Part 1 – a communicable disease of public health significance

This is a common question we are asked.  This Part 1 of a series discusses what medical conditions might cause a person to be denied an immigrant visa.

The United States Immigration and Naturalization Act (the “Act”), Section 212(a)(1) proscribes two classes of conditions which would render a person ineligible for an immigrant visa and inadmissible to the United States.  Class A conditions are: (i) a communicable disease of public health significance; (ii) failure to present documentation of having received required vaccinations; (iii) having a present or past physical or mental disorder or disability serious enough that might result in harmful behavior; and (iv) drug abuse or addiction.

For communicable diseases of public health significance, there are several medical conditions which are specifically listed as grounds for ineligibility. These are Hansen’s disease (infectious leprosy), infectious syphilis and active Tuberculosis.   If an intending immigrant has one of these conditions, he or she is probably ineligible to immigrate to the United States.   Moreover, there are certain diseases which may be added from time to time by Presidential Executive Order, the Director of the Center for Disease Control, and diseases of public health emergency and identified by the World Health Organization.  These can arise when a disease reaches such a level as to be of concern to the health and safety of the United States.

Many people believe that if an immigrant has HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), the virus that causes AIDS, then they will also be ineligible.  In the past, HIV was a Class A disease, but this was removed from the list in 2009.

If you think you may have a medical condition which might cause you to be ineligible for an immigrant visa to the United States, then contact us at Enterline Immigration Consulting Ltd.  Maybe we can help.

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Tel: 02-2521-9398