Commonly Used Immigration Acronyms and Terms
212(e) J-1 two year home residency requirement
AOS Adjustment of Status
Beneficiary the scholar or employee benefitting from the immigration application
CBP Customs and Border Protection
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
COS Change of Status
CPT F-1 Curricular Practical Training
DHS Department of Homeland Security
DOL Department of Labor
DOS Department of State
DS-2019 the immigration document for J-1 exchange visitors; replaced the earlier form IAP-66 in September 2002
EAD Employment Authorization Document (often, a card that looks similar to a green card or driver's license)
ECFMG Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates
FN or FNL Foreign National (also the Beneficiary)
I-20 the immigration document for F-1 students
I-797 Notice of Action a form used by USCIS to communicate updates about different statuses
IAP-66 the old version of the DS-2019; no longer in use
ICE Immigration and Customs Enforcement
INA Immigration and Nationality Act
LCA Labor Condition Application (LCA) for H-1Bs and E-3s
OPT F-1 Optional Practical Training
PAF Public Access File (for H-1Bs and E-3s)
PERM Permanent Labor Certification (used for some employer-based permanent residency applications)
Petitioner the employer (here, we list the Petitioner as "University of Wisconsin System" followed by the specific campus you are employed at)
POC Point of Contact
PR or LPR Permanent Resident or Lawful Permanent Resident (aka "green card" holders)
PWD Prevailing Wage Determination
RFE Request For Evidence - Generally, USCIS issues written notices in the form of an RFE to request missing initial or additional evidence
SHIP Student Health Insurance Plan
SOC Standard Occupational Classification codes (used for H-1B and E-3 petitions)
STEM OPT** A 24-month OPT extension for students with STEM degrees
**IMPORTANT: UW-Madison is NOT an authorized STEM OPT employer at this time.
USCIS United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
UWMF University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation (IFSS provides immigration services for SMPH/UWMF dually appointed clinical faculty)
VWP Visa Waiver Program
WAE Work Authorization End (for the I-9; the date someone can legally work in the U.S. until)
This is not an all-inclusive list of immigration acronyms or terms. If you have a question about what something means, don't guess! Contact IFSS at
Additional Resources:
USCIS List of Acronyms
USCIS Glossary of terms