Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Duhaime's Immigration Law Dictionary

The field of law known as Immigration Law is one of the most important fields of law known to man. It is engaged in the recognition and enforcement of the  legal rights of individuals passing through a legal "no man's land" as they seek to leave one country, often the country of their birth, to live in another. In many cases, this is not just a choice related to weather or money but sheer survival, as to willing nations, persecuted prospective immigrants are able to present themselves as refugees. There is a considerable body of Immigration Law because it is an  area of international activity similar to no other, and it often involves international law and the domestic law of the exit and receiving nation. A general set of legal terms has evolved, an understanding of which underpins international communication on the subject which enhances performance in the the assistance to vulnerable individuals in the complex and challenging process of immigration.

Alien
A citizen of a state in transit, working, residing or otherwise within the territory of another state.
Asylum
A secure place of refuge.
Asylum Shopping
The practise by an individual given asylum by one state as a refugee, to then use that status to attempt to migrate to another country.
Calvin's Case, 1572
A case which favorably resolved the issue as to whether alien-born persons could exercises certain rights of naturalized English subjects.
Citizenship
The status of an individual as owing allegiance to, and enjoying the benefits of, a designated state.
Consul
A representative of a foreign government assigned to another country to promote and protect the commercial interests of the subjects of his government.
Convention Refugee
An individual defined in the 1951 UN refugee treaty as having a well-founded fear that, were he or she to return to their country of origin, he or she would suffer persecution.
Denaturalization
The revocation of citizenship, usually followed by deportation.
Deportation
The removal of a foreign national under immigration laws for reasons such as illegal entry or conduct dangerous to the public welfare.
Domicile
The permanent residence of a person; a place to which, even if he or she were temporary absent, they intend to return.
Espionage
The practice of playing the spy, or of employing spies.
Ex Patriate
A person who has abandoned his or her country of origin and citizenship and has become a subject or citizen of another country.
Expatriation
The voluntary renunciation or abandonment of citizenship.
Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds
A criteria of immigration law; an unusual, undeserved or disproportionate hardship caused to a person seeking consideration.
Human Trafficking
The transportation or commercial exchange of an individual by coercion or deception for the purpose of exploitation.
Marriage of Convenience
A marriage entered into not for love and mutual affection but in order to facilitate immigration.
Moral Turpitude
An act of baseness or depravity contrary to accepted moral standards.
National Interest
A matter which has or could have impact upon all other members of society.
Nemo Patriam In Qua Natus Est Exuere, Nec Ligeantiae Debitum Ejurare Possit
Latin: No one can renounce the country in which he was born nor the bond of allegiance.
Passport
A document issued in the name of a government vouching for the citizenship of an identified individual.
Refoulement
The return of an alleged refugee to his state of origin.
Refugee
A person who is outside his state of origin or of residence, and cannot return for fear of human-rights related persecution.
Sanctuary
A place of temporary refuge and protection to avoid law enforcement.
State
Groups of people which have acquired international recognition as an independent country and which have a population, a common language and a defined and distinct territory.
Visa
A permit issued by a state allowing for the temporary visit by a citizen of another, for a period of time and a specific purpose.
Xenophobia
Racially-based intolerance of immigrants.

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