The following communicable diseases of public health significance render a person inadmissible:
- Granuloma inguinale
- Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS)
- Hansen's disease (infectious leprosy)
- Lymphogranuloma venereum
- Infectious state syphilis
- Infectious tuberculosis (TB) (clinically active)
In addition, the following physical or mental disorders can render a person inadmissible:
- Current physical or mental disorders, with harmful behavior associated with the disorder.
- Past physical or mental disorders with associated harmful behavior that is likely to recur or lead to other harmful behavior.
Harmful behavior is behavior that may pose, or has posed, a threat to the property, safety or welfare of the applicant or others.
A record of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI or DWI) can lead to an investigation by the government to determine whether an immigrant has a "mental disorder associated with harmful behavior."
For certain treatable illnesses (tuberculosis, for example), an arrangement with the overseas consulate may be possible whereby the applicant returns home to undergo a treatment regime for a specified length of time and then returns to the "panel physician" for re-examination, and if the illness is in complete remission, the visa is issued without the need for a waiver.
Waivers are possible for most of the health grounds of inadmissibility except for drug abuse or addiction. In evaluating all such waivers, the government adjudicator is obligated to ensure that the immigrant will not pose a threat to the health or welfare of the U.S. public, and that there will be no financial cost incurred by any level of government agency or by U.S. taxpayers due to the admission of the immigrant (except in such cases where an authorized U.S. agency has given its prior consent).
HIV applicants will also have to show the following:
- Medical treatment has been arranged in the United States;
- The applicant is aware of the nature and severity of his or her medical condition;
- The applicant has provided evidence of counseling; and
- The applicant has demonstrated a knowledge of the modes of transmission of the virus.
In addition, HIV applicants have a particularly high burden with regard to the "public charge" aspect of the waiver. The applicant's U.S. sponsoring relative must demonstrate financial resources and/or health insurance to absorb the estimated $500,000 plus lifetime cost of health care for an AIDS sufferer before the waiver will be further be considered.
A person with a physical or mental disorder which threatens the safety of the applicant or others may receive a waiver if they submit documentation that convinces the government that they are fully recovered.