Accommodations and Issues: Immigrating While Disabled - DuPage County Immigration Attorneys | Mevorah Law Offices LLC
Button 3 Button 1 Button 2 Button 4 Button 5 Button 6
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Free Initial Consultation | Se habla español 630-932-9100
Mevorah Law Offices LLC
DuPage County Attorneys


900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100


134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761


333 N. Randall Road, Suite 104, St. Charles, IL 60175

Phone: 630-443-0600


105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 630-932-9100


1730 Park Street, Suite 202, Naperville, IL 60563

Phone: 630-420-1000

Accommodations and Issues: Immigrating While Disabled

Posted on in Immigration
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Print

immigrating while disabled, Chicago Immigration AttorneysThe disabled, like everyone else, are entitled to a fair review of their applications to immigrate to the United States. However, many times, they are ruled inadmissible solely because the law meant to protect the public has not been updated along with the times. If you are disabled and wish to immigrate to the United States, there are factors of which you should be aware.

The “Dangerous Behavior” Bar

8 U.S. Code § 1182 provides that someone with a physical or mental disorder that may be dangerous to property or safety and welfare of the person or others (or a “history of behavior” associated with the disorder) is inadmissible. Proponents argue that this is in service of the public good—that anyone who has a history of violent or frightening behavior, regardless of intent, may cause harm to the people the law is designed to protect.

Others question exactly who the law is meant to protect. If someone has, for example, obtained counseling for his or her particular disorder, and has a long period of successfully managing their symptoms, it seems arbitrary and contrary to public policy to penalize them by denying them a visa. There is an appeals process if you are ruled to have a disability that renders you dangerous (or capable of ‘dangerous behavior’), but it is only to a medical board, not to a higher immigration authority.

Regardless of the possible punitive consequences, however, it is worth noting that this bar only applies if a person has both a “physical or mental disorder” and a pattern of behavior related to the disorder that could be potentially dangerous. The definition of “physical or mental disorder” is vague, directing that an immigration official be guided by policy from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. However, in practice, much of these decisions are left up to the individual official’s discretion.

If a potential immigrant can provide documentation that shows a pattern of acceptable behavior and a lack of propensity to harm, he or she is often granted the visa they seek, at least partly due to this vagueness. If he or she is denied, disability waivers are also available.

The Public Charge Bar

The other reason that disabled people are sometimes denied entry to the U.S. is the so-called ‘public charge’ question. Anyone, not just a disabled person, is subject to a ruling of inadmissibility if they cannot prove they have sufficient support not to become a public charge under INA §212(a)(4). A public charge is someone who is primarily dependent on government assistance, rather than any kind of private income.

Despite the public charge bar being, in theory, applicable to everyone, it disproportionately affects the disabled. Officials have cited concern over the disabled person possibly losing his or her job or becoming more disabled over time (resulting in an inability to work), or in the case of those with mental disabilities, possibly becoming stranded in the country with no ability to take care of him or herself.

Contact an Immigration Attorney

If you or a loved one has a disability that might result in an inadmissible finding, having a professional on your side may make the difference between success and failure. The skilled DuPage County immigration attorneys at Mevorah Law Offices LLC have extensive experience in these types of cases, and are happy to put it to work for you. Contact us today to discuss your options.

  • DuPage County Immigration Lawyers
  • Elite Lawyers
  • National Association of Distinguished Counsel
  • Top 40 Under 40
  • 2015 Top 40 Lawyers Under 40
  • Super Lawyers
  • Better Business Bureau

Let us start helping you with a FREE initial consultation.

NOTE: Fields with a * indicate a required field.

One Stop For All Your Legal Needs

Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help. Our trial lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from five offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Naperville, St. Charles, and Chicago.

Steven Mevorah has assembled experienced attorneys under one roof so that his clients need not search for a new attorney each time they need help. Mr. Mevorah has also established a wide network of additional attorneys so that his clients merely need to stop by Mevorah Law Offices LLC to find the attorney they need.

Client Focused Representation

Our practice is focused on meeting your needs with flexible hours and locations to serve you:

  • Free initial consultations
  • Saturday and evening appointments available
  • Home and hospital visits if your injuries prevent you from traveling
  • Multiple locations throughout Chicagoland
  • Veteran trial attorneys
  • Experienced negotiators
  • Payment plans available
  • Cash, check, or credit card accepted