Finding out you have HIV when you are foreign born
can seem overwhelming and bewildering. There are a great
many resources available to you. You can get advice
on lawyers and legal issues, as well as information
on agencies that offer support from people that have
been through the same situations.
It is also important to remember that your involvement with NYU’s CFAR, this website and any clinical trial you may choose to participate in, would, in no way, negatively affect your immigration status. Your status would never be reported to the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Your legal status would have no impact on your participation in a study.
Also keep in mind that New York City- operated health facilities have no legal right or obligation to report you to the INS. Even though New York State requires name reporting for individuals who test positive through a primary care provider or diagnostic provider, this information is not passed on or available to the INS.
That said, being HIV positive can pose some problems with immigration. Some of the main points to keep in mind are:
If you are undocumented and don’t have current valid immigration papers there is always the possibility of deportation, regardless of your HIV status. However, there is no reason for the INS to know the results of your HIV test results. Seeking testing or treatment will NOT get you deported. If you cannot receive the same quality of health care in your home country as in the US you may be able to get permission to stay under a program called “voluntary departure” This can only be obtained with the help of a legal professional.
A HIV test is required for people applying for legal permanent residency in the United States. You may be denied residency if you test positive. However, this is not necessarily always the case. You should seek help from a legal professional if you are in the process of applying.
If you are applying for citizenship (naturalization)
and have therefore already been a legal resident for
five years your HIV status will have no impact on your
Whatever your legal status you can still receive healthcare from city institutions; however, obtaining the correct benefits is a complicated issue, and you may not be eligible for all the programs available. Seeking help from a legal professional would be appropriate.
For more information on immigration issues please see links in our resource section.