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New US Visa Applicants Must Have Health Insurance



Tomorrow, Sunday 3rd, a new policy change affecting green card applicants will be rolled out by the US government and its embassies.

In the set policy,  foreign Visa and Green card Applicants will be compeled to prove to consular officers that they will have unsubsidized health insurance within 30 days of arriving in the US.  Alternatively, prove that they will have enough money to pay for reasonably foreseeable medical costs if allowed in the United States.

The new policy will only affect folks applying for immigrant Visas from outside the US and it does not apply to those already living in the country but applying for green cards or renewal of Visas.

Parents of adult US citizens are exempt from the rule, but will need to prove to a consular officer that they will not become a substantial burden on the US healthcare system.

Here are a list of classes of immigrants that are also exempt from the new health insurance rule:

  • Anyone with an immigrant visa issued before the effective date of the proclamation (Nov. 3, 2019)
  • Green card holders seeking reentry under SB-1 (returning resident) visas
  • Refugees and asylum seekers
  • Iraqi or Afghan nationals entering using Special Immigrant visas
  • Unmarried children (under the age of 21) of U.S. citizens
  • Orphans or other children being adopted by U.S. citizens
  • Immigrants admitted in the national interest, or to further law enforcement goals

Here are the health insurance plans passed by the Trump administration after they fulfilled the new requirement:

  • Employer-sponsored plans, including retiree plans, association health plans, and coverage under COBRA
  • Any unsubsidized health plan bought through an Obamacare marketplace
  • Short-term insurance covering at least 364 days, or until the start of a planned period of travel outside the United States
  • Catastrophic plans
  • Coverage under a family member’s health insurance
  • Certain military health insurance programs, including TRICARE
  • Medicare plans
  • Other plans approved by the Department of Health and Human Services
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According to Migration Policy Institute, the new health insurance rules will see more than 375,000 green card applications rejected.

The main critics of the rule that takes effect from midnight are Immigration advocates. According to them, the set policy is Trump’s way of legally “illegally” doing away with family-based migration.

On their response to allegations, Trump’s administration stated that uninsured immigrants fall back on taxpayer-funded health care, driving up costs for Americans by $35 billion each year. A figure that Immigration advocates and healthcare experts have refuted saying that Trump has not only exaggerated but also failed to prove.

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