Earlier in 2016, the Department of State released new guidelines regarding the revocation of non-immigrant work visas in cases where it receives “derogatory information” regarding the visa holder.
This derogatory information includes an arrest for DWI or DUI. The arrest does not have to lead to a conviction. Simply being taken into custody and charged with a DUI offense can result in loss of a work visa.
Previously, the arrest would only be reported or taken into consideration at the time of the visa renewal. New guidelines, however, require the DOS to review the arrests in a more timely fashion. This means that violators counting on not having to worry about their visa until renewal time will now have to address the issue much sooner.
The DOS may send out notices stating that the individual’s visa was revoked and the applicant must reapply. The notice may or not may not require the holder to leave the country. In some cases, they are permitted to stay but must reapply before returning to the country. For others, court ordered removal from the country may be a very real consequence.
In short, holders of work visas must be very careful while residing in the U.S. as any infraction could possibly result in the loss of their visa. The fact of guilt or innocence will not necessarily play a part in the DOS decision, simply the fact an arrest was made and/or charges were filed could be enough to initiate a visa revocation.
If you have been arrested for DWI, call our offices for a consultation regarding your case. Our professional staff will advise you of your rights and discuss how to proceed with your defense.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Please contact attorney Kirk Anderson for an initial consultation.