The Trump Administration issued a proclamation last Friday that would add additional burdens to the process of obtaining an immigrant visa. Set to take effect on November 3rd, the proclamation states that immigrants will need to prove they have health insurance coverage, or the ability to pay for “reasonably foreseeable medical costs”, before a visa will be issued. The guidelines under the new proclamation are slated to take effect on November 3rd, but will likely face court challenges. The purported goal of the new rules is to avoid burdening the United States healthcare system.
There are several exceptions to the rule. Immigrants whose visas have already been issued, non-citizen children of U.S. citizens, permanent residents returning to the country after less than a year of travel, refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied minors, and certain immigration applicants from Iraq or Afghanistan would not be subject to the rule. Immigrants can meet the new requirements by being placed on a family member’s insurance plan or obtaining employer-sponsored group coverage, Medicare coverage, catastrophic coverage, or other short-term coverage. Subsidized Obamacare plans and Medicaid plans would not be accepted.
Experts believe that the immigrants who would be most affected by this directive are the parents and spouses of U.S. citizens. It could affect about 500,000 immigrants every year. Immigrants applying for a visa would need to show proof of valid health coverage or financial ability for covering medical expenses to consulate officials, but it’s currently unclear what would exactly constitute proof.
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The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth continues to monitor possible changes in immigration law. If you or a family member is considering immigrating to the United States, our immigration lawyers can help you make sense of the system. Call us today at 888-517-9888 to receive a free consultation.