U.S. Embassy in Nepal excludes health insurance requirement for visa issuance

KATHMANDU: The United States Embassy in Nepal has made it clear that a health insurance will no more be a requirement for the Nepalese citizens to get a visa for the U.S. and that this new arrangement is in accordance with a new ruling from a U.S. court of law.

Speaking at a Town Hall meeting organized by the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal, a top Embassy official said that, for the time being, a health insurance will not be required to apply and get a visa for the U.S.

“Until we get a next court order or verdict, the health insurance provision will not be implemented,” said Consular Michael E. Mussi of the U.S. Embassy in the Town Hall Meeting.

Following an announcement from the U.S. government in Washington D.C., the U.S. Embassy in Nepal had started asking for health insurance coverage as a requirement for issuing visas for the Nepalese citizens.

Earlier, the U.S. government had announced that a visa applicant has to provide evidences that s/he would not be a public charge, a burden, for the U.S. government for his/her health coverages and that a health insurance has to be in place for the issuance of a visa for an applicant.

The latest U.S. Embassy announcement of excluding health insurance requirement follows a ruling from a U.S. Federal Judge in Oregon.

In his ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon said that the announcement was made without properly following the jurisdiction of as to which branch of the government (executive, legislature or judiciary) had the right to make such a decision.

“The Proclamation was not issued under any properly delegated authority,” Simon said, adding that the announcement had inconsistencies with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Act passed by the U.S. legislature in 1965.

As per the U.S. government’s announcement, anyone applying for an immigrant visa had to prove that they were capable of buying a health insurance within 30 days of entering into the U.S.

Immigrants who were already in the U.S., the U.S. permanent residents, asylum applicants, refugees and children were exempted from this health coverage rule.