The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently announced new rules that will make it easier for HIV-positive visitors to enter the country. With certain requirements, the new regulation gives U.S. consulate offices overseas the authority to grant temporary, non-immigrant visas to people living with HIV who meet all other criteria.
Previously, HIV-positive applicants were required to wait until they received a special waiver from Homeland Security before they could be granted a visa, a process which could take roughly 18 days. The HIV Waiver Final Rule streamlines this process. New visas under this regulation, however, will be “subject to criteria designed to ensure an HIV-positive person’s activities while in the United States do not present a risk to the public health,” said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff in a statement from the Department.
This change comes as a result of the newly reauthorized President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which repealed a law that previously barred people living with HIV/AIDS from entering the U.S.