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Illiterate Aliens Seeking Admission as Immigrants

Date of Issuance:

Illiterate aliens who would otherwise be eligible for admission to this country on visas allocated under 8 U.S.C. §§ 1152 or 1153, may not avoid the literacy requirement of 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(25) simply by virtue of their being accompanied by a child who is under the age of 16, if that child’s own eligibility for admission depends upon that of his or her parents. The State Department’s longstanding administrative practice in this regard finds no support in the legislative history of the literacy requirement, which establishes that Congress intended to exempt from its application only those illiterates whose close relatives were independently entitled to be admitted.

Updated July 9, 2014