Once upon a time, there was a client with a visa ticket living the American Dream. He had all the treasures his heart desired: a job and a life of dignity. Suddenly, the visa ticket was revoked. He contacted his employer concerned for his legal status. The employer expressed concern to the Attorney. The Attorney investigated the client’s record and saw a wrinkle: an arrest for DUI.
Though this tale may seem strange, this is a reality for non-immigrant visas for individuals with DUI offenses. Currently, the Department of State’s policy allows consular officers to prudentially revoke non-immigrant visas of individuals charged with a DUI related offense while in the United States.
The policy stems from INA 212(a)(1)(A)(iii)(II): “Classes of Aliens Ineligible for Visas or Admission.-Except as otherwise provided in this Act, aliens who are inadmissible under the following paragraphs are ineligible to receive visas and ineligible to be admitted to the United States…to have had a physical or mental disorder and a history of behavior associated with the disorder, which behavior has posed a threat to the property, safety, or welfare of the alien or others and which behavior is likely to recur or to lead to other harmful behavior.” The Foreign Affairs Manual, 9 FAM 403.11- 3(B)(U)(b) implements a new provision: Under no circumstances should a consular officer abroad revoke a visa when the alien is in the United States, or after the alien has commenced an uninterrupted journey to the United States, other than a revocation based on driving under the influence (DUI). Outside of the DUI exception, revocations of aliens in, or en route to, the United States may only be done by the Departments Visa Office of Screening, Analysis and Coordination (CA/VO/SAC).
The State Department notices advises the foreign national that the notice is a prudential revocation that takes effect “only” upon departure from the United States, and that it does not affect the underlying status of the individual so long as they remain in the United States and have a valid I-94 or admission document.
The moral of this tale is don’t drink and drive. A visa is a vital ticket to the American Dream. Do not waste the opportunity or it could cost you your ticket.
Call To Action: Have you ever been arrested or had a history of DUI offenses that you are unsure if your employer is aware of, contact us for a consultation.
Summary Blurb: The Department of State is cracking down on non-immigrant visas of individuals charged or arrested for DUI related offenses.
About the Author Scarborough Law, LLC is a multidisciplinary practice born out of the founding partner’s frustrations with the delays and bureaucracy of traditional law firms. Scarborough Law, therefore, provides client-focused legal services aimed at recognizing the needs of their clients and delivering a superior personalized service.