Facts about Immigration in South Dakota
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2014 American Community Survey (ACS), 42.4 million immigrants were living in the U.S The averages to 13.3 percent of the U.S. population.
Just 2.9 percent of South Dakota’s population is foreign-born, data from the Migration Policy Institute (MPI).
54.1 percent of immigrants in the state are noncitizens. (MPI)
The largest number of immigrants live in Sioux Falls and Rapid City. (MPI)
Immigrating to South Dakota
Immigrants who are planning on traveling through South Dakota or staying to work should go through the proper legal channels because being an undocumented immigrant is challenging and has legal consequences. Undocumented immigrants have a difficult time finding steady employment and must live in constant fear of being deported.
Law enforcement agencies in South Dakota participate in a federal immigration enforcement program called Secure Communities which means an arrest for something minor like DUI can result in an immigrant’s removal. If you are an undocumented immigrant and are facing deportation, USAttorneys recommends you speak with an immigration lawyer in South Dakota.
Visas, asylum and legal status in South Dakota
Immigrants have different means to get legal immigration status. We’ll discuss some of those means below:
There is an extensive list of visas available to immigrants who want to study at a U.S. university, visit a family member or take on a seasonal job. Most visas fall into the following categories with a few exceptions:
Immigrant Visas and Nonimmigrant visas in South Dakota
Visas issued for work and travel are usually immigrant visas or nonimmigrant visas. Immigrant visas are issued for permanent employment or immigration to South Dakota. Immigrant visa holders can apply for a green card and U.S. citizenship.
Nonimmigrant visas are issued for temporary work or travel in the U.S. These visas are usually valid for months at a time.
The H-1B visa is an exception since it can be used for temporary or permanent immigration. This type of visa is issued to highly-skilled workers who have a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specialty occupation. To qualify for an H-1B visa, an applicant must be sponsored by a U.S. employer.
A complete list of visas is available on the State Department website: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/general/all-visa-categories.html.
Other immigration statuses
Legal permanent residency and U.S. citizenship in South Dakota
Legal permanent residents can work and live in the U.S. without restrictions and as long as they renew their status. Legal permanent residents or green card holders have benefits visa holders don’t, so many people want the status. To learn more about green cards visit: https://www.uscis.gov/greencard.
There are also numerous benefits to becoming a naturalized citizen, but it is a difficult process. Immigrants who hope to become U.S. citizens should enlist an immigration attorney in South Dakota to guide them through the process of naturalization.
Whether you need a visa or want to become a naturalized citizen, one of our skilled immigration lawyers in South Dakota will help you get the status you are seeking. USAttorneys can connect you an attorney today.