Trump’s Proclamation Requiring Immigrants to have Health Insurance

10. Oct. 2019

On October 4, 2019, the White House issued a presidential proclamation that will bar new immigrant visa applicants (consular processing for green card) from the United States if they cannot show they will be able to purchase unsubsidized health insurance within 30 days of entry.  This proclamation is effective on November 3, 2019.

This proclamation will only affect new immigrant visa applicants. It will not apply to existing permanent residents or nonimmigrant visa holders such H-1B, L-1, O-1, E-1/2/3, F-1, J-1, B-1/B-2, etc. 

This proclamation will disproportionately impact family-based (FB) immigrant visa applicants, rather than employment-based immigrants since over 80% of immigrant visas are issued for FB sponsored immigrants.  

The State Department will likely issue guidance and instructions in the coming days as it is currently unclear how immigrant visa applicants will satisfy the new requirements (e.g., show a certain level of income or assets as proof of being able to purchase insurance or actually purchase insurance before their immigrant visa interview). 

It is expected that many immigration organizations and some states will challenge and block the proclamation, similar to the responses the president’s travel bans received.