Words You Need to Know

Glossary of Terms

Because your path to freedom involves legal processes, you will hear a lot of new words, as well as familiar words being used in new ways.

Use this list to help you understand some of the key terms that will be used during the process.

Remember to ask questions. Whenever there are terms or parts of the process you don’t understand, ask someone to explain it to you.


A person outside his or her own country who is unable or unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of that country because of persecution, or a well founded fear of persecution, on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.


Operating procedures of government agencies.

Restraining order

A court demand for someone to behave in a certain way and to stop violations of laws or court orders. A court can issue a restraining order preventing someone from visiting someone else. Also called protection order, order of protection, etc.