People who are in Maryland on nonimmigrant visas need to be aware that the U.S. Department of State may revoke their visas if they are arrested for a charge of driving under the influence or another alcohol-related driving offense. Under the guidance that was issued by the agency earlier in 2016, a revocation may happen even if the person has not been convicted.
The new policy states that the Department of State may revoke a nonimmigrant visa when it is notified of an arrest or conviction for a DUI or other alcohol-related offense. It also states that it may do so on the basis of arrests or convictions that have happened in the last five years.
This aggressive approach to prudential revocations for DUI arrests comes as the State Department has become more concerned about drunk driving cases. The basis for the prudential revocation is a suspicion that the person may be ineligible for a visa based on mental health or physical health grounds. While the revocation of a visa is a possible ground for deportation and removal from the U.S., the State Department has said that a prudential revocation won’t necessarily result in the person’s being required to leave the country. There have been reports, however, of the State Department notifying individuals that they must immediately leave the country upon learning of their arrests.
People who are in the U.S. on non-immigrant visas and who are arrested for DUIs or who have been arrested or convicted for them within the last five years may want to consult with an immigration and naturalization law attorney as soon as possible. The attorney can advise provide advice regarding what the client needs to do.