New revocation policy updates
Nonimmigrant visa holders, whether or not present in the U.S., can face visa revocation by a consular officer.
In December 2015, the visa revocation policy on the FAM (Foreign Affairs Manual) was updated so that it grants authority to a consular officer to make revocations based on driving under the influence (DUI), with “an actual finding that the alien is ineligible for the visa”. However, it does not change that all other revocations that are not related to DUIs, can only be done by the State Department’s Visa Office of Screening, Analysis and Coordination.
Previously, nonimmigrant visa holders with a DUI-related offense faced no consequences with their visa status until they had to turn in their next visa applications. Now their current visas are threatened. This consequential implementation was made due to the reasons being that driving under the influence is a public safety issue and also shows a “possible 212(a)(1)(A)(iii) ineligibility for a possible physical or mental disorder with associated harmful behavior.” Due to this possible ineligibility, consular officers are enforced to send visa holders with one DUI-related arrests in the last five years or two in the last ten to go in for a medical exam by a panel physician before issuing a visa, which adds multiple steps in processing a visa compared to a one-step visa issuance process.
Nonimmigrant visa holding celebrities are not an exception. Compared to before when DUI related news was gossip, now it will lead to revocation revoke of the visa which can endanger one’s career.
Avoiding the consequences
To avoid having issues with the new visa revocation policy, avoid any driving under the influence related circumstances. If drinking, have a designated driver or call a ride share to drive you.
Please contact our office if you have any other questions related to this issue.