Can Your Mental Health Threaten Your Green Card?


15% of the world’s working-age adults have a mental disorder. Depression and anxiety are on the rise.

So if you are seeking a green card here in the United States, it’s natural to wonder whether your mental health will serve as some impediment. Unfortunately, this worry is valid, as some mental health concerns or disorders can render you inadmissible. 

Associated Harmful Behavior

USCIS primarily looks for physical or mental disorders associated with harmful behavior, past or present. They define harmful behavior as behavior that poses, may pose, or has posed a threat to the property, safety, or welfare of the applicant or others.

Examples include suicide attempts, significant property damage, or violent attacks against another person. 

The mental disorder must also be clinically diagnosable. The alleged disorder must be defined by the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association or by another authoritative source determined by the Director of USCIS. 

A mental disorder without associated harmful behavior is insufficient for finding inadmissibility. So is harmful behavior without the associated mental or physical illness. However, harmful behavior may have led to criminal charges that could lead to a finding of inadmissibility on criminal grounds. 

Mental Health Waivers

Individuals with mental health issues that might impact their green card application may apply for a waiver. USCIS will only grant this waiver after consulting with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

To receive a waiver, you’ll have to obtain a medical examination and provide USCIS with a supporting medical report and physician recommendations regarding the course and treatment prospects. 

If USCIS grants the waiver, they may impose conditions upon the applicant, such as agreeing to make regular appointments with a US health provider to address their mental illness.

Get Help from a Qualified Immigration Attorney

It’s essential to work closely with an immigration attorney any time you feel there might be an issue that could threaten your green card application. We can help you launch a strategy to maximize your chances of attaining your green card. 

Contact Hykel Law to schedule a case review today. 

See also:

4 Good Reasons to Bring an Attorney to Your Green Card Interview 

Who Can Appeal an Immigration Decision?

How to Appeal a Visa Denial

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