How Does a DUI Arrest Affect Your Visa Application?

Mario A. Godoy
How Does a DUI Arrest Affect Your Visa Application?

When U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is reviewing immigration applicants, they conduct a background search and receive information from law enforcement agencies about any history of arrest, pending charges or criminal convictions. If a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) arrest, or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) arrest or criminal conviction is found in your history, the immigration officer reviewing your application may request more information or require an interview. Arrest and criminal records are virtually all online today, so an arrest or conviction in your past or in another state can impact your visa application today.

DUI Arrest Versus Conviction

A DUI arrest or conviction can result in denial of your immigration application, and cost you time, money and stress to navigate. Chicago DUI and immigration lawyer Mario Godoy explains,

Criminal charges – even if you are not convicted – can have a huge impact on immigration status. If you have immigration concerns and are facing DUI charges in Illinois, you need to secure the representation of an attorney who understands how these issues affect each other. All of our lawyers are criminal defense attorneys who practice immigration law. We can build a DUI defense that addresses the immigration side of your case as well as the criminal charges.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and USCIS announced in December 2019 that they are expanding existing guidance on the “unlawful acts” that can block an immigrant’s visa or citizenship application because they do not have good moral character. Good moral character is a requirement for citizenship and is considered by immigration officers for a green card and other immigration applications. A DUI arrest or conviction can result in denial of your immigration application.

Driving under the influence is a serious charge for anyone, but in particular for non-citizens. The attorneys at Chicago’s Godoy Law Office fight for the rights of immigrants in Illinois and help immigrants navigate the complex and numerous immigration policies, procedures, and regulations. If you need help with a DUI charge or other immigration issue, please contact our office at 855-554-6369.  

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