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Will vilation "Unlawful Possession of [minor] amount Marijuana" (first timer) affect my OPT application or re entry in US?

New York, NY |

On Oct 25 I have been given a pink summons by a NYC POLICE OFFICER for UPM. I'm a first timer. I was not arrested. I gave the officer the marijuana right after his first request. Court date first week of January but am trying to get this settled at court sooner because I will be in Europe on day of court.
Will this affect the OPT application I have just sent out mid October ? Will I be admitted re entry in the US in Jan even if I settle this case before departure by paying the (approx) $100 fine ? I am currently on F1- status.
And will this be on any sort of record for the rest of my life ?

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Attorney answers 3


Minor posession is a violation of the terms of your visa. Once you leave the USA you will be inadmissible and may not be re admitted. I strongly suggest you retain an attorney experienced in both criminal defense and immigration law.



Now this sounds like minor posession of an illicit substance like cocaine or crack. But I'm talking Marihuana here. In the state of NYC it is only considered a violations that will most probably be sealed and dismissed in a year. And also, I would never leave the country without having attended my court date and paid the fees....


If the amound exceeds 30 grams, this would be a deportable offense.

Please click the link below for additional information.

Carl Shusterman, Esq.
Former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82)
Board Certified Immigration Attorney (1986 - Present)
Subscribe to our Free Immigration Newsletter
600 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1550
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(213) 394-4554 x0
Web: (English) (Spanish)

(213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration experience. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.


Since immigration law is federal while criminal law is state law, certain crimes considered minor by state law standards have major immigration law consequences.

Nonimmigrant visas, like F1 and OPT are discretionary and a violation of the visa terms can render you inadmissible. Drug offenses, even marijuana, and offenses involving theft, etc. are examples of offenses treated more seriously in immigration law than in criminal law.

VERY IMPORTANT-- before getting your records sealed, get a complete court disposition. If you do not, you will need to reopen the records to get this.

Unless you are a US Citizen, everything has potential implications on immigration and you should always consult an immigration attorney.

Dhenu Savla, Esq.
SwagatUSA, LLC

This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not meant to be relied upon as legal advice.

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