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Immigrant Visa Applicants Must Show Evidence of Adequate Health Care Coverage or Financial Resources Beginning November 3rd

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The President has once again targeted the immigrant population by signing a Presidential Proclamation suspending the entry of any immigrant who will “financially burden the United States healthcare system.”

While the Presidential Proclamation is likely to encounter resistance in court, as it stands the Proclamation is slated to become effective on November 3, 2019.

According to the Proclamation, a person seeking to immigrate to the United States will be found to be a financial burden on the U.S. healthcare system, unless they can prove either one of the following:

  • They are covered by approved health insurance, within 30 days of their entry to the United States, or
  • They have the financial resources to pay for reasonably foreseeable medical costs.

Beginning November 3, 2019, prior to the adjudication and issuance of an immigrant visa, a non-citizen seeking to immigrate to the United States, must establish to the satisfaction of a consular officer that they will not become a burden on the health care system by either of the means outlined above.

Who does the Proclamation apply to?

Only non-citizens seeking to enter the United States pursuant to an immigrant visa.

Who does the Proclamation not apply to:

  • any alien holding a valid immigrant visa issued before the effective date of this proclamation;
  • any alien seeking to enter the United States pursuant to a Special Immigrant Visa, in either the SI or SQ classification, who is also a national of Afghanistan or Iraq, or his or her spouse and children, if any;
  • any alien who is the child of a United States citizen or who is seeking to enter the United States pursuant to an IR–2, IR–3, IR–4, IH– 3, or IH–4 visa;
  • any alien seeking to enter the United States pursuant to an IR– 5 visa, provided that the alien or the alien’s sponsor demonstrates to the satisfaction of the consular officer that the alien’s healthcare will not impose a substantial burden on the United States healthcare system;
  • any alien seeking to enter the United States pursuant to a SB–1 visa;
  • any alien under the age of 18, except for any alien accompanying a parent who is also immigrating to the United States and subject to this proclamation;
  • any alien whose entry would further important United States law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State or his designee based on a recommendation of the Attorney General or his designee; or
  • any alien whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State or his designee on a case-by-case basis.

Adequate Coverage

According to the Proclamation, any of the following plans or programs qualify as adequate means of coverage:

  • an employer-sponsored plan, including a retiree plan, association health plan, and coverage provided by the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985;
  • an unsubsidized health plan offered in the individual market within a State;
  • a short-term limited duration health policy effective for a minimum of 364 days—or until the beginning of planned, extended travel outside the United States;
  • a catastrophic plan;
  • a family member’s plan;
  • a medical plan under chapter 55 of title 10, United States Code, including coverage under the TRICARE program;
  • a visitor health insurance plan that provides adequate coverage for medical care for a minimum of 364 days—or until the beginning of planned, extended travel outside the United States;
  • a medical plan under the Medicare program; or
  • any other health plan that provides adequate coverage for medical care as determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services or his designee.

Although the Proclamation will almost certainly be blocked by the courts, immigrant visa applicants should be prepared to show that they will be covered by approved health insurance, within 30 days of their entry to the United States, or sufficient financial resources to pay for reasonably foreseeable medical costs.

For more information please contact our office.