A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration lawyer. We serve clients in all U.S. states and overseas countries. (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

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Monday, October 28, 2019

Mandatory Health Insurance Requirement for Immigrants Effective November 3, 2019

Anyone who applies for an immigrant visa on or after November 3rd, 2019 must show to the consular officer that they will have health insurance within 30 days of entry or that they have the resources to pay for foreseeable medical costs. Those unable to meet this requirement will have their visa denied.

This is a change prompted by the Presidential Proclamation on Health Care by President Trump. Although it is possible that a court may stop the enforcement of this rule at the last minute, as of now intending immigrants should be prepared to meet this new visa requirement. 

Accepted healthcare programs include employer-sponsored plans, visitor health insurance or short-term plans of at least 364 days or until the beginning of extended travel out of the U.S., unsubsidized health plans from the market, and a family member's health plan. Others include U.S. military health plans, catastrophic plans, medical plans under Medicare, and anything else that qualifies according to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The program must begin within 30 days of entry.

Applicants can also show that they have financial resources that can cover reasonably forseeable medical costs. Specifics as to how much are not given. It is likely an amount that takes into account the applicant's health and is judged at the discretion of the consular officer.

It is highly recommended that immigrant visa applicants prepare beforehand for this part of the interview. Applicants should find a health insurance plan and verify that it qualifies or prepare evidence to demonstrate their sufficient financial resources.  If U.S. plans are not available, on should look into visitor health insurance that covers at least 364 days.

1 comment:

Paul Szeto said...

This medical insurance requirement was blocked by a federal court at the last minute. Subscribe to our blog for further development.