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Could Bieber's visa be broken by a bust for egging his neighbor?

According to E! entertainment news, 19-year-old pop superstar Justin Bieber is currently living in the U.S. through an O-1 visa, a temporary work visa for people with extraordinary ability or achievement. As we discussed on this blog recently, not every talented person qualifies for an extraordinary ability visa, but Bieber's international commercial success would certainly qualify him.

Unfortunately, his most recent press attention hasn't been for his talent. One of his neighbors recently accused the teen pop sensation of egging his house. He claims to have seen him do it, and challenged him after Bieber had thrown around 20 eggs at his front door last Thursday. On Tuesday, police raided the star's home, armed with a search warrant -- presumably searching for eggs.

It paints a somewhat amusing picture, but Bieber could be charged with misdemeanor vandalism. And, as all immigrants should be aware, under some circumstances, a misdemeanor conviction can result in deportation. Could a bust for broken eggs make Bieber ineligible for a visa?

There's no reason to worry, Bieber fans. First, the star hasn't been arrested, much less charged with any crime. More important, even a misdemeanor conviction can only result in deportation under certain conditions. First, it must involve a "crime of moral turpitude," and vandalism is unlikely to be considered one. (Examples of misdemeanor crimes of moral turpitude are domestic violence, fraud and drug offenses.) The conviction also has to result in a penalty of at least six months imprisonment to result in deportation, although it doesn't matter whether the immigrant actually serves the time.

The important point here is that any immigrant, whether you're in the U.S. on an temporary work visa or are a lawful permanent resident, can face deportation for a criminal conviction -- and that includes a large number of misdemeanors. If you're ever accused of a crime, it's crucial to understand the potential immigration consequences before making any decisions.

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

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