Beginning on November 3, 2019, according to a presidential proclamation, the U.S. Department of State will suspend issuance of immigrant visas to foreign nationals who are applying at U.S. consulates that are unable to show that they will have unsubsidized health insurance within 30 days of entry into the U.S. or otherwise pay for their healthcare expenses in the U.S.

This new requirement will apply to immigrant visa applicants at U.S. consulates abroad, including employment-based and family-based immigrant visa applicants. The following immigrant visa applications will be exempt from this new requirement:

  • Most unmarried children of U.S. citizens who are under the age of 21, including orphaned children adopted abroad and orphaned children to be adopted in the U.S.
  • Children under the age of 18 unless they are accompanying a parent who is subject to the new requirement.
  • Parents of U.S. citizens who are 21 or older if the adult child can demonstrate that the parents’ healthcare needs will not pose a substantial burden on the healthcare system in the U.S.
  • Returning residents.
  • Iraqi or Afghan translators or interpreters.
  • Iraqis or Afghans who worked for or on behalf of the U.S. government.
  • Foreign nationals whose entry would further U.S. law enforcement endeavors.
  • Any foreign national whose entry would be in the national interest of the U.S.

Furthermore, the proclamation will not apply to applicants applying to adjust their status from within the U.S. or foreign nationals applying abroad for nonimmigrant visas.

The following health insurance plans are acceptable under the proclamation:

  • Employer-sponsored health plans.
  • Family member’s plan.
  • Unsubsidized individual plans obtained on a state health insurance market.
  • Medicare.
  • Catastrophic plan.
  • Short-term or visitor plan.
  • Any other health plan that provides adequate coverage for medical care as determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

This new requirement will take place effective 12:01 am EDT on Monday, November 3, 2019. Please do not hesitate to contact our office with any further questions regarding this matter.