Generally, people who are or were members of, or affiliated with, a communist party or any other totalitarian organization are inadmissible to the United States. There are, however, some exceptions. And, it is sometimes possible to get a waiver of inadmissibility.

You are considered a member or affiliate of a communist party if you are a member of or provided meaningful resources to:

  • The Communist Party of the United States
  • The Communist Political Association
  • Any U.S. state communist party
  • A communist party of any foreign state, or of any political or geographical subdivision of any foreign state
  • Any section, subsidiary, branch, affiliate or subdivision of such a party or association
  • The direct predecessor or successor of such a party or association, regardless of what name it currently uses or may have used
  • Any communist-action or communist-front organization that you knew or should have known was a communist-action or communist-front organization

You are considered a member of a totalitarian party if the party advocates for the establishment of a totalitarian dictatorship or totalitarianism in the U.S.

A totalitarian dictatorship or totalitarian regime is one that is characterized by

  • The existence of a single political party organized on a dictatorial basis, with so close an identity between such party and its policies and the governmental policies of the country in which it exists, that the party and the government constitute an indistinguishable unit, and
  • The forcible suppression of opposition to the party

Members of the Chinese Communist Party are generally inadmissible to the U.S.

Exceptions to the rule

Even if you have been a member of a communist party (or another totalitarian party), you may qualify for admission to the U.S. if you can demonstrate that:

  • Your membership was involuntary
  • Your active membership or affiliation was terminated at least 2 or 5 years ago, depending on the circumstances, and you are not a threat to U.S. national security

Membership may be considered involuntary when:

  • You were under 16 years of age when you were a member
  • You were made a member by operation of law
  • You became a member solely to obtain employment, food rations or other essentials
  • There was fraud, coercion or duress or some other error when you became a member

Waiver of admissibility

At the discretion of the U.S. government, some people may be granted waivers of inadmissibility. Generally, this applies to close family members of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident who are not a threat to the security of the U.S. and who warrant a favorable exercise of discretion.

If you are considering coming to the U.S., contact Yew Immigration Law Group. Alison Yew is a board-certified specialist in immigration and naturalization law.