On October 4, 2019, President Trump issued a Proclamation suspending the entry of immigrants who do not have approved health coverage or the ability to pay for foreseeable medical issues within 30 days of entering the United States. This means that outside of very limited exceptions, any nonresident applying for an immigrant visa on or after November 3, 2019, must demonstrate to a consular officer at the time of interview that he or she will be covered by approved health insurance within 30 days of entry or have the financial resources to pay for foreseeable medical costs. According to DOS, inability to meet this requirement will result in the denial of the visa application.
The required insurance can be provided by an employer or be purchased individually, and it can be for catastrophic or short-term coverage. However, immigrants would not be able to obtain a visa if they use the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) subsidies when purchasing coverage. According to the Order, the new requirement will not apply to foreign nationals who already hold immigrant visas, or to asylum seekers, refugees, children of U.S. citizens living overseas or holders of special visas for Iraqi and Afghan nationals. Although the proclamation becomes effective on November 3, it is unclear how, if at all, the DHS and DOS will update their processes or procedures to further implement this proclamation.