Connecticut, US

Nov 27 2019

Federal Court Continues to Temporarily Block Health Insurance Requirement for Immigrant Visa Applicants

United States

At a glance

  • A federal district court has issued a preliminary injunction that prohibits the enforcement of a presidential proclamation that would require immigrant visa applicants to demonstrate that they would have unsubsidized health insurance within 30 days after entry to the United States or sufficient funds to cover reasonably foreseeable medical expenses. 
  • Earlier this month, the court issued a temporary restraining order against the proclamation while it considered whether to issue the injunction.
  • The Trump Administration is expected to appeal the injunction while a lawsuit challenging the proclamation continues. 

The issue

An Oregon federal court has issued a preliminary injunction temporarily blocking the Trump Administration from requiring immigrant visa applicants to show that they will have unsubsidized health insurance within 30 days after entry to the United States or the financial means to cover reasonably foreseeable medical expenses. The case is Doe v. Trump

In October, President Trump issued a proclamation imposing the health insurance requirement, which was to take effect on November 3. The proclamation would have applied to most foreign nationals applying for immigrant visas on or after the effective date — including family-based, employment-based and Diversity Lottery immigrant visa applicants. It did not apply to nonimmigrant visa applicants or applicants for adjustment of status to permanent residence. 

After the lawsuit Doe v. Trump was filed against the proclamation, an Oregon federal court issued a temporary restraining order preventing implementation through November 30 while the court considered whether to issue a preliminary injunction.

What the temporary injunction means for foreign nationals

The court order means that, until further notice, foreign nationals will not be subject to the proclamation when applying for immigrant visas. The Trump Administration is expected to appeal the injunction while the lawsuit challenging the proclamation goes forward; however, a ruling on an appeal would likely take several months.

Fragomen is closely following the lawsuit and will provide updates as developments occur.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.