The United States has strict regulations regarding the admission of foreigners with Communist Party affiliations or membership. Green Card applicants will be asked to disclose any past and present affiliations or membership with a Communist Party. Nevertheless, Communist Parties remain politically important in a number of countries, including China, Vietnam, Laos and Cuba. If you are an EB-5 applicant from one of these countries, you may be uncertain how to answer this question.
Whether your Green Card application will be denied due to past or present Communist Party affiliation or membership depends on your level of involvement with the party.
An applicant for immigration and naturalization to the United States must show support for the U.S. Constitution and a willingness to accept the principles of the Constitution. Current or previous membership in the Communist Party may indicate an opposition to the Constitution and generally any immigrant who is or has been a member of or affiliated with the Communist Party is inadmissible.
There are, however, several exceptions that allow an applicant to show that his or her Communist Party membership or affiliation was involuntary or limited. An applicant may meet an exception if he or she establishes that:
- His or her membership or affiliation was involuntary;
- His or her membership or affiliation ended before turning 16 years old;
- Membership or affiliation was necessary for to obtain employment, food rations, or other essentials of living; or
- His or her membership or affiliation ended at least 2 years before the date of applying for a Green Card, or 5 years before the date of such application, in the case of an foreigner whose membership or affiliation was with the party controlling the government of a foreign state that is a Communist state, and the foreign is not a threat to the security of the United States.
Additionally, the U.S. Supreme Court created an exception for non-meaningful associations in Rowoldt v. Perfetto, 355 U.S. 115 (U.S. 1957). These are associations where the applicant demonstrates a lack of commitment to the political and ideological convictions of communism. The Supreme Court has consistently held that Communist Party membership is not present if the individual is unaware of the political nature of the group or the individual is without a political reason for joining. For example, if an individual joined a communist group merely to attend meetings or social events, particularly while young, his or her participation is less likely to be considered meaningful than one who is actively pursuing the group’s goals and taking leadership roles.
Moreover, simply having an intellectual interest in or sympathy for the ideologies of the Communist Party does not constitute affiliation with the organization unless such interest or sympathy is accompanied by a voluntary action that provides support, money, or other value.
If none of the above exceptions fit you, you may still be eligible for an exception available to close family members of U.S. citizen or a lawfully admitted permanent residence, in the form of a waiver for humanitarian purposes, family unity, or in the public interest of the United States.
At Jatoi & de Kirby, APC, we know how important it is for you to get all the information necessary to qualify for your Green Card. If you are concerned that Communist Party affiliations may disqualify you, our San Francisco immigration attorneys can advise your current status and eligibility for an exception, allowing you peace of mind. Call us today at 415-221-2345 for more information.