Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) November 15, 2016 – An arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) can result in the revocation of a nonimmigrant visa.
According to the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) of the Department of State (DOS) made public earlier this year, the DOS may prudentially revoke an otherwise valid nonimmigrant visa when it is notified that the visa holder was arrested or convicted of a DUI or similar offense within the previous five years.
The new policy reflects a more aggressive approach to addressing concerns over DUI-related offenses based upon information which DOS receives post visa issuance, and which calls into question the foreign national’s continued eligibility for a visa.
“It seems unfair to the foreign national for his or her nonimmigrant visa to be canceled without an admission of or adjudication of guilt and without the opportunity to be heard, even if the foreign national is in the United States,” said Stewart Rabinowitz, a Dallas immigration attorney with Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C.
If a visa is revoked for this reason, the visa may not be used to enter the U.S. until the visa holder appears before a U.S. consular officer to re-establish eligibility. If the foreign national is already in the U.S. when the visa is revoked, he or she may be able to stay until the visa expires. The person’s status in the U.S. is not automatically invalidated by the revocation. If the principal foreign national’s visa is revoked under this policy, DOS will usually revoke dependents’ visas as well.
The policy raises significant issues for foreign nationals in the U.S. under a nonimmigrant visa. Individuals who may be affected by this policy are advised to consult with an experienced immigration attorney.
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