The Behan Law Group, P.L.L.C.


1-877-MISS-DUI / 1-877-647-7384

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945 N. Stone Ave, Tucson, AZ 85705

How DUI Impacts Student F1 Visa

What effect will a student DUI arrest or conviction have on a current F1 visa? Can the visaholder renew the F1 visa?

F1 student visas are nonimmigrant, temporary visas. To qualify for an F1 student visa, the applicant must be enrolled in an academic program at an approved school as a full-time student.1 The applicant must also be proficient in English, have sufficient funds to maintain himself during his studies, and have the present intent to return to his home country after finishing his studies.2

Once approved, the student is responsible for maintaining his status, including requirements of not engaging in criminal activity. One condition of a nonimmigrant’s admission and stay is obedience to all U.S. laws prohibiting crimes of violence and for which a sentence of more than one years’ imprisonment may be imposed.3


If a college or school or university takes disciplinary action against a student, the school will also be required to report the disciplinary action to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within 21 days.4 Further, if the university suspends or expels a student, this may result in a loss of status as a result of not maintaining enrollment.5

The State Department has recently been automatically revoking visas and denying consular visa applications based on DUIs, citing a new policy that driving under the influence constitutes a health-related ground of denial.6 So far, an arrest alone has been enough to trigger revocation.7

A potential issue with visa revocation may be that the client will not even be aware that his visa has been revoked.8 He may contact the consulate that issued his visa, his local Customs and Border Protection inspection office, or just assume it was automatically revoked.9

Even if a student’s visa is revoked, he or she will still have lawful status while he remains in the U.S. continuously.10 It is imperative that he not travel abroad at this time, since as soon as he leaves the U.S. he will not be able to re-enter if his visa is revoked.11 He will also need to apply for a new F1 student visa next time he travels abroad.12

ICE has the discretion whether to pursue further action against a person whose visa has been revoked for a DUI.13

For renewing his visa, a student will have to select on his application that he was arrested for a DUI.14 The visa officer will have discretion as to whether or not to grant his application.15


The good news for a student is that as long as his or her DUI is a misdemeanor, it is unlikely that it will be considered a crime of violence, and it will not come with a possible sentence of more than one years’ imprisonment. Then, his DUI will not constitute a failure to maintain status.

3. 8 CFR 214.1(g)
6. INA 212(a)(1)(A)(iii);;;

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