Recall that on October 4, 2019, the White House posed a Presidential Proclamation. In order to limit the financial burden of the United States Healthcare System, all immigrants applying for visas would have to show they have health insurance within 30 days of entering the country of the financial capacity to pay for reasonably foreseeable medical costs, or they will be barred from entering. This new rule will be effective on November 3, 2019 at 12:01am, eastern daylight time.

Since we posted the article about this new policy, we received a lot of questions from our clients who have cases pending with us. Here, we are going to answer some common questions, specifically, what kind of insurance is qualified under Trump’s new policy. [Please our previous article Immigrants Who Will Burden the US Healthcare System Will be Suspended from Entering for more information.]

First, this new policy only applies to some immigrant visa applicants. That is to say, it does not apply to all non-immigrant visa applicants or holders, for example, students, tourists, temporary workers. Also, this new policy does not apply to people who hold a valid immigrant visa which has already been issued before November 3, 2019, or people who are merely applying to adjust of status instead of getting an immigrant visa. On the other hand, most of immigrant visa applicants should pay attention to this new policy, for example, spouse or fiancé and other family members of US citizens or green card holders.

Second, a lot of immigrant visa applicants have their health insurance at their home countries, which covers the damages caused by incidence in the US as well. This type of insurance is not qualified under Trump’s new policy. According to Section 1 (b) (ii) of the Proclamation, the insurance needs to be “offered in the individual market within a State,” which means that the plan needs to be offered by an American company. Although the insurance plans of home countries still can provide coverage, they are not “approved health insurance” for the purpose of this Proclamation.

Third, many applicants choose short-term insurance plan, which might work under this new policy. However, most of the short-term insurance plans are only valid for 60 days to 180 days. The new policy requires a minimum of 364 days, or “until the beginning of planned, extended travel outside the United States.” Therefore, we recommend you to consult with your immigration attorney and insurance plan provider before you make purchases.

So far, this new policy is being argued about in the society. Lawsuits have been filed regarding this new policy. Recalled that in August, USCIS published a rule about “public charge” which allowed the government to deny visas and green cards. This “public charge” rule is currently held up in court. Therefore, whether this new “health insurance” policy will actually play a role in the future is still not certain. We suggest our clients not to believe unreliable information from the internet, and consult your attorney for any questions or concerns.