Austin Immigration Lawyer News: Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal, however, such charge has traditionally not been a serious enough crime to trigger any immigration consequences. Such is no longer the case. The federal government has made some changes in the past few years that may make getting a DUI something that immigrants on temporary visas should be much more concerned about. If you are visa holder who after your arrival in the U.S. was arrested for DUI or DWI, you need to speak to an immigration lawyer in Austin as soon as possible.
DUI stops and arrests could result in visa revocation under new “zero tolerance” policies. A DUI charge may now be considered a “health-related” ground to deny visa applications or revoke a visa that has already been granted. It could also be a negative factor when considering discretionary immigration benefits as well.
Health-Related Grounds to Deny Visas
Some mental or physical disorders that can result in harmful behavior could make an individual illegible to enter the United States. These psychological or physical disorders are considered a threat to the welfare of others or could endanger the safety or property of others. Under new rules today, a DUI offense could be regarded as a symptom or result of one of these other disqualifying disorders. Keep in mind that this applies to not only DUI convictions but also charges that have not yet been proven as well.
Someone with a DUI offense may now have to go through an additional medical evaluation because of their DUI conviction. This extra layer of examination applies to those who have a DUI arrest or conviction within the past five years before applying for the visa or if the applicant has had two or more DUI arrests or convictions.
The justification by the Department of State and Department of Homeland Security in taking the above action is that DUI or DWI offenses relate to substance abuse, which also may be connected to mental disorders. While the rationale is debatable, policy has been set by the Department of State justifying this additional layer of vetting visa candidates.
Visa Revocation and DUIs
The U.S. Department of State has now determined that it will automatically revoke foreign nationals’ visas if they get a DUI after they have arrived in the United States. While the rule went into effect in 2015, it is gaining more attention as people start to realize the serious consequences of this rule. You need to speak with an Austin immigration lawyer as soon as possible after a DUI stop to determine what your next steps should be.
The idea behind this rule is to force visa holders to go through the application process again so that they will undergo the same health evaluation that new applicants must endure.
Unfortunately, many visa holders are not aware that their visas have been revoked until after they attempt to get back into the United States after going abroad. This is why being proactive is key.
An experienced immigration lawyer will be able to help you deal with this issue before it causes more problems for you and your family. Contact Michael G. Murray, P.A. – Abogados de Inmigracion en Austin TX – for more information.We handle a variety of immigration cases, so call us now if you have any questions.
View more contact information here: Immigration Lawyer In Austin.