How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask AlisonSolicitor Your Own Question
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70
Experience:  Expert
Type Your Law Question Here...
AlisonSolicitor is online now

My daughter (aged 19) was sectioned for a sever eating

Customer Question

JA: Hi. How can I help?
Customer: My daughter (aged 19) was sectioned for a sever eating disorder (anorexia) for approx 6 months. She was discharged in March 2020 and whilst is still seeking assistance from the Adult Eating Disorder services she lives a normal life now working full time etc. My question is relative to visiting the USA as a tourist. We wish to visit New York in Xmas for 4-5 day. But I recall being told that having been sectioned this might restrict access to USA. We have looked through the relevant web site but cant find anything to this effect. Can you please advise? Regards Luke
JA: Has your daughter talked to a lawyer about this? What country does she live in?
Customer: No
JA: What steps has she taken so far?
Customer: Sorry my daughter lives in the UK and is a UK resident passport holder.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: No don't belive so, I am enquiring on her behalf because we would like to buy the trip as a Xmas present for her. Thanks Luke
Submitted: 16 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  AlisonSolicitor replied 16 days ago.

Hello, my name is***** hope you are well today. I am a qualified Solicitor, and I will be able to help you by providing you with an answer to your question today. I specialise in UK and Irish Law. I am not always online but rest assured if I do not respond immediately I will respond when I return.

Expert:  AlisonSolicitor replied 16 days ago.

Is there anything else you feel is relevant to your question or anything else you would like to add before we continue?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Hi Alison, No don't belive so. Thanks Luke
Expert:  AlisonSolicitor replied 16 days ago.

Your daughter has the right to travel out of the UK, but some countries have restrictions on accepting people with a history of mental health problems. This is because the Equality Act, which protects you from discrimination in the UK, does not apply abroad.

Each country will have different rules on this. So it is better to check the country you are planning to visit whether you will have trouble getting a visa and whether they are likely to ask for information about your mental health history.

In US immigration laws, there are barriers that your daughter must overcome to be given a visa and allowed entry. These are a combination of two things:

  • a physical or mental disorder that can be clinically diagnosed and; 
  • behavior associated with the disorder that could pose or has posed a threat to the property, safety, or welfare of the immigrant or to others in the public.

The law also look out for those who have had in the past a similarly harmful physical or mental disorder that could recur or lead to other behavior that is harmful to the applicant or others.

Expert:  AlisonSolicitor replied 16 days ago.

What's most important to note about the law is that the mental/physical disorder bar is two-part; it applies only when the applicant has BOTH 1) a disorder and 2) some kind of behavior stemming from that disorder that poses a threat to persons or property.

Expert:  AlisonSolicitor replied 16 days ago.

US immigration officials will require the Applicant to undergo an medical examination through a pre-approved medical physician. As your daughter will only apply for a temporary visa (Tourist), she does not automatically have to undergo such an exam, though they may require her to do so.

Expert:  AlisonSolicitor replied 16 days ago.

You can show U.S. immigration officials that, despite having a particular disorder, the condition is not associated with any kind of threatening or harmful behavior. Usually, this involves providing as much documentation as possible about any medical or psychological treatment that your daughter received that mitigates the effects of the condition.

Expert:  AlisonSolicitor replied 16 days ago.

Is there anything else I can help with today?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Lots of good info. Thanks
Maybe one question, given Harriet got discharged fully two years ago (march 2020). Is there not some confidentially act that says this information should not be disclosed?
But basically think your advising we should contact the American embassy to discuss as early as possible?
Expert:  AlisonSolicitor replied 16 days ago.

Any documents received by US immigration for any visa application are considered confidential and will be used only for the consideration of the application for your Visa.

Yes, I advise that you contact the US Embassy as they will provide more accurate information on the steps that your daughter may take and as early as possible so you may have time to process and procure all the necessary requirements.

Expert:  AlisonSolicitor replied 16 days ago.

Is there anything else I can help with today?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Ok thanks for help.
Expert:  AlisonSolicitor replied 16 days ago.

No problem. Thank you for your enquiry today, please do not hesitate to contact us in future if you have further enquiries.

Expert:  AlisonSolicitor replied 15 days ago.

Thank you for your question on JustAnswer. We are always available to help and please do let me know if you have any other questions I can answer for you.