It’s illegal to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the United States, but many other countries have similar laws outlawing drunk and drugged driving. What if you were convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) or a similar offense in your home country, would the DWI on your record bar you from entering the United States?
Generally, if an immigrant has one DWI conviction on their record, the DWI will not bar them from entering the U.S. However, if the immigrant has two or more DWI convictions, or if he or she has a DWI conviction and other misdemeanor convictions, then the individual may be inadmissible unless they obtain a waiver (US Waiver of Inadmissibility) to come to the United States.
Additionally, if an immigrant has a conviction for a “crime of moral turpitude,” then the conviction may prevent the person from entering the U.S. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a crime of moral turpitude is “an act that is inherently base, vile, or depraved, and contrary to the accepted rules of morality.”
Examples of crimes of moral turpitude:
- Human trafficking
- Sexual assault (rape)
- Aggravated assault
- Sexual abuse of a child
- Manslaughter and murder
- Family violence (e.g. spousal abuse and child abuse)
While the above “crimes of moral turpitude” can render an immigrant inadmissible to the United States, as of this writing DWI, simple assault, disorderly conduct, and breaking and entering are not serious enough offenses to bar an immigrant from entering the U.S. However, if someone has been convicted of multiple misdemeanors in another country, the person could be barred from entering the U.S.
If you have multiple DWI convictions on your record, or multiple misdemeanors and you are concerned that you’ll have difficulty entering the U.S., contact our immigration firm for help. We can answer your questions and guide you in the right direction.