The HIV Exclusion
Current immigration law excludes people infected with HIV from immigrating to, or even visiting, the United States. Foreign nationals with qualifying relatives who meet certain financial and public safety concerns may be eligible for a waiver to this exclusion. Qualifying relatives include:
- the heterosexual spouse of a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident
- the unmarried son or daughter of a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident
- the minor, unmarried lawfully adopted child (under 18) of a U.S. citizen
- the parent of a son or daughter who is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident
Refugees and asylees fall under a "humanitarian" exception to the HIV bar and are not excluded from adjusting their status to that of a lawful permanent resident.
The HIV exclusion has a particularly negative impact on lesbian, gay, and bisexual people because they are unable to qualify for a waiver based on their relationship to their same-sex partner or spouse, and often do not have a qualifying U.S. citizen child or other relative.