DUIs and Visas

imagesFor those who are not aware, the Department of State, the US agency that controls the US Consulates overseas and who issue immigrant and non-immigrant visas, has amended its rules on the revocation of visas for those currently in the US.

For the most part, the rule is now that the overseas posts CANNOT revoke visas for those in the US who have gone to court on issues and there is no final disposition.  However, one glaring exception to this is for a DUI.  For a DUI, just going to Court is enough for the Consulate to revoke your non-immigrant visa.  This does not mean they have found you ineligible for the visa, and it is not to say that you could not leave the US and get a new visa stamp.  Instead, it is the Department of State’s way of saying you may be ineligible, therefore we are going to revoke your visa on that suspicion and force you to undergo a new visa interview even if you are found not guilty, and even if everything is dismissed prior to trial.

While such a policy seems, in many ways, nonsensical – they are revoking a visa based upon the possibility that you may, in the future, be found to be ineligible for the visa that they already granted you – it is, unfortunately, the current policy until and unless someone is able to challenge this rule in Court and get a Court to overturn it (if they will).  And, while not a huge departure from their current policy, it is a cautionary tale to everyone in the US on a temporary visa to be extra careful.

Author: Adam Frank, Esquire

I am an immigration attorney with over 20 years of experience. I was graduated from Brandeis University undergrad in 1990 and then spent a year traveling around Central America. In 1991 I began attending the University of Baltimore School of Law and was graduated in 1994. I began working in Immigration Law in 1998 when I joined a small law firm and, in 2000 opened my own firm with my law partner Ed Leavy. Sadly, Ed passed away in 2011. I am still a partner in my own firm with my current partner Brendan Delaney. Our firm is Frank & Delaney Immigration Law, LLC.

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