Applicants for US visas will be denied entry into the country unless they can prove they can afford health care within 30 days of entering, according to a proclamation signed Friday by President Donald Trump.
The new rule, which comes into force on 3 November, applies to people seeking immigrant visas from abroad — not those in the US already. It does not affect lawful permanent residents. But it would apply to the spouses and parents of US citizens. That could have an impact on families who are trying to bring their parents to the US, say analysts.
The proclamation says immigrants will be barred from entering the country unless they are to be covered by health insurance within 30 days of entering or have enough financial resources to pay for any medical costs. The new rule does not apply to asylum seekers, refugees or children.
Friday’s proclamation is another effort to limit immigrants’ access to public programs. The Trump administration earlier this year made sweeping changes to regulations that would deny green cards to immigrants who use some forms of public assistance.
The White House said in a statement that too many non-citizens were taking advantage of the country’s “generous public health programs,” and said immigrants contribute to the problem of “uncompensated health care costs.”
There are about 1.1 million people who obtain green cards each year.
Trump has made cutting legal and illegal immigration a centerpiece of his presidency. The Trump administration said last month that it planned to allow only 18,000 refugees to resettle in the United States in the 2020 fiscal year, the lowest number in the history of the modern refugee program.
Adira Kallo with agency reports