U.S. and attend school there with this visa.


Multiple Entry Visa

A 'Multiple Entry Visa' is a type of visa that allows its holder to enter and leave the issuing country multiple times within the validity period of the visa. This visa is beneficial for travelers who need to visit a country frequently for business, tourism, or family visits over a specified duration.



Naturalization is the process where a person not born in a country can voluntarily become a citizen of that country. It involves filling out an application, meeting certain requirements like living in the country for a specified time, and often taking a test on the country's language and laws. Once completed, you become a naturalized citizen, enjoying rights like voting and holding a passport.

No Objection Certificate (NOC)

A 'No Objection Certificate' (NOC) is a formal document issued by an employer or government authority, stating that they have no objection to the visa applicant's proposed travel abroad. It’s commonly used in visa applications to assure authorities that the applicant’s travel does not conflict with their employment or legal obligations in their home country.



An 'Overstay' occurs when a person remains in a country beyond the allowed duration specified on their visa. This can result in legal consequences, including fines, deportation, and bans on future travel to that country. Overstaying a visa violates immigration laws and can impact the individual’s ability to obtain visas in the future.


Personal Cover Letter

A 'Personal Cover Letter' in visa applications is a document written by the applicant, providing a detailed explanation of the purpose of their travel, itinerary, and other relevant details. It serves to introduce the applicant to the visa officer and adds a personal touch to the application, often clarifying the intent and context of the visit.



A 'Refugee' is a person who has to leave their country because they are at risk of harm due to their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Unlike immigrants who choose to move, refugees flee for their safety and are protected under international law, which prevents them from being sent back to the dangers they escaped. Countries offering refuge provide them with a new place to live safely.


Visa Validity

Visa Validity refers to the period during which a visa is effective. This means the timeframe from the visa's issue date to its expiration date, during which the visa holder is allowed to travel to or stay in the issuing country, as per the visa type's regulations

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