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SC driver license update-all of you can help

SC driver license update-all of you can help

Old Feb 15th 2002, 1:13 pm
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Default SC driver license update-all of you can help

Bill 4382 addressing the DL issue will be at public hearing next week. If you are living in SC please take a moment to write to the below addresses. Even if you aren't living here but are willing to write that will help too.
I foresee the problem will be that they just don't understand visa procedures. You will see by this letter i received from Rep. Glenn Hamilton:

"Dear Dr. ,

The above referenced bill will be considered next week in the House Education Committee. I intend to support extending driver's licenses to aliens married to US and SC citizens; but doubt I will support that for fiances and fiancees, due to the increased possibility of fraudulent use.

Sincerly,
Rep Glenn Hamilton"

So, you see that he just does not understand that spouses who came here on K-1 visa's STAY as K-1 technically until their AOS. If they can't get it thru their heads to be more precise about just who spouses are we are doomed that 666 days until adjustment takes place.
The man who most understands is Rep. Mike Easterday. In a post from him he writes :

"Thank you for your email. I have been told that my legislation and other's trying to fix this problem will be heard at a public hearing next week in the subcommittee where the bills reside. Hopefully, we can fix this problem quickly. Thank you for your input and help."

And yes yes i have written explaining this, but somehow they keep skipping the explaination part and focusing on visa category.

So anyone willing to help out will be appreciated. I know quite a few of you are good writers.

Address your letter to
Gov. Jim Hodges.... [email protected]
Rep. Mike Easterday [email protected]
Rep [email protected] (he is the sponsor of the Bill)
Then CC to the below addresses (these are the legislature who are sponsoring)
[email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Thank you so much. I will be writing today of course. But first a small rest after having had to do the 4 hour drive to Charleston all by myself for his EAD.
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Old Feb 15th 2002, 7:24 pm
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Default Re: SC driver license update-all of you can help

Tara,

Is writing to the email addresses sufficient?

- Khabibiuf
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Old Feb 15th 2002, 8:08 pm
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Default Re: SC driver license update-all of you can help

Tara,

I have sent out a letter to the email addresses you listed. Hopefully the South Carolina law will be reviewed and amended.
I will keep this board updated with the latest.

Thanks,

- khabibiuf
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Old Feb 15th 2002, 8:13 pm
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Default Re: SC driver license update-all of you can help

Direct the letter to Gov. Jim Hodges, Rep. Harry B. Limehouse, (the sponsor of the bill) and Rep. Mike Easterday (the one who may be able to make it clear that many SPOUSES are on fiance visas NOT spouse visas).
Those addresses are in the first post. Then CC the remaining email addresses in the post. These are co-sponsors of the Bill and the Chairman of the Judiciary Commitees. I did forget to list Hamiltons address it is :
[email protected]

If you are feeling really fiesty and want to send to all the Senators and and Representatives you can get the addresses at:
http://www.scstatehouse.net/
You may want to write directly to your local Senator and Representative you can get this info at the above address also.

To keep watch on the bill, go to this address and type in... 4382.
http://www.leginfo.state.sc.us/work/...llinfonew.html

This is how the bill is currently looking.....

H 4382 General Bill, By Limehouse, Altman, Barrett, Bingham, Keegan, Whatley,
Sandifer, Witherspoon, Wilkins, Taylor, A. Young, Littlejohn, Vaughn,
Simrill, Walker, Robinson, Cato and Barfield
A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 56-1-40, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO PERSONS WHO MAY NOT BE ISSUED A DRIVER'S LICENSE OR HAVE THEIR DRIVER'S LICENSE RENEWED, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT A DRIVER'S LICENSE ISSUED TO A PERSON WHO IS IN THE STATE PURSUANT TO A STUDENT OR WORK VISA OR TO A DEPENDENT OF THAT PERSON EXPIRES THE EARLIER DATE OF EITHER FIVE YEARS FROM ITS ISSUANCE, UPON THE EXPIRATION OF THE PERSON'S VISA, OR WHEN THE PERSON'S VISA IS REVOKED.
View full text
12/05/01 House Prefiled
12/05/01 House Referred to Education and Public Works
01/08/02 House Introduced and read first time HJ-20
01/08/02 House Referred to Committee on Education and Public
Works HJ-20
01/09/02 House Member(s) request name added as sponsor: Cato
01/15/02 House Member(s) request name added as sponsor: Barfield


Thanks for writing,
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Old Feb 15th 2002, 8:22 pm
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Default Re: SC driver license update-all of you can help

Tara,

I read over the Bill. I'm not sure I quite understand it. I don't see anything regarding the Spousal visas. Seems like it doesn't address our problem?

- khabibiuf
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Old Feb 15th 2002, 8:38 pm
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Default Re: SC driver license update-all of you can help

Spouses and Fiances ARE NOT mentioned. Ergo we have not been getting DL's as of late.
If this bill goes thru with the wording as it is, Spouses and Fiances will be out of the wording again.
That is why it is important to write to point out that there are categories of visas not listed and that spouses are on FIANCE visas if the marriage occured in the USA.
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Old Feb 19th 2002, 4:50 pm
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Default Re: SC driver license update-all of you can help

you can watch it via live feed from the House of Representatives on: http://www.leginfo.state.sc.us/real.html
Be prepared for blah blah....
Here is my last letter. Writing it was a lesson of simple. After watching the live feed you will see who we are trying to knock sense into.......simpletons



"Dear Representatives,

Thank you for you attention to my previous letter regarding Bill 4382.

There is a serious misconception regarding visa categories for spouses of American citizens which unless corrected will severely affect the lives of many families in this state.

There are two types of visas for spouses of US citizens:

1. Fiance/Fiancee visa (marriage happens in the US)

2. Spouse visa (marriage happens in a foreign country)

More often than not the spouse comes on a fiance visa which is only an 90 day entry visa. The visa expires but the spouse files for permanent residency after marriage. This process takes two years. During these two years the spouse remains on the expired fiance visa. If the marriage does not happen the fiance is required to leave the US by the end of 90 days.

I understand your concern regarding abuse, but that can be corrected by requiring the spouse who has come on a fiance visa to show the marriage license while applying for a driver's license.

Please take the time to understand the visa process and give the same driving rights to persons who marry in the US as would be given to persons marrying US citizens in foreign countries. By denying licenses based purely on visa categories, you will deny rights to all persons who married in the US. "

Yes is know it is simple and not fully expaining, but wait till you hear how these guys talk anything deeper would have scalped them.
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Old Feb 19th 2002, 11:25 pm
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Default Re: SC driver license update-all of you can help

tara wrote:
    >
    > you can watch it via live feed from the House of Representatives on:
    > http://www.leginfo.state.sc.us/real.html Be prepared for blah blah.... Here is my
    > last letter. Writing it was a lesson of simple. After watching the live feed you
    > will see who we are trying to knock sense into.......simpletons
    >
    > "Dear Representatives,
    >
    > Thank you for you attention to my previous letter regarding Bill 4382.
    >
    > There is a serious misconception regarding visa categories for spouses of American
    > citizens which unless corrected will severely affect the lives of many families in
    > this state.
    >
    > There are two types of visas for spouses of US citizens:
    >
    > 1. Fiance/Fiancee visa (marriage happens in the US)
    >
    > 2. Spouse visa (marriage happens in a foreign country)

One can obtain a "spouse visa" by marrying in the US I believe

    > More often than not the spouse comes on a fiance visa which is only an 90 day entry
    > visa. The visa expires but the spouse files for permanent residency after marriage.
    > This process takes two years. During these two years the spouse remains on the
    > expired fiance visa. If the

Doesn't the spouse remain in the US on the basis of filing AOS and not the expired
fiance visa?
 
Old Feb 20th 2002, 12:43 am
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Default Re: SC driver license update-all of you can help

Tara

YOur letter is incorrect.

You state that:

1. Fiance/Fiancee visa (marriage happens in the US)

2. Spouse visa (marriage happens in a foreign country)

A spouse visa can also be applied for if the foreign spouse enters the US as a visitor and marries and stays to adjust.

Rete
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Old Feb 20th 2002, 2:18 am
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Default Re: SC driver license update-all of you can help

Yes, Rete. I know that, and you know that. But pretend for a moment you don't know as much, and you had to, in 100 words or less, try to convince them that those people who come in on fiance visa's become spouses, while retaining the fiance visa.

They were leaning toward giving the drivers licenses to spouses and not fiances. They currently exclude by visa category, not marital status.

i did say the letter was a lesson in simple. i knew i was leaving out categories, including refugees (who are also not mentioned). But i was writing to legislators in behalf of fiance-spouses. I do hope other category visa holders who have been denied DL's wrote also.

This was not my first letter to them, in previous letters i explained the AOS process. And going any deeper honestly confuses them. I have contacted my Federal Congressman who was kind enough to contact State Reps to give them a better understanding of visa categories.

And to JP who says
>"Doesn't the spouse remain in the US on the basis of filing AOS >and not the expired fiance visa

Yes and no. A fiance stays on by the basis of filing the the AOS. But the visa they hold still appears as an expired fiance visa until the stamp is put in their passport and then the card comes. Remember the visa is just the type of entry a person comes to the US by. Fiances stay on as a courtesy of the State Department during the wait time for AOS approval.
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Old Feb 20th 2002, 10:45 pm
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Default Re: SC driver license update-all of you can help

tara wrote:
    >
[ ... ]
    >
    > And to JP who says
    > >"Doesn't the spouse remain in the US on the basis of filing AOS >and not the
    > >expired fiance visa
    >
    > Yes and no. A fiance stays on by the basis of filing the the AOS. But the visa they
    > hold still appears as an expired fiance visa until the stamp is put in their
    > passport and then the card comes. Remember the visa is just the type of entry a
    > person comes to the US by. Fiances stay on as a courtesy of the State Department
    > during the wait time for AOS approval.

Which is essentially what I said. The person could not remain in the US on the basis
of an expired visa, particularly when the visa does not, by itself, authorize any
stay at all. So a person in this situation can remain in the US and be in status on
the basis of having filed AOS. Once this has been done the fiancee visa is, it seems,
meaningless.
 
Old Feb 20th 2002, 11:42 pm
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Default Re: SC driver license update-all of you can help

Originally posted by Jb
[Which is essentially what I said. The person could not remain in the US on the basisof an expired visa, particularly when the visa does not, by itself, authorize any stay at all. So a person in this situation can remain in the US and be in status on the basis of having filed AOS. Once this has been done the fiancee visa is, it seems,
meaningless.
[/B]
JP....
Not meaningless to the DMV in SC. Which is what the thrust of this thread is about.
Here is how SC DMV law reads...


"7) who is not a resident of South Carolina, except for persons a person from other countries another country who are is present in South Carolina on a student visa or on a work visa or the dependents of the student or worker who may be issued a license. A driver's license issued pursuant to this item expires the earlier date of either five years from the date of its issuance, upon the expiration date of the person's visa, or when the person's visa is revoked. However, the granting of the license is not evidence of meeting the residency requirements of Section 59-112-20; "

This paragraph alone is ALL they go by in regards granting drivers licenses to immigrants. You see they go by visa CATEGORY. At this point if you don't have a "worker or student" category visa, you don't qualify...PERIOD. Notice a complete lack of mention of spousal, fiance or refugee etc. Also notice that a drivers license expires "upon expiration of the person's visa"

Now imagine turning up at a DMV with an "expired" fiance visa, which is what a fiance holds until their AOS goes thru. You think these people at DMV understand AOS. And what do you have to show you have applied anyway? If you are lucky you have a measly cash register receipt. Ours reads:

INS
Sub Station
Greer SC
I-485- 220.00
I-765- 100.00
I-131- 95.00
Subtotal - 425.00
Check- 425.00
Change- 0.00

3 Items
0764 001 001 14.26
THANK YOU

Heck, it looks like we went to the Substation in Greer and had a overpriced sub sandwich and an equally overpriced cup of joe and chips.
I would love to see you try to convince the DMV here is SC that this cash register receipt means that the "expired" fiance visa you hold is made good by this receipt.
Frankly i find this a flaw in INS. We should be given something that makes the entry visa look legal until our AOS transpires. Say what you like JP if you are stopped and you came on a K-1 all you have to show "who you are" is an EXPIRED visa (I-94) in your passport.

So you see our quandry now?

Fiance visa=no license....just for lack of mention in DMV wording of law... ditto for ANY other visa besides worker and student

Expired visa=no license
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Old Feb 21st 2002, 12:05 pm
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Default Re: SC driver license update-all of you can help

Why Can't the EAD be considered as a "Work Visa"?

Although not really a visa, theoretically it is stronger than an H1 visa because:
1. it has no restrictions (unlike H1/L1),
2. Having one inherently makes you eligible for a renewal (under the same category
you applied for the AOS)?
3. It proves your status in this country is completely legal, and
4. You are closer to the status of an immigrant (if not already are) compared to a
regular H1 because H1 is considered a non-immigrant visa.

It make sense (to me) not to approve an issuance of a DL based on a K1 because the K1
holder still needs to complete his/her part of the deal (get married) and once s/he
does that, s/he is eligible for the EAD anyway.

Yair
 
Old Feb 21st 2002, 12:25 pm
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Default Re: SC driver license update-all of you can help

Most states do allow an EAD to be used as proof of legal residence. Personally I
would rather the states just pointed at the list of registration documents allowed by
the INS so as the INS added new rules and regs it would stay up to date. However, I
understand that the states do want to have further restrictions (for instance,
there's no reason why somebody here on a visa waiver should need a driver's license).
The trouble is that obviously some states haven't looked very closely at the type of
visas that are allowed.

Also, entry on advance parole should be sufficient. The INS is supposed to give you
indefinite stay when you enter on AP (at least one airport - Washington Dulles -
tends to ignore this).

Andy.

--
I'm not really here - it's just your warped imagination. "Yair Leibovich"
<[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
    > Why Can't the EAD be considered as a "Work Visa"?
    >
    > Although not really a visa, theoretically it is stronger than an H1 visa because:
    > 1. it has no restrictions (unlike H1/L1),
    > 2. Having one inherently makes you eligible for a renewal (under the same category
    > you applied for the AOS)?
    > 3. It proves your status in this country is completely legal, and
    > 4. You are closer to the status of an immigrant (if not already are) compared to a
    > regular H1 because H1 is considered a non-immigrant visa.
    >
    > It make sense (to me) not to approve an issuance of a DL based on a K1 because the
    > K1 holder still needs to complete his/her part of the deal
(get
    > married) and once s/he does that, s/he is eligible for the EAD anyway.
    >
    > Yair
    >
    >
 
Old Feb 21st 2002, 1:15 pm
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Default Re: SC driver license update-all of you can help

Hi Yair,
Come on , you live here. I know it's hard for the people outside of SC to grasp how the South is but hey, i know you're in Greenville. Home of Bob Jones, where they even believe the pope is the "anitchrist", and homosexual (among other) infidels are responsible for the current state of war. What makes full sense to us, doesn't make a whit of sense to them.

On our first try to get his DL, he showed up with EAD, SS#, and (at that time) and UNexpired fiance visa. But this was not good enough. The law ONLY mentions "worker and student" visa's. I tired the "well he is a worker" as shown by his EAD. But that did not fly. She told him he "shuda applied for a worker visa then".

We truly are between rocks and hard spaces here. It probably was not in our personal benefit that my husband is Indian. To the untrained SC eye, he looks "alot like them thair terrorist fellows". I'll never forget the smirk on the DMV personnel's face when we had to leave without the DL. You would have thought she felt she had single handedly "saved the world' from another terrorist. Living in SC is a bit like being in a Comedy Club all the time.

Frankly this whole DL mess is more than i could personally possibly straighten out. To that extent, i have had assistance from Federal Congressman Jim Demint, who has taken on the job of informing State reps of the visa categories and laws. Also the University of SC. They have gone to bat also, as student visa's "expire" even while the person is here legally.

If you are a student here and need help,Here is a quote from from our site giving you an email address to write to:

"The South Carolina Department of Public Safety, Division of Motor Vehicles, which is the state agency in charge of issuing driver's licenses, has changed its policy for issuing driver's licenses to international students and scholars. The Division of Motor Vehicles will only accept an un-expired entry visa stamp, in an individual's passport as acceptable documentation for getting a South Carolina driver's license. Unfortunately, many individuals are in valid/legal visa status, but have expired entry visas.

This new policy is causing serious problems for many internationals in South Carolina. Attempts are underway to try to get the policy changed, but there may have to be legislation passed by the State Legislature before any changes can be made. That process may take several months.
If you have had difficulties getting or renewing a license and wish to share that information, please do so by emailing [email protected]. Please include your name and contact information as well as when and why you were denied a driver's license and what hardship that denial has created. We will attempt to share that information with the appropriate state officials."

Last, but not least, i post here looking for constructive idea's of how to approach this.
Well the house goes to session again today at 10am, hopefully we are up today. You are invited to the Comedy Club at
http://www.leginfo.state.sc.us/real.html
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