Adding to the chaos of the weeks leading up to a major overhaul of the current “public charge” rule and the entire green card application process, the White House has announced that they will now require intending immigrants applying from abroad to prove that they will be covered by health insurance within 30 days of arriving in the US, or that they have the financial means to cover any foreseeable medical costs. The new policy is set to go into effect on November 3rd.
Any applicants who are unable to secure health insurance will not be granted immigrant visas or entry into the US. The intending immigrant must provide satisfactory evidence of their health insurance coverage to the consular officer reviewing their case. This policy will not affect anyone who has already been approved for an immigrant visa before November 3rd, but those who will be attending consular interviews on or after November 3rd will be subject to the new law. Children of US citizens and parents of US citizens who are in good health may be exempt from the law.
Immigration advocates and professionals are surprised by the recent Presidential proclamation, especially considering, as the law currently stands, intending immigrants must pass background checks, meet financial requirements, and pass an extensive health exam by an approved immigration physician before receiving their green card.
The proclamation is expected to be challenged in court, but may still affect many applicants who will need to navigate this new requirement beginning next month.