On October 4, 2019, the Trump Administration issued a Presidential Proclamation that will impact the processing of immigrant visas issued after November 3, 2019.
In the proclamation, the President limited the entry on most types of immigrant visas unless the immigrant “will be covered by approved health insurance, as defined… by the proclamation “within 30 days of the [immigrant’s] entry into the United States, or unless the [immigrant] possesses the financial resources to pay for reasonably foreseeable medical costs.”
The visa categories that are excepted from this rule include the following more common classifications (note there is a more detailed list in the Proclamation):
- Children under immigrant visa classifications IR-2, IR-3, IR-4, IH-3, or IH-4 visa.
- An immigrant under 18, except for those immigrants accompanying a parent who is also immigrating to the USA and subject to this proclamation.
- IR -5 visas, if the immigrant or the immigrant’s sponsor demonstrate that the immigrant’s healthcare “will not impose a substantial burden on the United States healthcare system.”
- SB-1, returning resident visa.
This requirement is not required for non-immigrant visas, such as the E-3 visa or visitor visas.
The Proclamation does not indicate if K visas ('finance visas'), which are legally non-immigrant visas but treated for many purposes as an immigrant visa, will be implicated by this policy.
The Presidential Proclamation provides a list of approved health insurance policies that will be accepted under this new rule. One of the most controversial parts of those listed plans is that the immigrant will not be able to use subsidised Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans to meet this burden.
However, there have been no implementing guidance or instructions from the Department of State (DOS) to be used at U.S. consulates as to how this will be reviewed and the documents or information a visa applicant would need to provide. Such guidance likely will be issued closer to November 3, 2019.
The Proclamation has already proved controversial within the healthcare industry.
The Migration Policy Institute also indicated the substantial effects of this Proclamation. Their report indicates this “has the potential to block fully two-thirds of those who apply for legal permanent residence from abroad.”
The team here at Worldwide Migration Partners will be following this new policy closely and will update our site as more information becomes available. If you are unsure how this new rule might affect you, please get in touch with our team today.
The full Proclamation may be read here (“Presidential Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry of Immigrants Who Will Financially Burden the United States Healthcare System”).
Note: An immigrant visa issued before November 3, 2019 will not be impacted.
About The Author
Melissa Vincenty is a US attorney, an Australian migration agent and the founder and managing director of Worldwide Migration Partners. Melissa has over 20 years of experience in migration law, including practising at the world’s largest US immigration firm and more than 15 years as a Country Specialist (China and Tibet) for Amnesty International USA.