A DUI Can Have Severe Consequences to Reentry to The U.S.

The U.S. Dept. of State (DOS) issued criteria that requires consular officers to revoke nonimmigrant visas of individuals arrested for, or convicted of, driving under the influence (DUI). Following an arrest, law enforcement officials enter the individual’s fingerprints into an interagency database, which alerts the DOS and the DOS then cancels the visa – even if the individual is physically present in the U.S.

A DUI indicates a possible visa ineligibility for a physical or mental disorder with associated harmful behavior that is likely to pose a threat to the property, safety, or welfare of the applicant or others in the future.

Cancelation of the visa does not affect an individual’s ongoing status and does not require an individual to depart the U.S. However, it does block reentry if the visa holder receives a DUI, departs the U.S. and then attempts reentry. This is only for DUI charges within the last five years that were not addressed in the individual’s prior visa applications.

If the visa holder is arrested or convicted of a DUI charge, the individual may apply for a new visa. The consular officer will refer any such nonimmigrant visa applicant to a panel physician for a medical examination prior to visa issuances in order to determine whether this type of ineligibility may apply to the applicant.

If you have any questions regarding the revocation policy or other legal problem which may affect your immigration status, contact an attorney in Orr & Reno’s Immigration or Criminal Defense practice.

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