Federal Judge Blocks Health Insurance Requirement to get Visa

A federal judge in Oregon has blocked the Trump administration from denying immigrant visas to applicants solely on the grounds that they are unable to prove they will have health insurance in the United States.

The federal judge ruled that “the President’s Proclamation requiring legal immigrants to show proof of health insurance before being issued a visa by the State Department is inconsistent with the Immigration and Nationality Act.” This judge had previously temporarily barred the Trump administration from implementing this policy, and this ruling now grants a preliminary injunction until the case is resolved. This ruling is effective nationwide.

This proposed policy, which is only applicable to foreign nationals applying for immigrant visas at U.S. Embassies abroad, has been highly controversial. It was to require that visa applicants establish they would be covered by approved health insurance within 30 days of entry into America, or that they could pay for reasonably foreseeable medical costs. This was seen as another obstacle to overcome for people trying to immigrate to the U.S. And it would be especially difficult for applicants from low-income countries.

It is fitting that this ruling was announced the week of Thanksgiving, since countless families will surely be giving thanks about their family reunification.