Immigrant visa applicants must prove health insurance coverage starting Nov. 3

7 Oct 19

UNITED STATES

President Donald Trump issued a proclamation Friday that restricts the entry of immigrants to those who are covered by health insurance or demonstrate that they have the resources to pay for foreseeable medical costs

Key points:

  • Effective Nov. 3, immigrant visa applicants must be covered by an approved health insurance policy within 30 days of entering the U.S. or possess the financial resources to pay for reasonably foreseeable medical costs. A consular officer must be satisfied an applicant meets the requirement before issuing an immigrant visa. The State Department may establish procedures for adjudicating the new requirements.
  • The requirement does not apply to individuals holding a valid immigrant visa issued before Nov. 3.
  • The proclamation exempts certain immigrant visa applicants, including children of U.S. citizens; parents of U.S. citizens who can prove that their health will not impose a substantial burden on the U.S. healthcare system; those whose admission is in the national interest of the U.S.; and other categories listed in the proclamation.
  • “Approved” health insurance plans are listed in the proclamation and may include an employer-sponsored policy, Medicare, an individual unsubsidized policy, a catastrophic plan, a family member’s plan, a short-term or visitor plan that covers the duration of the immigrant’s stay, and other plans deemed to provide adequate coverage by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
  • The State Department must report to the president within 180 days and every year thereafter on the financial burden of immigrants on the healthcare system and additional restrictions that may be warranted.

BAL Analysis: Employers and affected foreign nationals should prepare for the new requirement. The proclamation does not apply to nonimmigrant visa applicants or those entering the U.S. by means other than an immigrant visa, including lawful permanent residents. The new requirements are likely to be challenged in court and implementation could be delayed as a result. BAL will provide updates as information becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@balglobal.com.

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