In a recent meeting with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the U.S. State Department (DOS) announced that it will more closely scrutinize and monitor visa applicants and visa holders who have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI).
Consular officers have long been authorized to refer visa applicants with DUI arrests to panel physicians for further evaluation before issuing a visa, and DOS has indicated that this will happen more frequently. More significantly, DOS also stated that consular officers will revoke the visas of individuals arrested for DUI post-visa issuance.
Both DOS and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) consider DUI arrests and similar arrests, such as driving while intoxicated (DWI), to be evidence of a potential physical or mental disorder that could make the applicant inadmissible to the U.S. An applicant with a diagnosed “alcohol use disorder” is inadmissible to the U.S. if there is also current associated harmful behavior or past associated harmful behavior that is likely to recur. The agencies consider operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated to be “associated harmful behavior” for this purpose.
Finally, it important to note that this additional scrutiny will apply to arrests for DUI and “related offenses;” this potential ineligibility does not require a conviction.
If you have any questions about these changes and their potential impact on your ability to travel to the U.S., please contact us.
The State Department has released the August 2016 Visa Bulletin listing the priority dates eligible for “Application Final Action,” i.e. when an I-485 adjustment of status (AOS) application may be approved or an immigrant visa (IV) issued, and the priority dates eligible for “Filing Applications,” i.e. when an AOS or IV application may be filed.
As predicted last month, continued heavy demand has caused the State Department to establish cutoff dates in the EB-1 category and in the EB-2 worldwide category for the first time in many years. As of August 1, 2016, the “Application Final Action Dates” in the EB-1 category for nationals of India and China will retrogress to January 1, 2010, while the EB-2 final action date for all countries not listed separately will retrogress to February 1, 2014. There will be very slight forward movement in the employment-based “Application Final Action Dates” in the EB-3 category, except for nationals of China. The State Department expects that the EB-1 India and China and EB-2 worldwide “Application Final Action Dates” will become current again in October when fiscal year 2017 visas may be issued.
The news is only slightly better for family-based applicants as some of the “Application Final Action Dates” in the family-based categories will advance at least a few weeks, although again there is no movement in the third preference (F3) for most countries and no movement in the fourth preference (F4) for China, India, or Mexico. In fact, there will be no movement in any of the family-based categories for Mexico. In addition, the second preference for spouses, children, and unmarried sons and daughters of Permanent Residents (F2A) has stagnated and the State Department believes that the F2A and F3 categories will retrogress temporarily for the month of September.
There is no change in the employment-based “Dates for Filing,” where the priority dates remain current for all countries EB-1 category and in all categories for those not from India, China, or the Philippines. In the family-based categories, the “Dates for Filing” will advance at least a few weeks for most categories and countries. However, this is of little comfort since USCIS has announced that, as usual, both employment-based and family-based adjustment of status applicants must use the “Application Final Action Dates.”
You can view the visa bulletin in its entirety below. Please contact us with any questions.
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