* The results below may not occur in each individual case.
- Dept. of State Visa Revocations for Nonimmigrant Holders with DUI/DWI Arrests
We have learned that the Dept. of State Visa Office has begun to take a pretty hardline position with regard to noncitizens who are lawfully present in nonimmigrant status, such as F-1 students, H-1B workers, or even B-2 visitors and CHARGED OR ARRESTED with a DUI/DWI. Here is what we learned:
- The State Dept. Visa office has been recently, in many cases, revoking the nonimmigrant visa of individuals ARRESTED or CHARGED with DUI/DWI offenses (Note that the mere charges or arrest for a DUI/DWI offense is itself sufficient for revocation of a visa, so a charged could be dropped but the visa could still be revoked before the final disposition) of those individuals physically present in the U.S. This is being done via a letter to the nonimmigrant directly from the U.S. State Dept. Visa Office of Screening, Analysis and Coordination.
- Consular Officers abroad are likewise heavily scrutinizing individuals charged with DUI/DWI offenses in the U.S., whenever an individual returns to a consular post abroad for purposes of renewing a nonimmigrant visa.
- In both cases, the rationale for the revocation is potential visa ineligibility under a ground of inadmissibility for a possible physical or mental disorder with associated harmful behavior (section 212(a)(1)(A)(iii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act) and once, and if, they need to reapply for the new visa they will then need to be referred to a panel physician for purposes of a new medical clearance in order for them to reissued a visa to reenter.
In light of the above, noncitizens arrested for DUI/DWI offenses and who are in the U.S on a valid nonimmigrant visa (e.g. B-1/B2, F-1, F-2, H-1B, H-2B, H-4, G visas, L visas, etc.) should be aware that:
- There is a risk of visa revocation simply for having been arrested on a DUI/DWI charge.
- While the mere revocation of the visa will not necessarily mean that the individuals will fall out of status or be subject to removal proceedings, it will likely mean that once and if they leave they will need to reapply for a new visa and may have to undergo an additional medical clearance before the visa is reissued.
- Nonimmigrant visa holders are advised NOT TO TRAVEL after a DUI/DWI arrest unless it’s absolutely necessary, while the case is pending.
The above does NOT apply to our permanent resident clients or green card holders.
Please contact our immigration attorney, Himedes Chicas, with any questions at 202.384.2647.
- Motion to Rescind In Absentia Order of Removal and Reopen Proceedings Granted for Mother and Young Boys Fleeing Persecution.
Attorney Chicas successfully reopened the removal proceedings of a mother and her two young children, all of whom has been previously ordered removed in absentia by an Immigration Judge in Miami. Mr. Chicas’ Clients—a Guatemalan mother of two, along with her two sons, ages 2 and 6 years—fled from Guatemala to the United States after her husband had been brutally killed my MS-13 gang members . After her perilous trip from Guatemala, Attorney Chicas’ Clients were detained at the border by immigration officers and served with a Notices to Appear, formally initiating removal proceedings against them. The mother and children were subsequently released under their own recognizance and relocated to the Miami, Florida area. After securing permission to relocate to the to the Baltimore area and filing a change of address to move, with the local Miami, Florida Department of Homeland Security office, his clients moved to Hyattsville area. Client, who was the unrepresented, made the mistake of believing that her case would be automatically transferred from the Miami Immigration Court to the Baltimore Immigration Court. Several months after relocating to Maryland, she and her children appeared for a hearing at the Baltimore Immigration Court only to find out that her case was actually scheduled in Miami. Client was alarmed and confused when she was told that she and her children had been ordered removed in absentia. Client then consulted with Attorney Chicas. Attorney Chicas sought to rescind the in absentia removal orders and reopen his Client’s case by filing a motion to reopen based on exceptional circumstances that prevented her and the children from appearing in Miami for their hearing. Shortly after the submission of the Clients’ motion, the Immigration Judge in Miami granted the motion, rescinding their in absentia order of removal and reopening proceedings and rescheduled the matter back onto its docket. Attorney Chicas then attended the Clients’ hearing in Miami, and successfully moved to change venue of the case to Baltimore. Attorney Chicas’ Clients are now awaiting for their case to be set for a hearing to pursue asylum and related relief.
Proceedings Administratively Closed for Mother Facing Reinstatement of Removal and Her Twelve-Year Old Daughter.
Attorney Himedes Chicas prevailed in administratively closing a case for his client, a Guatemalan National who was subject to a reinstatement of a prior removal order, and her twelve year old daughter. Following the Client’s release from immigration custody on an order of supervision after she was found to have a reasonable fear of persecution by the Asylum Office, her case was referred to the Immigration Court for limited withholding only proceedings. Attorney Chicas argued that his client had suffered past persecution and was more than likely to suffer future persecution and torture in the event of her removal to Guatemala. Indeed, Attorney Chicas’ Client, had suffered extreme persecution and abuse at the hands of a family member and after going through psychological treatment it was established that his client suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress-Disorder. In spite of scant documentary evidence, during the individual hearing, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agreed that based on the underlying facts of past and future persecution and other equities, the Clients’ cases were low-priority cases and DHS agreed to exercise favorable prosecutorial discretion by administratively closure of the case both for mother and daughter. Though the merits of her withholding claim were not adjudicated by the Immigration Court, the administrative closure result at least ensures that neither Client nor her daughter will be removed from the country. Moreover, her withholding claim remains pending if she will be able to pursue that claim if her removal case is ever recalendared (reactivated).
After Seven Long Months, Nicaraguan National is Reunited with his Wife and Children.
After already being in immigration custody for several months and having hired prior counsel, Client’s wife consulted with Attorney Chicas about her husband, a lawful permanent resident who had been detained after appearing to a deferred inspection at Dulles International Airport, where it was determined that he was inadmissible due to crime involving moral turpitude on account of a nearly 15 year old criminal conviction. Given the circumstances of the case and the client’s incarceration, Attorney Chicas focused on obtaining relief from removal for Client. For about two months, Attorney Chicas worked diligently in gathering the evidence, submitting written briefs, and preparing the witnesses needed to prove the hardship his Client’s U.S. citizen wife, children, and mother would suffer if he were removed to his native Nicaragua. During a four and a half hour long individual hearing, Attorney Chicas discussed the reasons why his client was deserving of favorable adjudication for his waiver—including statutory eligibility—in which he discussed the client’s business equities, his extensive family ties in the U.S., and the health related hardship his family was enduring, most significantly the harm that his children would have suffered. At conclusion of testimony, the Immigration Judge stated that he had to fully vet the case and would issue a written decision. After a few weeks, the Immigration Judge issued a 13-page written decision finding that due to the dangerous nature of the Client’s the underlying conviction, his client was subject to a heightened standard for hardship, but further found that the heightened hardship standard was met and that the Client merited favorable discretion and therefore granting his application for a waiver of inadmissibility. After seven long months, Attorney Chicas’ Client was immediately released and reunited with his family!
January, 01, 2014,