The Quinn Law Firm
Call to schedule a consultation
336-790-4178Greensboro 877-781-8091Toll Free

Could Justin Bieber's O-1 visa be affected by 'egg-gate'?

Superstar Justin Bieber, a Canadian citizen, is currently living in the U.S. on an O-1 visa, a temporary work visa for “individuals with extraordinary ability or achievement.” Generally, non-citizens need work visas to live and work in the U.S., but not all work visas are for permanent immigrants. Many visas allow people to temporarily live and work in the U.S. One of them, the H-1B visa, is often in the news.

An O-1 is another type of temporary work visa, reserved for people who can demonstrate extraordinary abilities or achievements or, for entertainers, sustained national or international acclaim. The 19-year-old pop star has certainly been able to demonstrate that acclaim, but he was recently in the news for another reason: a possible misdemeanor.

According to E! entertainment news, one of Bieber’s neighbors in Calabasas, California, said that he saw the singer throw around 20 raw eggs at his front door on Jan. 9. In response to the neighbor’s complaint, local police obtained a search warrant and raided Bieber’s home. If the star is arrested, he could be charged with misdemeanor vandalism.

Merely due to Bieber’s immense popularity, the incident has been dubbed “egg-gate,” and it could mean trouble -- but could it get him deported?

Bieber fans can relax. While it’s certainly true that immigrants can be deported for certain criminal offenses, misdemeanor vandalism isn’t one of them. It’s very unlikely the star would be deported even if he was found guilty of egging his neighbor’s house -- but that doesn’t mean he can relax. A pattern of misdemeanor convictions could call the attention of immigration authorities.

It’s important for immigrants --- even green-card holders -- to know that some misdemeanors can get immigrants deported as fast as felony convictions. The type of misdemeanor is important -- it has to be a “crime of moral turpitude,” such as misdemeanor fraud, domestic violence or drug offenses. Generally, it also has to result in at a jail term of at least six months, even if you don’t serve all of that term. The rules are complex, however, and there are a number of exceptions.

If you’re accused of a misdemeanor -- or if you’re considering a plea bargain that could result in a misdemeanor conviction -- be careful. You need to talk to an immigration attorney to be sure you understand the potential immigration consequences.

Source: E! News, “Could Justin Bieber Be Deported Over Egg-Throwing Drama?!” Natalie Finn and Bakeer Machado, Jan. 14, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information