A single case of driving under the influence of alcohol is not considered a crime of moral worry in accordance with US laws on establishing good moral character. Can I travel to USA with a drink driving conviction?
The belief about driving under the influence of alcohol can threaten your chances of work, study and even travel abroad. If you are convicted of an offense under the influence of alcohol, you are at least a 12-month driving ban and an unlimited fine. But unlike the penalty points, the conviction will be entered in the criminal record. Which may jeopardize your chances of work, study or even vacation in some countries.
Three categories of crime
The United States categorizes crime in three ways for the purposes of US immigration law. These are:
- offenses related to controlled substances;
- offenses involving moral morality;
- crimes not involving moral morality.
You must apply for a visa
When submitting your application, you must state if you have ever been arrested or convicted of a crime. You will also need to have appropriate documents regarding your situation.
In cases where the arrest resulted in a conviction, you may be permanently unable to obtain a visa. In such cases, an exemption is required. Applicants are required to obtain a certificate from the Association of Police Commander-in-Chiefs issued within six months of the date of the interview regarding the visa.
Information on obtaining a police certificate is available on the website of the Criminal Records Office of the Association of Police Chief Commanders.
There will then be a face-to-face meeting with the US Embassy in London to obtain visa entitlements. Approval of a visa can take from 90 days to six months.
Since June 2017, the Guidelines and information presented on the ACRO website are under review. So remember to check regularly before traveling.
Referral of the US Embassy Panel Doctor
US Immigration Law states that applicants who have been arrested for DUI once in the five years preceding their visa application or twice in their lifetime must be examined by a US embassy doctor (called a panel doctor) before issuing a visa. The reason for referring to the panel of doctors on the arrest, unlike the conviction, is that the inadmissibility of DUI in the United States is related to health / alcohol abuse, not because of crime. Panel Doctors are agents of the American Center for Disease Control and, based on their findings during the study, have the authority to recommend or even prevent a US consular officer from issuing a visa.