The Trump administration has announced new policies to deny immigrant visas to certain new lawful immigrants who cannot demonstrate they will have health insurance or the ability to pay for healthcare costs once they become lawful permanent residents of the United States. Starting November 3, 2019, applicants for immigrant visas at U.S. consulates abroad will be required to prove that they intend to be covered by health insurance within 30 days of arriving in the U.S. or that they have the means to pay for reasonably foreseeable medical expenses while in the United States.
This new requirement will apply to individuals applying for either an employment-based, family-based, or diversity immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate abroad. The following individuals, however, are not subject to this new requirement:
Individuals already holding a valid immigrant visa issued before November 3, 2019;
Individuals applying for adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence within the U.S.;
Individuals applying for a nonimmigrant visa (i.e. H-1B, B-1/B-2, L-1, O-1 visas) at a U.S. consulate abroad;
Children of U.S. citizens;
Parents of U.S. citizens who can evidence that their healthcare needs will not burden the U.S. healthcare system.
The administration’s announcement details health insurance plans which would be accepted as part of the new policy (i.e. employer-sponsored health plans, Medicare, unsubsidized individual plans, etc.), but specifically excludes subsidized health insurance obtained through the Affordable Care Act.
While details are not currently available as to how the U.S. Department of State intends to implement this new policy, employers and foreign nationals that may be affected by this should begin preparing documentation to prove they can meet this new requirement.
Those who may be impacted by this change should contact us with questions on how best to prepare.