Intending immigrants to the United States will not be granted visas if they cannot show that they can afford to pay their medical bills.
President Donald Trump signed the proclamation on Friday.
The proclamation, which will be effective from November 3, states that immigrants will be barred from entering except they get health insurance within 30 days of arrival or show that they are financially capable of paying their medical bills.
The affected category are people seeking immigrant visas. It does not affect lawful permanent residents and offers an exemption to asylum seekers, refugees and children.
It will also apply to spouses and parents of US citizens.
The average cost of buying an annual premium medical insurance is $4,300.
In a statement announcing the development, the White House said too many non-citizens were taking advantage of the country’s “generous public health programs” and immigrants contribute to the problem of uncompensated health care costs.
The executive order does not state the procedures for determining if an immigrant meets these criteria, meaning that it would be left to consular officers who evaluate visa applications and the State Department.
Earlier in 2019, the Trump administration introduced regulations that immigrants would not get green cards if they use public assistance.
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