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Immigrating to South Carolina
People from countries near and far come to America for business, fun or to be spend time with family. Regardless of an immigrant’s reason for coming to the U.S. and choosing South Carolina to work and live, they need to enter the country with authorization.
Illegal immigration in South Carolina
The Pew Research Center reports that there are an estimated 11.4 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Immigrants enter the U.S. illegally for a long list of reasons. Some try the legal route and have their applications denied. Others can’t wait or won’t wait the months or years it takes to get a visa approval or refugee status. Some undocumented immigrants enter with a visa but fail to leave when it expires. It is never a good idea to enter the U.S. or travel to South Carolina without authorization. Immigrants who enter the U.S. without authorization face incarceration, costly fines and eventual deportation. What’s more an immigrant can be barred from re-entry into the U.S. in the future.
If you overstayed a visa or entered without a visa, you can challenge your deportation and possibly be allowed to stay. Immigrants who receive and order of removal should contact an immigration lawyer near their South Carolina location immediately and enlist them to build a deportation defense.
South Carolina law enforcement officers are instructed to follow federal immigration laws. The state Department of Corrections participates in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ACCESS Program and cooperates with the agency to enforce immigration laws.
Temporary visas or nonimmigrant visas in South Carolina
About 4.7 percent of South Carolina’s population is foreign-born which amounts to 228,553 immigrants in the state in 2014, according to statistics from the Migration Policy Institute. Thirty-seven percent of immigrants in the Palmetto State are naturalized citizens.
Types of visas
There are dozens of visas available to immigrants in South Carolina based on their reason for travel and how long they intend to be in the U.S.
Nonimmigrant visa- Immigrants who just want to work or travel in the U.S. for a short period. Nonimmigrant visas include the H-2A and the H-1B visa.
You can learn more about nonimmigrant visas on the USCIS website.
Immigrant visas- Immigrant visas are granted to immigrants who want to work or live in South Carolina for the long-term. In 2016, the U.S. State Department issued over 600,000 immigrant visas at foreign outposts across the world.
U.S. visas usually fall in to the following categories:
Other immigration statuses in South Carolina include:
Deferred Action recipient
Legal permanent resident
Getting authorization for legal immigration
To get legal authorization, immigrants need to apply for a visa, asylum or humanitarian parole at a U.S. consulate or with the USCIS. This is the first stage in the process is filing out an application and accuracy is critical. If the applicant makes a mistake, omits critical information or misrepresents any bit of information on their immigration application, approval of their visa could be delayed and they may be forced to go through the entire application process over again. If an immigrant would like to apply for a visa, asylum or other immigration status, USAttorneys recommends you contact on of or knowledgeable immigration attorneys in South Carolina.