Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘HIV Waiver’

8th December 2010

For those who frequently read this web log will undoubtedly note that a frequent topic discussed within these pages is Comprehensive Immigration Reform. In a recent document promulgated by the Congressional Research Service and distributed by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the matter of legal inadmissibility was discussed in the context of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. The following is a direct quotation from the document published by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and distributed by AILA:

Legislation aimed at comprehensive immigration reform may take a fresh look at the grounds for excluding foreign nationals that were enacted in the 1990s. All foreign nationals seeking visas must undergo admissibility reviews performed by U.S. Department of State (DOS) consular officers abroad. These reviews are intended to ensure that they are not ineligible for visas or admission under the grounds for inadmissibility spelled out in the INA. These criteria are: health related grounds; criminal history; security and terrorist concerns; public charge (e.g., indigence); seeking to work without proper labor certification; illegal entrants and immigration law violations; ineligible for citizenship; and, aliens previously removed. Over the past year, Congress incrementally revised the grounds for inadmissibility. Two laws enacted in the 110th Congress altered longstanding policies on exclusion of aliens due to membership in organizations deemed terrorist.

Terrorism has been a key concern for American government officials across the entire spectrum of agencies associated with Immigration and travel to the United States. Public health and safety are also significant issues for American Immigration and Consular Officers. To quote the aforementioned publication further:

The 110th Congress also revisited the health-related grounds of inadmissibility for those who were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. More recently, the “H1N1 swine flu” outbreak focused the spotlight on inadmissibility screenings at the border. Questions about the public charge ground of inadmissibility arose in the context of Medicaid and the state Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in the 111th Congress.

Influenza has been concerning to many health officials in recent years. However, for many the removal of HIV/AIDS from the list of diseases which can result in a finding of inadmissibility was a relief as many individuals who were previously inadmissible to the USA may have immediately become admissible after HIV/AIDS was no longer a legal grounds for finding someone inadmissible to the USA. This issue was especially acute in the LGBT community as HIV and AIDS issues seem to have a disproportionate impact upon individuals and couples within that community. The report went on to note that issues pertaining to legal inadmissibility are likely to be discussed in the context of proposed Comprehensive Immigration Reform legislation:

While advocacy of sweeping changes to the grounds for inadmissibility has not emerged, proponents of comprehensive immigration reform might seek to ease a few of these provisions as part of the legislative proposals. The provision that makes an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States for longer than 180 days inadmissible, for example, might be waived as part of a legislative package that includes legalization provisions. Tightening up the grounds for inadmissibility, conversely, might be part of the legislative agenda among those who support more restrictive immigration reform policies.

Many people are found inadmissible to the United States every year. Among those found inadmissible are those who are unable to seek a remedy in the form of either an I-601 waiver or an I-212 waiver application for advance permission to reenter the USA. Individuals who have been found inadmissible and cannot seek a waiver are colloquially referred to as being unwaivably excluded from the United States. Bearing this in mind, many findings of legal inadmissibility can be remedied through use of a waiver. That said, the waiver process and the standard of proof for obtaining a waiver can be difficult to overcome. For this reason, many bi-national couples opt to utilize the services of an American immigration attorney to assist in matters related to United States Immigration. It is always prudent to ask for the credentials of anyone claiming expertise in United States Immigration law as only a licensed American attorney is permitted to provide advice, counsel, and representation in pending matters before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the American State Department.

For related information please see: US Visa Denial.

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14th May 2010

ในกระทู้ก่อนๆที่ลงในเว็บไซต์ของสมาคมนักกฎหมายคนเข้าเมืองอเมริกัน ผู้เขียนเห็นบัญชีรายการวัคซีนที่เปลี่ยนไปสำหรับผู้ขอวีซ่าไปอเมริกา ด้านล่างคือข้อความที่คัดลอกมาจากบทความของสมาคมนักกฎหมายคนเข้าเมืองอเมริกัน

ภายใต้กฎหมายคนเข้าเมืองสหรัฐอเมริกา บุคคลต่างด้าวซึ่งขอวีซ่าถาวรจากต่างประเทศ หรือผู้ที่ต้องการปรับเปลี่ยนสถานภาพเป็นผู้ถือกรีนการ์ดขณะที่อยู่ในสหรับอเมริกา จะต้องรับวัคซีนป้องกันโรคดังต่อไปนี้

โรคคางทูม

หัด

หัดเยอรมัน

โปลิโอ

คอตีบ และ บาดทะยัก

ไอกรน

ไข้หวัดใหญ่สายพันธุ์ บี

ไวรัสตับอักเสบบี

และวัคซีนใดๆตามคำแนะนำของกรมควบคุมโรคติดต่อ

ข้อมูลนี้คงจะเป็นประโยชน์แก่ผู้ที่กำลังหาลู่ทางอพยพ กฎเหณฑ์เกี่ยวกับวัคซีนอาจมีการเปลี่ยนแปลงได้บ่อยๆ ทั้งนี้สถานทูตสหรัฐอเมริกาในกรุงเทพมหานครได้มีรายการโรงพยาบาลที่ได้รับอนุญาติให้ตรวจสุขภาพเพื่อวัตถุประสงค์ในการเข้าเมืองของสหรัฐอเมริกาได้ รายชื่อนี้เปลี่ยนได้ตลอดเวลาเพราะฉะนั้นโปรดติดต่อสถานทูตสหรัฐเพื่อขอข้อมูลที่อัพเดท

ในไม่กี่เดือนที่ผ่านมา กระทรวงต่างประเทศสหรัฐและศูนย์ควบคุมโรคได้เปลี่ยนกฎเกณฑ์เกี่ยวกับโรคติดต่อและการเข้าเมืองสหรัฐ โรค HIV ถูกคัดออกจากรายการโรคติดต่อที่ห้ามเข้าเมืองของสหรัฐ ดังนั้น คนที่ถูกห้ามไม่ให้เข้าประเทศโดยอาศัยเหตุที่มีเชื้อ HIV ไม่จำเป็นจ้องขออภัยโทษเพราะเหตุ HIV ( เรียกอีกชื่อคือ คำร้องขออภัยโทษ I-601 ) เพื่อให้เข้าสหรัฐได้ หากว่ามีคุณสมบัติอื่นตามที่ กระทรวงต่างประเทศ และ USCIS กำหนด

รัฐบาลสหรัฐมีหน้าที่รับผิดชอบเพื่อให้แน่ใจว่าคนที่เข้าประเทศสหรัฐไม่ได้นำโรคที่อาจเป็นภัยต่อประชาชนชาวอเมริกันเข้ามาด้วย สำหรับทางนี้ พนักงานสถานทูตและ แพทย์ในโรงพยาบาลต่างประเทศจะทำงานกันอย่างเข้มงวด ในประเทศไทย ปัญหาใหญ่ของผู้ขอวีซ่าบางคนคือ โรควัณโรค ในกรณีเช่นนี้ จะต้องให้แน่ใจว่าโรคได้รับการรักษาและไม่ได้อยู่ในระยะติดต่ออีกต่อไป สำหรับคนที่เคยเป็น วัณโรคมาก่อน จะต้องมีการตรวจสอบประวัติการรักษาของผู้ป่วยเสียก่อนในการที่แพทย์จะวินิจฉัยว่าผู้ป่วยยังมีโอกาสเป็นพาหะแก่บุคคลอื่นหรือไม่ แม้ว่าในบางครั้งจะน่ารำคาญ การตรวจสุขภาพเป็นเรื่องที่จำเป็นในการพิจารณาเคสของสถานทูตสหรัฐและกงสุลสหรัฐในต่างประเทศ

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5th February 2010

In cases where a US visa application is denied it may be possible to remedy the visa denial by applying for a waiver if the denial was based upon a legal grounds of inadmissibility. This type of waiver is called an I-601 waiver. At one time, if a United States visa applicant was infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), then they would be denied a visa visa based upon this factor alone, if no other issues existed that called for a denial. However, recently the United States Immigration authorities have changed this rule. To quote a document promulgated by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA):

“[I]nfection with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is no longer a ground of inadmissibility. If you have the HIV infection, you are no longer inadmissible to the United States, and are no longer required to file Form I-601 because of your HIV infection. As part of the revisions to Form I-601, any reference to HIV infection in the form and the instructions were removed.”

This is not the only rule change that has been recently promulgated as the filing instructions themselves have recently changed in order to more accurately reflect the proper filing locations as well as other regulatory modifications.

“In addition, USCIS… announced that there are revised filing instructions and addresses for applicants filing Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Ground of Inadmissibility. The change of filing location is part of an overall effort to transition the intake of benefit forms from USCIS local offices and Service Centers to USCIS Lockbox facilities. By centralizing form and fee intake to a Lockbox environment, USCIS can provide customers with more efficient and effective initial processing of applications and fees.”

The “lockbox” method is currently employed when processing immigrant visa applications such as the IR-1 visa and the CR-1 visa. This allows USCIS to streamline the application process as all applications are submitted to one location. K1 visa applications as well as K3 marriage visa applications are submitted directly to the USCIS Service Center with appropriate jurisdiction.

In situations where an I-601 waiver application is submitted overseas, the application is usually submitted at the US Embassy or US Consulate where the visa is denied. This allows the Consular Officer to make a recommendation regarding the waiver application. Those interested in US visa waivers should note that only licensed United States attorneys or accredited representatives are allowed to represent clients before both the United States Embassy and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). That being said, only an attorney is entitled to charge fees for such services as accredited representatives are usually not-for-profit agencies who only charge a nominal fee (if anything) when assisting immigrants. Those who are not licensed to represent clients is US Immigration matters cannot charge a fee to represent clients in Immigration proceedings pursuant to US law.  For more information please click here.

For more information about American visas and the remedies available upon application denial please see: US Visa Denial.

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12th January 2010

In a recent posting on the American Immigration Lawyers Association website the author noticed a revised list of the vaccinations that are required for those seeking Immigration benefits for the United States. Below is a direct quote from the AILA publication:

Under the immigration laws of the United States, a foreign national who applies for an immigrant visa abroad, or who seeks to adjust status as a permanent resident while in the United States, is required to receive vaccinations to prevent the following diseases:
Mumps
Measles
Rubella
Polio
Tetanus and Diphtheria Toxoids
Pertussis
Influenza Type B
Hepatitis B
Any other vaccine-preventable diseases recommended by the Advisory Committee for
Immunization Practices

This information could prove useful for those assisting a prospective immigrant. This being said, the rules and required vaccinations can be subject to frequent changes. Also, the US Embassy in Bangkok maintains a list of hospitals that are permitted to conduct medical examinations for US Immigration purposes. This list is subject to change and as a result those seeking medical examination for visa obtainment purposes would be wise to contact the United States Embassy in order to obtain the most up-to-date information.

In recent months, the United States Department of State and the Center for Disease Control have changed some of the rules regarding communicable diseases and United States Immigration. HIV has been taken off of the list of diseases that will act as a bar to admission into the United States. Therefore, those who previously were inadmissible to the USA due to the fact that they had HIV no longer need an HIV waiver (also known as an I-601 waiver) to overcome their inadmissibility and may now be eligible to enter the United States provided they meet other Department of State and USCIS requirements.

The United States government has a responsibility to make sure that those entering the USA are not carrying diseases that could pose a threat to the American Citizenry. To this end, Embassy staff and Civil Surgeons at overseas hospitals take their job very seriously. In Thailand, a major issue for some applicants is Tuberculosis. Some applicants are found to have or have had TB. In these situations, a battery of tests must be conducted in order to ensure that the disease has been eradicated and the applicant is no longer contagious.  For those who had TB in the past, a thorough search of the applicant’s medical records is conducted in order for the Civil Surgeon to be certain that the applicant no longer poses a threat to others. Although sometimes frustrating, the Medical Examination process is a necessary component of the due diligence conducted by the United States Embassies and US Consulates abroad.

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2nd July 2009

A Legal Ground of Inadmissibility is a provision created by Congress that bars certain immigrants from entering the United States of America. If a prospective immigrant is found to have certain types of communicable disease then they will be barred from entering the United States without first obtaining a Waiver of Inadmissibility.

Waivers of inadmissibility for those infected with Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are different than some other legal grounds of inadmissibility because the burden of proof is not the same. In order to obtain a normal I-601 waiver of inadmissibility in most cases the US Citizen or lawful permanent resident petitioner must show that failure to grant the waiver would result in an “extreme hardship,” for him or her. In the case of an HIV waiver, a showing of “extreme hardship” is unnecessary. Instead, one must show that the immigrant with HIV will not become a ward of the United States. Much like the I-864 affidavit of support for Immigrant visas or the I-134 affidavit of support for a fiance visa, the petitioner must show that the beneficiary will not become a “public charge.”

Recently, President Obama has made it clear that he intends to put the wheels in motion to have legislation passed that would repeal the provisions making those with HIV inadmissible to the United States. Obama was recently quoted as saying,

“The rationale for maintaining HIV infection as an excludable condition is no longer valid based on current medical and scientific knowledge and public health practice, and experience which has informed us on the characteristics of the virus, the modes of transmission of HIV, and the effective interventions to prevent further spread of the virus… My administration is committed to rescinding the discriminatory ban on entry to the United States based on HIV status. The Office of Management and Budget just concluded a review of a proposal to repeal this entry ban, which is a first and very big step towards ending this policy.”

Obama has made many recent statements regarding Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the Defense of Marriage Act. If Obama fulfills his campaign promises regarding these issues it will have tremendous ramifications on United States Immigration law. The push to have HIV taken off of the list of communicable disease has its opponents, but it is probable that legislation that would allow those with HIV to enter the USA, without a waiver, will be passed sometime in the next one to two years.

For more information about US Family Visas from Thailand Please see: US Immigration lawyer Thailand or K-1 visa

(Nothing contined herein should be mistaken for legal advice as it is intended for the purpose of education only. No lawyer-client relationship is to be implied to exist between the author and any reader of this posting.)

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