Based on a new guidance released by the U.S. State Department (State Dept.), people who have nonimmigrant visas in the U.S. may face grave results if they are arrested for DUI or a DUI-related offense. In March of this year, the State Dept. publicized all material that is not classified within Volume 9 of its Foreign Affairs Manual, the State Dept. policy manual. Volume 9 authorizes the State Dept. to revoke a visa when it is notified of an arrest or conviction of a DUI or DUI-related offense.
The new policy is based on the State Dept.’s escalating concerns over drunk driving and DUI offenses. It reflects a significantly more stringent approach to addressing these issues than past policies. Under the new policy, the State Dept. can revoke an otherwise legitimate nonimmigrant visa instantly upon being notified of the DUI arrest. This can occur even when the person is physically within the U.S. The rationale is that the person is ineligible for the visa for mental or physical health-related reasons.