The current administration said it would deny visas to immigrants who are unable to prove they can pay for their own health insurance or medical costs once they become official residents of the United States.
The administration justified the move by saying immigrants are three times as likely to lack health insurance coverage, which would impose a burden on American hospitals and taxpayers. The president said the U.S. government is “making the problem worse” by admitting thousands of undocumented immigrants who are not able to pay for their medical costs and that they should not “further saddle the current health care system.”
According to news reports, the current administration says legal immigrants must have approved health insurance or have the financial ability to afford reasonably foreseeable medical expenses.
However, the policy would not affect refugees, asylum seekers or international students wanting to attend college in the United States.
How the process would work
Immigrant visas are often the first step to receiving a green card in the United States. Once the new rule is implemented, people seeking those visas abroad would be asked by consular officers to demonstrate how they would get health insurance within approximately one month of arriving in the U.S., whether it’s through employment or coverage through another family member. If the officers are not satisfied with the immigrant’s claims, their visas could be denied.
Some are questioning the administration‘s claims
Those who specialize in immigration law have expressed skepticism regarding the administration’s new policy. One expert said they doubted the claim that immigrants were three times as likely to lack health insurance. That’s because certain financial requirements need to be met before receiving a green card. Most immigrants who get green cards usually have a job waiting for them or a spouse that is already employed.
The proclamation is expected to go into effect Nov. 3. However, some specialists are saying the new rule could face some legal challenges.
These new policy changes can be complicated
For immigrants with visas, trying to obtain a green card can come with many hurdles, especially under the current administration’s new rules. If you are facing a similar circumstance, it’s best to consult with an experienced immigration attorney.