Presidential Proclamation on Health Insurance for New Immigrants

On Friday, October 4, 2019, President Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation entitled Presidential Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry of Immigrants Who Will Financially Burden the United States Healthcare System, which imposes a health care insurance requirement on new immigrants. Specifically, it requires applicants for immigrant visas to show the ability to purchase unsubsidized commercial health insurance within 30 days of U.S. entry. It is unclear whether the actual purchase of such health insurance will be required (creating logistical difficulties for applicants located outside the U.S.) or whether demonstrating the ability to pay for such insurance will be sufficient.

While there are several exceptions, the Proclamation applies to broad categories of immigrants, including employment- and family-based applicants. Styled as a “suspension on entry,” the Proclamation states that the U.S. State Department will be implementing the Proclamation during the immigrant visa adjudication process. Adjustment of status applications (filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for immigrants located in the U.S.) appear to be unaffected by the rule, as are nonimmigrant (temporary) visa applications, current Lawful Permanent Residents, refugees, and those with already-issued immigrant visas. 

The effective date for the Presidential Proclamation is November 3, 2019, although the Proclamation is sure to face legal challenges. A helpful Q&A with further details may be found here.

© Jewell Stewart & Pratt PC 2019