It is important to note that DOS may revoke a visa simply on the basis of an arrest and determination of guilt is NOT required.
Once a foreign national’s visa is revoked, they cannot use the visa to enter the US without first reappearing before a US consular officer and re-establishing their visa eligibility. If a foreign national attempts to enter the US with a revoked visa, they will be flagged prior to boarding a flight, or denied entry into the US upon landing.
DOS policy is to refer anyone with a single DUI arrest within the past 5 years, or two or more DUIs in the past 10 years, to a panel physician for evaluation. The prudential revocation policy serves as an extension of this practice, revoking a person’s visa if a DUI occurs after the visa is issued.
If the individual then leaves the US and wishes to return, a new visa application will be required, at which point the consular post abroad typically will refer the applicant to a panel physician for examination and certification.
If a foreign national is already within the US, they may stay until the visa expires. Once a person enters the US, their immigration status is determined by their I-94 record. DOS, however, has issued notices to foreign nationals arrested for DUI related offenses requiring them to immediately depart the US and report to their consular office abroad. A visa revocation can Tagged be grounds for court ordered removal by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
DOS policies raise concerns for foreign nationals
If a foreign national is arrested for a DUI, they need to work with a DUI defense lawyer to resolve the charges before leaving the country.
What happens if a foreign national no longer uses the email address provided to DOS when they applied for a nonimmigrant visa and they don’t receive a revocation notice?
What if the foreign national is not guilty of the criminal charge and the charges are dismissed? Determination of guilt is not required by DOS in order to trigger a visa revocation.
J2 dependent visas subject to revocation as well
The DOS directive also states that “if a J1 visa is revoked, the DOS will usually revoke any J2 dependents’ visas as well.” This can cause serious issues for J visa families.
Can a DUI affect getting a green card?
If you are applying for a green card or permanent residence, a California DUI conviction can cause problems when trying to change immigration status. Immigration lawyers will tell you a DUI conviction can under some circumstances bar you from receiving a green card or from eventually becoming a US citizen. There can also be issues with DUI and green card renewal.
Can a permanent resident be deported for a DUI?
Aggravating factors can make a DUI deportable. The facts around each person’s DUI can vary dramatically and will be taken into account during any immigration evaluation.
Some DUI or felony DUI charges involve an accident, reckless driving, injury to others, driving on a suspended license or other aggravating factors that lead to multiple convictions that could make you removable.
Another aggravating factor would be if the DUI was due to driving under the intoxication of illegal drugs such as those on the DEA list of controlled substances.
DUI arrests with severe aggravating factors risk creating deportable offenses for green card holders. Federal immigration interpretation of state criminal convictions can vary as many determinations are subject to the interpretation of different agents and judges. Each case needs to be carefully evaluated for risks in how an immigration evaluation would look at the conviction and immigration status.