There are a lot of acronyms in immigration law especially when dealing with the various institutions.
USCIS stands for United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. USCIS is part of the Department of Homeland Security. USCIS decides whether immigration petitions and benefits should be granted.Many of the applicants that USCIS processes are already located in the United States. For example, USCIS decides whether to grant naturalization or a green card to an applicant.
NVC stands for National Visa Center. NVC is a part of the Department of State. After a petition has been approved from USCIS, if the beneficiary lives outside the United States, the NVC processes the documents and sends them along to the appropriate consulates and embassies.
ICE stands for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE is responsible for enforcing immigration laws within the United States such as investigating and make arrests. ICE also prosecutes immigrations cases in immigration court.
CBP stands for US Customs and Border Protection. The difference between ICE and CBP is that CBP protects the border of the U.S. and controls access into the U.S.
Each agency plays a different role in immigration law and often times it can be confusing what role each one plays. If you have any questions, please contact our office at 508-438-1198.
THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY ATTORNEY JAMIE COSME. IT IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. IT IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE.