North Carolina State Immigration Laws
Welcome to FindLaw's coverage of North Carolina's immigration laws. This page covers legislation and rules related to immigration status.
Below, you will find information on the following topics:
- Law enforcement and immigration in North Carolina
- Employment and immigration
- North Carolina E-Verify requirements
- Driver's license/ID requirements
- Public benefits restrictions
- Education checks
- Voting ID rules
- Housing ordinances and immigration
- Related resources
- Hire an immigration attorney
Title 42 Has Ended: What You Need to Know
The Title 42 public health order from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has ended. In the wake of its ending, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a statement on April 27, 2023. The department announced "sweeping new measures to further reduce unlawful migration across the Western Hemisphere."
The end of Title 42 "does not mean the border is open," the fact sheet read. Instead, it means Title 8 is now the law on processing migrants.
As DHS has said, the return to Title 8 means:
- People crossing the border in an unauthorized way will be subject to "expedited removal authority in a matter of days"
- People doing so "will be barred from reentry to the United States for at least five years if ordered removed"
- People attempting such crossings are "ineligible for asylum under the proposed Circumvention of Lawful Pathways regulation"
Certain exceptions apply in rare circumstances in the latter provision of Title 8. In light of this development, it's essential to know your civil rights. Title 42 created more lenient restrictions on border crossings. Now, the risks of deportation have increased. It's crucial to secure legal services from legal advocacy groups. They can help you navigate the increased difficulties of a post-Title 42 U.S. immigration system.
It's also important to know that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the federal government has shouldered overwhelming work. This has resulted in delays in all immigration-related processes. Be aware that wait times have increased significantly since Title 42 expired.
Various local governments in North Carolina work hand-in-hand with federal immigration authorities. They do so in the 287(g) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ACCESS Program. The localities that work with federal authorities in this way are:
These localities share information with ICE. They do so to assist ICE in the enforcement of federal immigration laws.
The state government screens new hires for verification of legal residence. Also, refer to federal employment eligibility verification rules and the requirements for Form I-9.
State employers must use E-Verify. Private employers with more than six employees must use E-Verify (beginning October 2012).
Applicants must have a valid Social Security number to get a North Carolina driver's license.
Under federal law, immigrants here illegally can't get most public benefits. But they can use emergency services. Immigrants here without proper documentation can use services "necessary to protect life and safety."
North Carolina requires students without proper documentation and DACA recipients to pay out-of-state tuition. It also bars them from state-funded financial aid. When enrolling in a state school, students without proper documentation may need to disclose their immigration statuses.
State schools maintain compliance with relevant laws by collecting students' status. But they only collect the info for tuition costs. This also only happens in issues of financial aid.
DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. It protects eligible young adults from deportation after their parents brought them to the United States as children. It also gives these young adults work authorization for limited periods. Those periods of work authorization are renewable.
Voters must show identification when voting in North Carolina. You may use a driver's license as identification. But North Carolina also accepts other forms of photo identification.
All voters can vote with or without an ID. If a voter doesn't have a photo ID, they may still vote if they fill out an ID Exception Form. Voters must mail their ballots.
North Carolina has no special housing ordinances on immigration.
- The Costs and Consequences of Local Immigration Enforcement in North Carolina Communities
- Know Your Rights — A guide to protecting yourself and your family during immigration raids
If you're facing an immigration-related matter in the state of North Carolina, it's vital to seek legal assistance. Immigration attorneys can help you navigate the complicated process of naturalization. You can even search for an attorney by city, such as Raleigh.
They can also help you understand the local laws on immigration. Low-income persons may find free or low-cost legal services through North Carolina Legal Aid. As a nonprofit organization, it offers no-cost legal assistance. Check with North Carolina Legal Aid to see if you qualify for free or low-cost services.
Outreach programs and providers can help noncitizens in North Carolina. Visit the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services's website for more information about the programs.
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
Contact a qualified immigration attorney to help you get the best results possible.