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Response to Rick: Reentry as Permanent Resident
Apr 27, 2004

Hi Nancy,

This is in response to a posting by Rick regarding travel as a US Permanent Resident (Green Card holder) and reentry to the country. He should be OK so long as hes already a Permanent Resident.

The immigration law does specifically list HIV as a reason for finding non-citizens inadmissible to the United States, except for the following caveat:

After April 1, 1997, INS should no longer have the power to harass most returning lawful permanent residents. The 1996 immigration law changed how the grounds of inadmissibility, including HIV and public charge requirements apply to lawful permanent residents trying to come back into the United States. In general, as long as a lawful permanent resident has a valid alien registration card, only those who have been outside the United States for 180 days or more or who have committed crimes should have to overcome the grounds of inadmissibility. All other lawful permanent residents should be able to reenter the United States without being questioned about HIV by INS. Nevertheless, lawful permanent residents with HIV should be prepared to assert their rights under the 1996 immigration law.

If, after April 1, 1997, an INS agent stops and questions a lawful permanent resident who has been gone less than 180 days, the lawful permanent resident should demand to see a lawyer and demand a hearing with an immigration judge. The INS agent probably violated the new immigration law.

The following is a great resource for all questions related to HIV and immigration (Thanks to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation).


Good luck to Rick in his travels!

- Sean

Response from Ms. Breuer

Sean, this is so helpful. Thank you very much. Up it goes! Nancy

Catch Hiv from Blood on a duster
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