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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawIR-1 Visa Thailand: Is Medical Insurance Required?

IR-1 Visa Thailand: Is Medical Insurance Required?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the IR-1 Visa. We are specifically discussing it in the context of Trump's recent Proclamation that medical insurance will be mandatory for those applying for Immigrant Visa status.

Now those who watch this video often, may already be aware an IR-1 Visa is an Immediate Relative Visa. It is an immigrant visa, it is one of many types of immigrant visas and it is clear that this Proclamation will cover immigrants who are coming into the United States so they are going to be required to have some sort of medical insurance and I will get to some other developments with respect to that in a moment. 

Very quickly quoting directly from travel.state.gov. That is the US State Department.  Quoting directly: Presidential Proclamation on Healthcare. Quoting further:  "This requirement will apply to all Immigrant Visa applicants and individuals seeking to enter the United States on an Immigrant Visa except individuals who are holding or who held a valid immigrant Visa as of November 3rd, 2019. So folks who already have their visas as of November 3rd, which has already gone by as at the time of this video, presumably they are not going to be impacted by this but those who are getting a visa after the 3rd, they probably will be impacted by this Proclamation.

Now that stated, a Federal Judge in the United States has recently handed down an injunction enjoining the Government, so basically precluding them from enforcing this new proclamation until such time as it can be adjudicated as to its legality. It may ultimately be deemed to be illegal or possibly unconstitutional; that remains to be seen. However, the injunction is currently holding as of the time of this video so for lack of better term, there is a reprieve on prospective immigrants, at least for the foreseeable future. 

That being said, this injunction should not be assumed to last forever. In fact we will probably see some kind of an adjudication in this matter in coming weeks. Now that judge may find that this is illegal for some reason and the injunction may still hold or it may just be thrown out. I would presume that government would then try to appeal that. The injunction would likely hold during the appeal process and make it all the way up to the Supreme Court. It remains to be seen but presumably the injunction would hold until there is some kind of final ruling as to the legality of his Proclamation. So as of the time of this video, there is a hold on this, there is a stay if you will and those who are seeking Immigrant Visas, at least in the immediate term, probably will not have to deal with this medical insurance issue. That being stated, in the future those who are applying for Immigrant Visas may possibly be stuck with this and IR-1 applicants are definitely going to be stuck with it because they are Immigrant Visas and they are specifically mentioned in the regulations, in the proclamation that I have seen as being amongst those who will be directly impacted and will need to show that they have health insurance if they want to get their visa approved. In fact there is even a form, we will go ahead and put that up on screen, there is even a form called a DS 554; it is called an Immigrant Health Care questionnaire. Apparently Consular Officers have been instructed to begin using this. They are not going to be using this until the injunction comes off but if the injunction ever comes off presumably we are going to see them use this pretty much immediately. A question on this. "Will you be covered by health insurance in the United States within 30 days of your entry into the United States?  Yes or No?" "If you answered "yes" to Question 2, identify the specific health insurance plan and date coverage will begin."  "If you answered "No", how do you plan to pay for healthcare for your existing medical conditions in the United States?" So clearly they are serious about this.

That being said, it remains to be seen whether the courts are going to allow it but for the time being we do have a reprieve from this medical requirement but if that retrieve is lifted then we are going to see the likes of the DS 5541 and we are going to have to deal with insurance when dealing with Immigrant Spousal Visa cases.