In most cases a DUI will not prevent you from getting a visa, nor affect one that you already hold.
If you are an immigrant to the United States and you’ve been arrested for DUI, one of your top concerns is whether it affects your immigration status. If you are a legal, documented immigrant, the answer is usually no—but there are exceptions.
Most of the rules regarding immigrants and criminal offenses are set by the Immigration & Nationality Act (INA). This act lists specific crimes that will be considered as grounds for denying a green card (or any other visa, such as a work visa), and crimes that are grounds for deporting someone who already has their green card. DUI is not on this list of crimes.
However, the INA also says that you can be denied a green card, or have it revoked and be deported, for “crimes of moral turpitude” (even if they’re not on the list). This is a vague term that generally means crimes where you showed clear criminal intent. In most cases, DUI doesn’t count. But in some specific cases it could:
- If your DUI involved driving on a suspended license, this could count against you.
- If your DUI involved a drug charge, you could face deportation or have your visa denied.
- If other charges are associated with your DUI, such as child endangerment, they could count against you.
- If your DUI is charges as DUI murder, there is a chance it will result in deportation or denial of your visa.
You can read more about DUI and immigration status here.
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