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H1-B renewal after DUI - second stamping

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  • H1-B renewal after DUI - second stamping

    This forum has been immensely helpful for me after my DUI, so I thought I would post an update about my most recent renewal experience, which was my second stamping after the DUI.

    Needless to say, I'm very grateful that things have worked out. Learned my lesson. Hoping to impress upon others to not drink and drive. It's dangerous, life altering, and at the very least a huge hassle.

    First, the background. I have been working in USA on an H1 visa for over a decade. In Dec 2017 I was arrested for a DUI, and eventually had the charge amended to a reckless operation (so no DUI conviction, but as many know, even just the arrest has massive immigration implications). I did not know that my visa had been revoked following the arrest, so I traveled abroad (not to my home country) in 2018 and was refused entry onto the plane upon trying to return. Had to apply for a new visa from the foreign country, which was very stressful. Hopefully this is not the case for many of you and you are knowingly applying for a visa/renewal after your DUI.

    Now onto the second stamping experience.

    Location: Mumbai
    Timeframe: Late 2018
    Total time: 5 weeks

    On my application, I of course ticked the box asking about prior arrests. Don't try to hide anything, they know about it all. In preparation for my interview I had my arrest record, final court documents (certified copies) and necessary paperwork for the visa.

    At the interview, I was asked exactly three questions: What's your title, is this a renewal application, have you had trouble with the law in the past? They did not ask to see any paperwork aside from the 797. Even to the final question, they just wanted a confirmation from me, no details. The whole interview lasted less than 5 minutes.

    After the interview, I was issued a 221(g) and had to complete a medical test and psych evaluation. I was told to return my passport at the VFS document collection center after 5 business days.

    Medical test was at Rele Clinic in Mumbai. They do a blood test, urinalysis, chest x-ray and other biometric assessments. The whole process took about 3 hours, after which we walked to the psychiatrist's office for the evaluation. The doctor there asked me a number of questions, only some of which related to the incident and my drinking habits. At the end, I was told the psych evaluation is a formality and the doctor did not anticipate any issues from his side. I returned to Rele Clinic with a CD of my test results, sealed and only to be opened by a consular officer (if requested). Total time for this whole process was about 5 hours. I highly recommend securing an appointment at this clinic for the same/next day after your interview. If you call, they just need to know that the appointment is for a non-immigrant US visa DUI case. This way, you don't have to wait until the interview to call the clinic. This should save you 3-4 days.

    Five business days after the medical, I returned to the VFS location to submit my passport. The case went into Administrative Processing status, then Application Received status. Four weeks later, it went into Issued status and the next day I had my passport in my hand.

    Please feel free to ask any questions. I will try to be as helpful as I can.

  • #2
    • visa in foreign country after the DUI

      Hello Patient1,

      thanks a lot for your detail post. Its of great help for someone like me who is anxiously looking for this info. Sincere thanks to you for this post. Unfortunately I had a dui arrest earlier this week and still expecting blood test result and have first court date in late April. These few days taught me how life could change for a small or big mistake. I have definitely learnt and this is going to be life altering event for me. With pre breath analysis, my BrAC was 0.09. Hoping to get a normal BAC with Blood test.

      I have already hired a DUI / Criminal lawyer and hopefully I have a best outcome. I do travel internationally for work and I can cancel all of then until the court has a final word. However, my wife is in India and she has a surgery next month (in India). I have to be with her, otherwise it very unfair for our relationship for having lived together for 10 years. I was supposed to travel on 29th of this month and now stuck with this situation. I have already got a visa revocation confirmaiton from the consulate ( i am indian national, however the US consulate for my last two L1 stamping was in Central Europe where I lived for many before I moved here). Now to make a decision to travel to India for my wife's surgery, I still thinking of taking risk of going to India next and apply for a new Visa from India. To make a right decision, I would request if you have any input for my following questions.

      1. You said you applied for a visa from a Foreign country first time after the DUI (when you realized it was revoked at airport). How was the experience there? Did you do the medical test there? Did you get a normal visa or any temporary visa? What was your experience with Homeland security at the US port of entry?

      2. During first visa appearance in foreign country, you had already resolved your Court verdict or was it still ongoing?

      3. Do you have any info on the repercussion on the dependent-Visa (L2 in my case) after the Visa revocation for DUI?

      If its okay with you, if you could share you number on this email: [email protected] , I can call you for your inputs.

      Many thanks,

      Looking forward to hear from you.



    • #3
      Sorry for not replying to this earlier, reformer1. My notifications were turned off, and I've fixed that. Hope things have gone well for you (and your wife's surgery).

      I don't know if this will be useful for you, since it has been 8 months since your questions, but I'm answering in case they're helpful to anyone else.

      1. The process in the foreign country was quite similar to the process in Mumbai. If anything, they were a little less familiar, and the process went more quickly. I suspect this is simply because of far lower volume in this particular embassy compared to Mumbai. I had to do a similar medical test (including psych evaluation). I received a normal visa valid until the end of my 797. Upon return (and upon successive returns), CBP/Homeland Security process requires secondary screening. The officer in the booth asks about past issues with law enforcement. They don't want details, just confirmation that you know what they're referring to. After that, I go to the secondary screening area, where I simply wait. I have never been asked a single question, I just sit there until they follow their process, and I get my stamp and I'm on my way.

      2. My court issue was already resolved, which makes things easier, I am sure.

      3. I don't have any insight on this question, sorry.

      Please let me know if I can still be helpful with anything else.


      • #4
        What are the employment problems? Will someone offer a job with a dui reduced to misdemeanour??


        • #5
          The arrest is likely to show up on any background checks the prospective company will run. Whether they choose not to hire you based on that will depend on their individual policy. I haven't applied for a different job since my DUI, so this has not been a problem for me. I suspect (total guess here), that unless your job requires you to drive, a reduced DUI will not have an impact on passing a background check.