Immigrants, non-immigrants and undocumented aliens who are living with HIV or AIDS face complicated legal issues. The good news is that HIV is no longer an automatic exclusion to entering the U.S. or obtaining legal permanent residency. Beginning in 2010, HIV is no longer an “excludable” condition under the immigration laws. This means that people living with HIV are no longer barred from becoming legal permanent residents and therefore are not required to establish eligibility for an HIV waiver in order to get a green card.


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published frequently asked questions concerning the Supreme Court’s recent invalidation of the Defense of Marriage Act. To learn about the ruling’s effect on immigration policy, including visa petitions filed on behalf of a same-sex spouses, click here.

(posted 7/29/13)

To understand immigration law, you need to know the legal meanings of the key words defined below.


A non-citizen is anyone who is not a U.S. citizen by birth or naturalization. There are several types of non-citizens:

An immigrant is someone who has a “green card” or is in the process of obtaining one. They are also called “lawful permanent residents.” They can work and live permanently in the United States.

Non-immigrants are aliens who are in the U.S. legally for a limited period of time and do not intend to reside here permanently. They can get temporary visas to study, visit as a tourist, work temporarily, conduct business or get medical treatment.

Undocumented aliens have no visa or permission to be in the United States. They either entered the U.S. without the government’s permission or have an expired non-immigrant visa.

Talk to an immigration expert before making decisions about these issues.