Skip to main content

See also:

Is Justin Bieber's O-1 visa status threatened by legal issues?

Gavel
Gavel
Wikimedia Commons

Despite a petition asking for it, Justin Bieber can't be deported for any of the crimes he is currently charged with, U.S. law says. However, TMZ's legal team found there's another way for Bieber to be ousted from the country, and reported on it on Tuesday.

Bieber -- a Canadian citizen -- is allowed to stay in the U.S. because he has what's called an O-1 visa. There are several types of O visas, and even two types of O-1 visas, but Wikipedia says:

An O visa is a classification of non-immigrant temporary worker visa granted by the United States to an alien "who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements," and to certain assistants and immediate family members of such aliens.

In other words, he's a celebrity, so he gets O-1 status.

Bieber's visa must be renewed in two years. Here's the key: According to TMZ (and Wikipedia), immigration law state that if someone is convicted of a crime of "moral turpitude," the department can deem that person "inadmissible" for work status in the United States.

According to the site, if a crime involves moral turpitude, it doesn't matter if it is a misdemeanor or a felony. Notably, a controlled substance violation qualifies.

Moral turpitude is still a vague term, though. TMZ says it includes crimes involving "malicious destruction of property." Wikipedia doesn't define it that way, though.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept. has recommended that the District Attorney file felony vandalism charges against Bieber in his egging case, because the estimated damages are $20,000. The Sheriff's Dept., as well, believes that Bieber was malicious in his intent.

While all conjecture, this could qualify as a "moral turpitude" violation. However, one can only imagine the amount of lobbying from the music industry to avoid that, even if it were the case. It would appear that would be a doubtful denouement.

Additionally, the D.A. has not decided whether or not to file. It is expected that decision will be made later this week.