We have compiled most important immigration terms you must know before applying for any citizenship and residence programs.

These were the official definitions terms widely used worldwide and we these compiled from USCIS, European Commission, IRCC and UK Home office and IOM.  You might find it very useful understanding these definitions. Please also refer to this list of short abbreviations 

Acquisition of citizenship – Any mode of becoming a national, i.e. by birth or at any time after birth, automatic or non-automatic, based on attribution, declaration, option or application.

Alien – Someone present physically in the country but not citizens (eg. Residents, tourists, permanent residents, undocumented people)

Asylum – An immigration benefit for which nationals of other countries can apply if they have a well-founded fear of future persecution on account of certain protected characteristics. Persecution on account of sexual orientation, transgender identity and HIV-positive status have been found to be grounds for asylum.

A2 are the two countries that joined the European Union on 1 January 2007: Bulgaria and Romania.

A8 are the eight Central and Eastern European countries that joined the European Union on 1 May 2004: Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. The A8 does not include the other two countries that joined on this date: Cyprus and Malta.

Background check – A procedure to verify the criminal and/or security background of visa applicants to ensure they’re admissible

Blanket waiver – A waiver issued by USCIS that means the applicant does not have to file a form or pay a fee.

British Citizens are people with citizenship usually through a connection with the UK: birth, adoption, descent, registration, or naturalisation. British citizens have the right of abode in the UK.

British Overseas Citizens are people connected with the former British colonies who, for the most part, did not acquire citizenship of the new country when it attained independence. Hong Kong

British Dependant Territories Citizens became British Overseas Citizens on 1 July 1997 if they would otherwise have been stateless. British Overseas Territories Citizens are people with citizenship through a connection with a British overseas territory such as Gibraltar, St Helena etc. Known as ‘British Dependent Territories citizens’ before February 2002. Hong Kong British Dependent Territories Citizens lost that citizenship automatically on 1 July 1997 but may still hold another form of British nationality. The Common Travel Area consists of the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland.

Citizenship – A legal bond between an individual and their State, acquired by birth or naturalisation, whether by declaration, choice, marriage or other means according to national legislation. Citizenship is a broader term while Naturalization is a narrower term (EUDO glossary). This is written in national languages of the member states.

BG придобиване на гражданство
CS nabytí státního občanství
DE Erwerb der Staatsangehörigkeit / Staatsbürgerschaft
EL κτήση ιθαγένειας
ES adquisición y atribución de nacionalidad
ET kodakondsuse omandamine / kodakondsuse saamine
FI kansalaisuuden saaminen
FR acquisition de la citoyenneté
GA saoránacht a fháil
HU állampolgárság megszerzése
IT acquisizione di cittadinanza
LT pilietybės įgijimas
LV pilsonības iegūšana
MT Ksib ta’ ċittadinanza
NL verkrijging van het staatsburgerschap
PL nabywanie obywatelstwa
PT aquisição de nacionalidade
RO obtinerea cetateniei / dobandirea cetateniei
SK nadobudnutie štátneho občianstva / získanie štátneho občianstva
SL pridobitev državljanstva
SV förvärv av medborgarskap
NO erverv av statsborgerskap (b) / erverv av statsborgarskap (n)

Certificate of Citizenship – A certificate given at the oath ceremony as evidence of your citizenship

Citizenship ceremony – The final step in becoming a Canadian citizen. During the citizenship ceremony, candidates for citizenship aged 14 and over must take the oath of citizenship. After taking the oath, new citizens receive their citizenship certificate.

Conjugal partner – A person outside Canada who has had a binding relationship with a sponsor for at least one year but could not live with their partner. The term refers to both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships.

Defacto population – A concept under which individuals (or vital events) are recorded (or are attributed) to the geographical area where they were present (or occurred) at a specified time.

Dependant – A person who has filed an application for family reunification and who is granted entry and residence by the Member State to stay with a legally resident family member or other.

Deportation – A legal proceeding through which immigration officials seek to remove a foreign national from the United States for violating an immigration law

Detention – non-punitive administrative measure ordered by an administrative or judicial authority(ies) in order to restrict the liberty of a person through confinement so that another procedure may be implemented.

Detention – A process by which government holds foreign nationals in Immigration facilities, prisons, or jails while their removal proceedings are pending.

Disapora – Individuals and members of networks, associations and communities, who have left their country of origin, but maintain links with their homelands.

Diversity Visa or Visa Lottery – The U.S. Department of State (DOS) manages the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program (also known as the visa lottery). The DV Program is free

Dual Citizenship – simultaneous possession of two or more citizenships by the same person.

Entry clearance – A visa permitting the bearer to travel to the UK and leave to enter from the date of issue. It is activated upon passing through UK immigration control. There are three

Economic migrant – A person who leaves their country of origin purely for economic reasons that are not in any way related to the refugee definition, in order to seek material improvements in their livelihood.

Economic Migration – Migration mainly for economic reasons or in order to seek material improvements to livelihood.

Emigration – the act of departing or exiting from one State with the intention to remain abroad for a period exceeding one year.

Entry ban – An administrative or judicial decision or act prohibiting entry into and stay in the territory of the EU Member States for a specified period, accompanying a return decision .

EU Acquis – The body of common rights and obligations that is binding on all EU Member States and that is constantly evolving, which comprises:
– the content, principles and political objectives of the Treaties;
– legislation adopted pursuant to the Treaties and the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ;
– declarations and resolutions adopted by the European Union;
– instruments under the Common Foreign and Security Policy;
– instruments under Justice and Home Affairs;
– international agreements concluded by the European Union and those entered into by its Member States among themselves within the sphere of the Union’s activities.

EU Blue Card – The authorisation bearing the term EU Blue Card entitling its holder to reside and work in the territory of a EU Member State under the terms of Council Directive 2009/50/EC (Blue Card Directive) .

EU Citizen – Any person having the citizenship of an EU Member State.

EB-5 – Employment based fifth preference immigrant investor programalso known as the Regional Center Program, sets aside EB-5 visas for participants who invest in commercial enterprises based on proposals for promoting economic growth.

Family member – a person either married to, or having a relationship legally recognised as equivalent to marriage, to a migrant, as well as their dependent children or other dependants who are recognised as members of the family by applicable legislation.

Family reunification

The establishment of a family relationship which is either:
a) the entry into and residence in an EU Member State, in accordance with Council Directive 2003/86/EC (Family Reunification Directive), by family members of a third-country national residing lawfully in that EU Member State (‘sponsor’) in order to preserve the family unit, whether the family relationship arose before or after the entry of the sponsor; or
b) between an union citizen and third-country national established outside the European Union who then subsequently enters the European Union.

Green card – A document serves as proof that its holder has legal permanent resident status. It is also known as a Permanent Resident Card, Form I-551, or alien registration card. USCIS issues Green Cards to aliens as evidence of their lawful permanent resident status in the United States. For Form I-9, it is acceptable as proof of identity and employment authorization. Although some Green Cards do not have an expiration date, most are valid for 10 years. Cards issued to individuals with conditional permanent resident status are valid for two years.

Habitual Residence – The place at which a person normally spends the daily period of rest, regardless of temporary absences for purposes of recreation, holiday, visits to friends and relatives, business, medical treatment or religious pilgrimage or, in default, the place of legal or registered residence.

Habitual Residence Test (UK) – A test for all individuals (except those from certain exempt categories), including returning British nationals, who have recently arrived in the country and who make a claim for certain income-related social security benefits or seek housing assistance from a local authority.

Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) began on 28 January 2002. It differed from the work permit system in that it did not require an employer to obtain a permit for the individual. Applicants were assessed on a points system, based on their qualifications, earning ability and experience. The programme has now been replaced by PBS Tier 1 (UK)

Healthcare – Healthcare entitlements enjoyed by third-country nationals (migrants, applicants for international protection and refugees) in EU Member States and in their countries of origin.

Highly Qualified Migrant / Highly Skilled Migrant

a person qualified as a manager, executive, professional, technician or similar, who moves within the internal labour markets of transnational corporations and international organisations, or who seeks employment through international labour markets for scarce skills.

Human Rights – Agreed international standards that recognise and protect the dignity and integrity of every individual, without any distinction.

Humanitarian visa – A visa granting access to and temporary stay in the issuing State for a variable duration to a person on humanitarian grounds as specified in the applicable national or regional law, often aimed at complying with relevant human rights and refugee law.

Immigrant – a non-resident (both national or alien ) arriving in a State with the intention to remain for a period exceeding a year.

Immigrant (US) – An alien who has been granted the right by the USCIS to reside permanently in the United States and to work without restrictions in the United States. Such an individual is also known known as a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). All immigrants are eventually issued a “green card” (USCIS Form I-551), which is the evidence of the alien’s LPR status. LPR’s who are awaiting the issuance of their green cards may bear an I-551 stamp in their foreign passports.

Immigrant visas are available for aliens (and their spouses and children) who seek to immigrate based on their job skills. An alien who has the right combination of skills, education, and/or work experience, and is otherwise eligible, may be able to live permanently in the United States. Per USCIS, there are five employment-based immigrant visa preferences (categories): EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, EB-4 and EB-5.  Refer to the USCIS Permanent Workers webpage for more details.

Immigration – the act of arriving in a State with the intention to remain for a period exceeding one year.

Inadmissibility – Not being allowed to lawfully enter the United States or obtain a visa abroad based on acts or conduct that is listed as an inadmissibility ground in section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Investor – A term used to describe an immigrant admitted to Canada who:

  • has business experience
  • has a legally obtained net worth of at least C$1,600,000, and
  • has made an investment of C$800,000

ius sanguinis

The determination of a person’s nationality on the basis of the nationality of their parents (or one parent or one particular parent) at the time of the target person’s birth and at the time of acquisition of nationality by the target person (the two points in time are different in cases of acquisition after birth).

ius soli – The principle that the nationality of a person is determined on the basis of their country of birth .

Indefinite leave to remain (ILR)  is a grant of settlement (after entry) to a non-EEA national in the UK.

Integration – a dynamic, two-way process of mutual accommodation by all immigrants and residents of EU Member States.

Irregular Migration –  Movement of persons to a new place of residence or transit that takes place outside the regulatory norms of the sending, transit and receiving countries.

Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) – Any person not a citizen of the United States who is living in the U.S. under legally recognized and lawfully recorded permanent residence as an immigrant. Also known as “permanent resident alien,” “resident alien permit holder,” and “Green Card holder.”

Leave to remain – A permission to stay in the UK either temporarily (limited leave to remain) or permanently (indefinite leave to remain).

LGB(TI) –  acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, (trans and intersex) people.

Landing Card – A form completed by all passengers subject to immigration control, which is given to the Immigration Officer on arrival. A landing card is completed for each journey; a person who makes more than one journey is counted on each occasion. A controlled landing card is one where the passenger has been granted leave to enter and is intending to stay for at least six months; a non-controlled landing card is one where the passenger is intending to stay for less than six months and does not intend to work.

Long Stay Visa – The authorisation or decision issued by one of the EU Member States in accordance with its national law or Union law required for entry for an intended stay in that EU Member State of more than three months.

Long Term Resident – A third-country national who has long-term resident status as provided for under Arts. 4 to 7 of Council Directive 2003/109/EC (Long Term Residents Directive) or as provided for under national legislation.

Loss of citizenship – Any mode of loss of the status as citizen of a country, voluntarily or involuntarily, automatically or by an act by the public authorities.

Minor –  a person who, according to the law of their respective country, is under the age of majority, i.e. is not yet entitled to exercise specific civil and political rights.

Migrant – A person who leaves their country of origin to seek residence in another country.

Migrant – An umbrella term, not defined under international law, reflecting the common lay understanding of a person who moves away from his or her place of usual residence, whether within a country or across an international border, temporarily or permanently, and for a variety of reasons. The term includes a number of well-defined legal categories of people, such as migrant workers; persons whose particular types of movements are legally-defined, such as smuggled migrants; as well as those whose status or means of movement are not specifically defined under international law, such as international students.

Migrant worker – A person who is to be engaged, is engaged or has been engaged in a remunerated activity in a State of which he or she is not a national.

Migration – The movement of persons away from their place of usual residence, either across an international border or within a State.

Multiple Nationality (or Citizenship) – simultaneous possession of two or more citizenships by the same person.

Naturalization – The process by which a foreign national applies for citizenship. Most requires require lawful permanent resident status before applying for citizenship.

Naturalisation – Any mode of acquisition after birth of a nationality not previously held by the target person that requires an application by this person or their legal agent as well as an act of granting nationality by a public authority.

Non-immigrant visa – A temporary visa, such as a tourist, student, or skilled worker visa. Its purpose is to allow a foreign national to come to the country for a limited period of time and for a specific purpose, not to remain in the country permanently.

Non-Immigrant (US) – An alien who is admitted to the United States for a specific temporary period of time. There are clear conditions on their stay. There are a large variety of nonimmigrant categories, and each exists for a specific purpose and has specific terms and conditions. Nonimmigrant classifications include:

  • Foreign government officials;
  • Visitors for business and for pleasure;
  • Aliens in transit through the United States;
  • Treaty traders and investors;
  • Students;
  • International representatives;
  • Temporary workers and trainees;
  • Representatives of foreign information media;
  • Exchange visitors;
  • Fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens;
  • Intracompany transferees;
  • NATO officials; and
  • Religious workers.

Most nonimmigrants can be accompanied or joined by spouses and unmarried minor (or dependent) children.

Nuclear family – The spouse and the minor children of a family.

Nomination Certificate – A certificate issued by a province or territory in Canada that recommends a foreign national for permanent residence under the Provincial Nominee Program.

Ombudsman – Ombudsman is an office with a panel of experts that makes recommendations to us on how to improve services, increase efficiencies, and provide a more meaningful experience.

Oath – A declaration that a person will:

  • be loyal to the Queen,
  • obey country laws and customs, and
  • fulfill the duties of a citizen

Overstayer – a person who remains in a country beyond the period for which entry was granted.

Passport – An official travel document that identifies the person who holds it and shows their citizenship. A passport gives the holder the right to leave and return to the country that issued it. A passport is the only reliable travel document that all countries accept.

Personal Net Worth – The fair market value of all assets of an applicant and their spouse or common-law partner, minus the fair market value of all their liabilities. Generally, this figure does not include personal assets, such as jewellery and automobiles.

Points-based system – System based on the number of points in various categories an applicant must earn in order to qualify to come to work, train or study in a country

Port of entry – The port of entry is the airport, seaport, or border crossing through which a foreign national enters

Protection – A concept that encompasses all activities aimed at obtaining full respect for the rights of the individual in accordance with the letter and spirit of human rights, refugee and international humanitarian law.

Permanent residence card (UK)  is issued for non-EEA family members of EEA nationals on the provision that they have a right to such a card. To acquire that right the non-EEA national must be a family member of an EEA national and must have been living in accordance with the EEA regulations for a continuous period of five years. The permanent residence card is valid for a period of 10 years. Non-EEA family members are not obliged to apply for a permanent residence card.

Principal applicant is the main applicant named. There is one per application. A principal applicant can have no, one or more dependants.

Pull Factor – The condition(s) or circumstance(s) that attract a migrant to another country.

Push Factor – The condition(s) or circumstance(s) in a country of origin that impel or stimulate emigration .

Renunciation  – The process by which a citizen willingly gives up officially his or her citizenship.

Revocation – A person’s citizenship may be revoked (taken away) for any one of these reasons: false representation, fraud and knowingly hiding information

Reentry – In the context of Directive 2016/801/EU (Recast Researcher’s Directive) , the return of aresearcher or a student from a second EU Member State in which they have been residing for up to 180 days (in respect of the conditions for mobility permitted by this Directive) to the EU Member State in which they were originally authorised to stay following the withdrawal or expiration of the period of mobility by the second EU Member State.

Removal – the act of a state in the exercise of its sovereignty in removing an alien from its territory to a certain place after refusal of admission or termination of permission to remain.

Residence permit – Any authorisation issued by the authorities of an EU Member State allowing a non-EU national to stay legally in its territory, in accordance with the provisions of Regulation (EU) No 265/2010 (Long Stay Visa Regulation).

Repatriation – The personal right of a refugee or a prisoner of war to return to their country of nationality under specific conditions laid down in various international instruments and human rights instruments as well as in customary international law.

Regularisation – state procedure by which illegally staying third-country nationals are awarded a legal status.

Resident Alien – This term applies to non-U.S. citizens currently residing in the United States. The term is applied in three different manners; please see Permanent resident,Conditional resident, Returning resident

Re-entry permit – Permanent or conditional residents should apply for a re-entry permit if they will be outside the United States for one year or more. A valid re-entry permit allows you to apply for admission to the U.S. without having to get a returning resident visa from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Refugee (1951 Convention) – A person who, owing to a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.

Remittances – All financial transfers from migrants to beneficiaries in their countries of origin

Residence permit – An authorisation issued by the competent authorities of an EU country allowing a non-EU citizen to stay legally on its territory

Removal of time limit – A administrative action resulting in a non-EEA national being granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

Right of Abode – A legal description of a person’s right to enter and live in the UK without any immigration restrictions. All British citizens have the Right of Abode along with some Commonwealth citizens. This can be evidenced by a British citizen passport or ID card, or a certificate of entitlement in a foreign passport.


Schengen is short for the Schengen Convention, named after the small town in Luxembourg where it was signed. Schengen removes controls at the common borders and allows freedom of movement for all citizens of the signatory EU countries, other EU countries or specified non-EU countries. Signed on 14 June 1985 by Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, it has been extended over time to cover: Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Ireland has maintained its border controls, even if it has partly joined Schengen. The same situation applied to the United Kingdom until its withdrawal from the European Union on 31 January 2020.

Schengen Information System (SIS)

An information system for the EU and the EU countries that enables the relevant authorities to have access to notifications on persons and property via an automated search procedure. It is mainly used for the purposes of border checks and other police and customs checks. In some cases, it is also used for issuing visas, residence permits and for the administration of legislation in the context of the Schengen Convention

Seasonal Worker – A third-country national who retains their principal place of residence in a third country and stays legally and temporarily in the territory of an EU Member State to carry out an activity dependent on the passing of the seasons, under one or more fixed-term work contracts concluded directly between that third-country national and the employer established in that EU Member State.

Sector Based Scheme (SBS) – A quota-based scheme (UK) for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals, which only covers the food manufacturing sector

Second Generation migrant – A person who was born in and is residing in a country that at least one of their parents previously entered as a migrant .

Settlement – A grant of indefinite leave to enter (on arrival) or indefinite leave to remain (after entry) to a non-EEA national.

Self Employed Person – A person who is the sole or joint owner of the unincorporated enterprise (one that has not been incorporated, i.e. formed into a legal corporation) in which they work, unless they are also in paid employment which is their main activity.

Short-stay visa

The authorisation or decision of an EU country required for entry for an intended stay in that country or several EU countries for a period whose total duration does not exceeds three months

Short-stay visa – The authorisation or decision of an EU Member State with a view to transit through or an intended stay on the territory of one or more or all the EU Member States of a duration of no more than 90 days in any 180-day period.

Single Permit – A residence permit issued by the authorities of an EU Member State after a single application procedure allowing a third-country national to reside legally in its territory for the purpose of work.


A non-EU citizen who legally resides in an EU country and who applies for family reunification so that his or her family members can join him or her in that country

Stateless – This means having no nationality.

Stoaway – alien coming to the United States secretly on an airplane or vessel without legal status of admission. They are subject to denial of formal admission and return to the point of embarkation by the transportation carrier.

Visa – A legal document in the form of sticker fixed in the passport, that permits its holder to seek entry into the country for short or long term basis. Permission to enter the country may be granted or denied by immigration officials at the port of entry. In EU context, The authorisation or decision of an EU Member State required for transit or entry for an intended stay in that EU Member State or in several EU Member States.

Temporary Resident – an alien who seeks temporary entry to the United States for a specific purpose. They must have a permanent residence abroad (for most classes of admission) and qualify for the nonimmigrant classification they are seeking.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) – The secretary of the Department of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. We may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States. Eligible individuals without nationality who last lived in the designated country may also be granted TPS. The secretary may designate a country for TPS due to the following temporary conditions in the country: ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war); an environmental disaster (such as earthquake or hurricane); or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. Grants of TPS are initially made for periods of 6 to 18 months and may be extended.

US Territories – A U.S. territory is a partially self-governing piece of land under the authority of the U.S. government. U.S. territories are not states, but they do have representation in Congress. There are five U.S. territories: American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each territory is allowed to send a delegate to the House of Representatives.

The people who live in American Samoa are considered U.S. nationals; the people in the other four territories are U.S. citizens. Citizens of the territories can vote in primary elections for president, but they cannot vote in the general elections for president.

US Visa – allows the bearer to apply for entry to the U.S. in a certain classification, such as student (F), visitor (B) or temporary worker (H).  A visa does not grant the bearer the right to enter the United States. The Department of State is responsible for visa adjudication at U.S. Embassies and Consulates outside of the U.S.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) immigration inspectors determine the admission, length of stay and conditions of stay at a port of entry.

Visa bulletin – visa bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers and indicates when immigrant visa applicants should be notified to assemble and submit required documentation to the National Visa Center.

Visa Waiver Program(VWP) – Allows citizens of certain selected countries who are traveling temporarily to the United States under the nonimmigrant admission classes of visitors for pleasure and visitors for business to enter the United States without obtaining nonimmigrant visas.

US Passport Card – A wallet-sized travel document that U.S. citizens can use to enter the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports of entry.

U.S. National

An individual who owes his sole allegiance to the United States, including all U.S. citizens, and including some individuals who are not U.S. citizens. For tax purposes the term “U.S. national” refers to individuals who were born in American Samoa or were born in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands who have chosen to be U.S. nationals instead of U.S. Citizens.

U.S. Citizen

  1. An individual born in the United States.
  2. An individual whose parent is a U.S. citizen. (NOTE: There are two general ways to obtain citizenship through U.S. citizen parents, one at birth and one after birth but before the age of 18.  For more information, refer to the USCIS Citizenship Through Parents.
  3. A former alien who has been naturalized as a U.S. citizen
  4. An individual born in Puerto Rico
  5. An individual born in Guam
  6. An individual born in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Third Country National (TCN) – Any person who is not a citizen of the EU i.e. a non-EU citizen

Transit – Passage through a country of transit by a non-EU citizen who is travelling from the country of origin to an EU country

Work permit – An authorisation issued by the competent authorities of an EU country allowing a non-EU citizen to work legally in its territory

Travel Document – A document issued by a government or international treaty organisation which is acceptable proof of identity for the purpose of entering another country.

Third Country – A country that is not a member of the European Union as well as a country or territory whose citizens do not enjoy the European Union right to free movement,

Union Citizen – Any person having the citizenship of an EU Member State.

UK ancestry is a possible route of entry to work and/or settle in the UK for Commonwealth citizens without Right of Abode if they can show that they have a grandparent who was born in the UK.

UK Border Agency (UKBA) is responsible for securing the UK borders and controlling migration in the UK.

UK Points Based System – A rationalisation of 80 existing immigration control processes for persons working and studying in the UK into 5 ‘tiers’. Phased implementation began in February 2008

  • Tier 1 of the Points Based System: For highly skilled individuals who can contribute to growth and productivity.
  • Tier 2 of the Points Based System: For skilled workers from outside the EEA with a job offer to fill gaps in UK labour force.
  • Tier 3 of the Points Based System: For limited numbers of low skilled workers needed to fill specific temporary labour shortages (currently suspended).
  • Tier 4 of the Points Based System: Students.
  • Tier 5 of the Points Based System: Youth mobility and temporary workers: people allowed to work in the UK for a limited period of time to satisfy primarily non-economic objectives

Visa code – Regulation outlining the procedures and conditions for issuing visas for transit through or intended stays in the territory of the Schengen Member States not exceeding three months in any six-month period.

Visa Information System (VIS) – A system for the exchange of visa data between EU Member States, which enables authorised national authorities to enter and update visa data and to consult this data electronically.

Xenophobia – Attitudes, prejudices and behavior that reject, exclude and often vilify persons, based on the perception that they are outsiders or foreigners to the community, society or national identity.