Does getting a DUI affect my F1 visa?

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2022 | Visas

An F1 student visa is a temporary permit to enter and dwell in the U.S. for the purpose of pursuing an academic program of study.

As a condition of your admission, you agree to respect state and federal laws and as well as your school’s student code of conduct.

Which crimes lead to deportation?

The Department of State holds international students to a very high ethical standard. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1227, a person who commits a “crime involving moral turpitude” is subject to deportation. While no exhaustive list exists, courts have previously determined the following crimes to meet the criteria:

  • Kidnapping, assault or murder
  • Theft, fraud or receiving stolen property
  • Child or spousal abuse
  • Driving while intoxicated and lying to the police
  • Sexual assault
  • Perjury

Authorities classify crimes on a case-by-case basis, but a key component of “moral turpitude” is evil intent or recklessness.

When do immigration authorities get involved?

Immigration and Customs Enforcement may not actively search for F1 visa students convicted of DUI offenses. However, when the time comes to renew your visa or work permit, they may deny your application and/or revoke your visa without informing you. You may not learn about your status until you try to reenter the country after traveling abroad.

Additionally, if you receive disciplinary action from your academic institution, the school must report your infraction to ICE.

While an accusation of criminal behavior can threaten your visa status, as a legal occupant of the U.S., you have an entitlement to the same constitutional rights and protections as any American.

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