The Department of State has disclosed that since November 5, 2015, consular officers have been instructed to revoke the visas of visa holders with a DUI arrest that occurred within the past five years, unless that arrest has already been addressed within the context of a visa application. Also, NIV visa holders in the U.S. have been receiving revocation notices.
The DOS implemented the policy to revoke nonimmigrant visas because it considers driving under the influence as a possible INA 212(a)(1)(A)(iii) ineligibility. That section declares inadmissible any alien who is determined to have a physical or mental disorder and the behavior associated with the disorder may pose a threat to the property, safety, or welfare of the alien or others. Drug use or alcohol abuse may be deemed a “mental disorder” under this section.
Consular officers have been required to refer any nonimmigrant visa applicant with one alcohol related arrest in the last five years or two or more in the last 10 years to the panel physician for a medical examination prior to visa issuance to rule out a medical ineligibility. Previously, however, there was no consequence for DUI arrests subsequent to visa issuances until the time of the next visa application. The Department takes DUI arrests seriously as a public safety issue and DUI arrests are sufficient cause for a referral to a panel physician.