White House Proclamation to Deny Entry of Immigrant Visa Applicants Unable to Meet New Health Insurance Requirements

Practice Areas

By: Angelita Chavez-Halaka; Armando Escobedo; Gladys Gervacio

SUMMARY

On October 4, 2019, President Trump issued a Proclamation stating that the U.S. will suspend and limit entry of immigrant visa applicants who are unable to meet the requirements for healthcare.

What to Expect?

Starting on November 3, 2019, individuals applying for an immigrant visa must demonstrate at the time of the consular interview, that they will be covered by approved health insurance within their first 30 days of entry into the US, or demonstrate the financial resources to cover any foreseeable medical costs.

How Can Applicants Demonstrate Qualifying Health Insurance Coverage?

Consular officers will review the medical and financial documentation already provided on the applicant’s case file and may request additional documentation.

The following are examples of approved health insurance coverage that can be used to demonstrate the requirements:

  • “Employer-sponsored health plans, including retiree plans”
  • “Unsubsidized health plans offered in the individual market within a State”
  • “Short-term, limited duration health plans effective for a minimum of 364 days or until the beginning of planned, extended travel outside the United States”
  • “Catastrophic plans”
  • “Coverage by a family member’s health plan”
  • “U.S. military health plans, including TRICARE”
  • “Visitor health insurance plans with adequate medical coverage for a minimum of 364 days or until the beginning of planned, extended travel outside the United States”
  • “Medical plans under the Medicare program”
  • “Any other health plan with adequate coverage as determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services”

Please Note: Qualifying health insurance does not include coverage in the Medicaid program for individuals that are over the age of 18.

Exceptions to Healthcare Requirements

The health insurance requirement does not apply to the following categories:

  • Individuals who already hold a valid visa or will hold one as of November 3, 2019
  • Iraqi and Afghan special immigrant visa applicants including their spouses and children
  • Adopted, biological, and step-children, of a US citizen applying under the IR-2, CR-2, IR-3, IR-4, IH-3, or IH-4 visa classifications
  • SB-1 (Returning Resident) Applicants
  • K-1 fiancé(e) visa applicants and other individuals entering the US without an immigrant visa such as lawful permanent residents, refugees, and asylees
  • IR-5 visa applicants – must demonstrate that their healthcare “will not impose a substantial burden on the US healthcare system”
  • Individuals under the age of 18 – except those “seeking to accompany a parent who is also immigrating to the US and subject to this proclamation”
  • Individuals allowed entry to further US law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State or the Attorney General
  • Admissions determined to be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State

As always, we will continue to monitor for any update on the implementation of the Presidential Proclamation on Healthcare Requirements.

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