All about Immigration and DUI – The Legal Lock

DUI offenses can have a lasting impact on an immigrant’s immigration status.

When someone is arrested for a crime, their photo and fingerprints are taken and saved in a national database. This information is referenced whenever that person applies for an immigration benefit, such as work authorization, visa renewal, asylum, adjustment of status or naturalization.


If you are a foreign national in the United States on a visa or green card (which makes you a permanent resident of the country), your DUI conviction may affect your immigration status. It could prevent you from renewing your visa, having it revoked, or even becoming a citizen.

The law is very complex, and DUIs will often have different impacts on immigration. The specific facts of your case will determine whether or not you face deportation.

One common ground for inadmissibility is a DUI that causes injury or death to another person, or is accompanied by illegal drugs. Other grounds include if you have a previous criminal conviction, if you have a total sentence exposure of at least five years in prison or more, and if the charge involves aggravating factors that are considered a crime of moral turpitude.

Deportation can be an incredibly difficult and emotional process for anyone who is subject to it. It can also have lasting consequences for their families and communities.

Denial of Permanent Resident Status

Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is one of the most serious criminal offenses in the country. It can affect your life in many ways, including the possibility of deportation.

If you are a green card applicant, DUI charges can have significant implications for your immigration status. This is especially true for those applying for naturalization, which requires a showing of “good moral character.”

You will need the help of an experienced DUI attorney if you are convicted of a DUI. This can be critical to avoiding Immigration and DUI issues and getting your green card approved.

In addition to criminal penalties, DUIs are also categorized as crimes involving moral turpitude under US law. This means that a person who has been convicted of two or more DUIs in the last five years is inadmissible to the US and may be denied entry at the border. In this case, the individual will be referred to the Canadian government for removal proceedings.

Denied Admission to the US

DUI convictions can make an individual ineligible to enter the United States. In some cases, a waiver may be available.

However, this will depend on a number of factors. For example, whether the individual has other criminal convictions that were not part of the DUI.

Another factor is the length of time since the DUI. This could be as long as five years or as short as one year.

A recent DUI conviction will typically have an easier time being approved than a DUI from five years ago. The USCIS officer will also consider the circumstances surrounding the crime, such as how it affected your life.

In addition, a DUI conviction that involves moral turpitude or that adds up to multiple crimes will also increase the likelihood of inadmissibility. Moreover, it’s important to have certified arrest reports, court dispositions and probation documents for the USCIS officer to fully evaluate the facts of the case.

Green Card

Obtaining a green card is a significant milestone in any immigration process. The application is subjected to a rigorous vetting process that focuses on a wide variety of factors, including criminal history and medical issues.

In many cases, DUIs on an individual’s record are not grounds to deny an application for permanent residency. However, a DUI that is deemed an “aggravated felony” or a crime of moral turpitude can be a problem.

If you have a conviction for any crime, it is important to disclose that on your N-400 green card application. A failure to do so can lead to a denial from the USCIS.

A DUI conviction will also be reviewed by an officer as it applies to the good moral character component of your immigration application. This will be particularly true if you are convicted of two or more offenses within a five-year period, as the United States Justice Department has ruled.


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