Prudential Revocation of Nonimmigrant Visas

During the October 18, 2018 liaison meeting with the Department of State Visa Office (DOS), American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) discussed issues resulting from the prudential revocation of nonimmigrant visas. DOS confirmed that, when based on a DUI, visa revocations are effective only upon departure from the United States.

DOS has consistently maintained that prudential revocation of a nonimmigrant visa becomes effective only upon departure from the U.S. However, AILA has received several reports from members that USCIS has denied an immigration benefit, such as an application for change or extension of status, because the applicant's nonimmigrant visa was prudentially revoked. AILA has also received isolated reports of individuals being placed in removal proceedings by ICE following revocation of a nonimmigrant visa. According to DOS, actions such as this should not be happening since prudential revocation takes effect only upon departure.

DOS also advised AILA that they are engaged in an on-going dialogue with DHS components on this issue and expressed the view that DHS personnel at the headquarters level understand that, under DOS policy, prudential revocation of a nonimmigrant visa is effective upon departure from the U.S. During the meeting, DOS further reported that ICE asked for examples of situations where nonimmigrants whose visa was prudentially revoked were place in removal proceedings in order to provide additional training to the field officers involved.

Lastly, DOS indicated that in at least some cases, it becomes aware of derogatory information associated with an individual from DHS components such as ICE, USCIS, and CBP. This information may form the basis for prudential revocation of a visa. The DOS Liaison Committee is continuing to monitor this issue.

It may be helpful nevertheless to warn noncitizen employees and students of the serious immigration consequences which they may face when involved with a DUI/OUI or any arrests other than DUI/OUI.