Breaking: Immigration Consequences from a DWI Arrest
Immigration Consequences from a DWI Arrest
The Department of State has started revoking visas of foreign nationals legally in the United States after a DWI or DUI arrest. Collateral Immigration Consequences from a DWI arrest of the harshest kind. Merely an arrest, not a conviction triggers the potential revocation. Given the subjective nature of DWIs and potential for abuse, this new policy is frightening.
Currently the foreign national remains in lawful status after revocation, but is unable to apply for future admission to the United States. There are cases of immigration consequences from a DWI arrest within weeks of the arrest.
Not only may your visa be revoked, but your ability to travel abroad may be in jeopardy. Recent reports suggest visa holders traveling abroad are finding it difficult to re-enter the United States. Those most affected are students with J-1 visas.
These immigration consequences from a DWI arrest were implemented Nov. 5, 2015 and the department has wasted little time putting their new tool to work. Responding to critics, the Department said, “It is both a public safety issue and evidence of possible visa ineligibility.”
Previous DWI immigration consequences surrounded convictions. Consular officials have been required since 2007 to refer visa applicants with a DUI or DWI conviction in the a) past five years or b) two or more in the past 10 years to a physician. The physician is then charged with determining whether the applicant should be ineligible for a visa under a provision barring applicants classified as having a “mental disorder and behavior associated with the disorder that may pose, or has posed, a threat to the property, safety or welfare of the alien or others.”
In light of recent trends, it is clear the State Department is taking not only DWI & DUI convictions seriously, but arrests as well. If you are a foreign national and arrested for DWI or DUI you need to not only have an immigration lawyer, but a qualified DWI lawyer on board to fight the government’s accusations. Given these recent, harsh DWI arrest immigration consequences, Uber never looked so good.