The US District Court for the District of Oregon on November 2 issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) to block the new health insurance requirement for immigrant visa applicants from taking effect on November 3, 2019. As discussed in an earlier alert, the White House issued a presidential proclamation that sought to deny admission to the United States of “immigrant” foreign nationals that will “financially burden the United States healthcare system.” The proclamation effectively deems aliens seeking to immigrate permanently to the United States inadmissible unless they will be covered by “approved” health insurance within 30 days of their entry into the United States or have the financial resources to pay for “reasonably foreseeable” medical costs.
Our global employment and immigration team recently issued alerts on decisions that affect the healthcare industry. The team discussed a new presidential proclamation that effectively makes foreign nationals inadmissible to the United States unless they have “approved” health insurance coverage, and noted that a trio of district courts have halted federal enforcement of the public charge rule. The team had previously summarized the public charge rule, which will not take effect so long as the district court lawsuits are pending.
A final rule released by the US Department of Homeland Security will make it more difficult for foreign nationals who use public benefits to adjust or extend their immigration status in the United States based on their likelihood of becoming a “public charge” in the future. The rule also expands the list of programs that can lead to a public charge determination to those that provide healthcare and social services to vulnerable populations including Medicaid, SSI, SNAP, TANF, and federal housing benefits.
Nearly 20% of healthcare workers are immigrants according to the results of a June 2019 study that underscores the major contributions immigrants make to the US healthcare system. To learn more about how the US Department of State is regulating immigrant visa availability and adjusting the flow of status adjustments and consular immigrant visa application filings and approvals, please see our recent alert on the August 2019 visa bulletin.
The US Department of State has released its May 2019 Visa Bulletin with important information for US healthcare entities employing non-US nationals. The bulletin sets out per-country priority date cutoffs that regulate immigrant visa availability and the flow of status adjustments and consular immigrant visa application filings and approvals. In a recent LawFlash, Morgan Lewis partner James Vázquez-Azpiri discusses what’s in the bulletin, including dates and actions for filing applications for adjustments of status or immigrant visas, and when adjustment of status applications or immigrant visa applications may be approved and permanent residence granted.
US healthcare entities employing non-US nationals will want to keep abreast of important developments regarding the elimination of the H-4 spouse work authorization and the upcoming effective date for revised Form I-539 used by certain nonimmigrants—including H-4 and L-2 dependents—seeking to change their nonimmigrant status or extend their stay in the United States. Our global employment and immigration team breaks down what these changes mean and how these employees and their families may be impacted.