Foreign nationals planning on securing medical treatment in USA, either for themselves or a close family member, first think of the U.S. visa requirements.
Here, we present a comprehensive overview of the process for securing a U.S. visa for medical treatment in the U.S. successfully.
A. B-2 Visa: Appropriate U.S. Visa For Medical Reasons
The B-2 visa is the most appropriate visa category for foreign nationals who wish to enter the United States temporarily to seek medical treatment in USA or for other health-related reasons.
In addition to the normal requirements for B-2 visa, including, demonstrating residence in a foreign country which the applicant doesn’t intend to abandon, those seeking a B-2 medial visa must also demonstrate that they have a solid reason for seeking medical treatment in USA and have the means to pay for the treatment, including doctor’s and hospitalization fees, as well as other related expenses.
DID YOU KNOW
Unlike most other U.S. nonimmigrant visa classifications, the B-2 visa classification does not provide derivative status for dependents of a B-2 visa holder. Family members who intend to accompany the foreign national undergoing treatment, must apply for and secure their own B-2 visas.
B. B-2 Visa Requirements
To meet the eligibility requirements for B-2 visa, you should be able to demonstrate why you are not pursuing or receiving treatment in your home country, and that you will be able to afford the high U.S. healthcare expenses incurred. You will need to provide evidence that verifies:
1.You are traveling specifically for medical treatment
a.You should be ready to submit copies of medical reports and/or documents from the doctor treating you in your home country and any correspondence or documents from the doctor/health facility in the U.S
2.You plan to stay in the U.S. for a specified period of time
a.You should be ready to submit documentation showing how long you will need for treatment, preferably a letter from the doctor or health professional in the U.S.
3.You have a permanent residence in your home country, and evidence that you will not abandon it, for example evidence of a permanent job and/or family
4.You can afford your stay and treatment during the U.S. trip
a.You should be ready to submit documentation showing how much the treatment will cost with accompanying documentation showing that you can afford that amount plus the expense of living in the U.S.
Medical treatment in USA can be very expensive. Be ready to provide bank statements and other financial documents to validate your financial ability to pay all medical-related expenses. If you don’t have enough income or cash on hand to pay for the treatment, you may be able to submit support documents from close family or friends.
C. Establishing The Need For Medical Treatment In USA
To be successful in getting a visa for USA and travel for medical treatment, your B-2 visa application should be supported by your local doctor as well as the treating physician in the U.S. through a letter from each of them, with details on the treatment, as well as any other medical records.
The letter from the local physician should be on letterhead, having details regarding the nature of the illness and the diagnosis, and should also list the reasons why the Doctor recommends that you seek treatment in the U.S. or why treatment in the U.S. is preferable.
A letter from your treating physician or institution in the U.S. is mandatory. The letter should include details regarding their opinion of your diagnosis/illness, the basis for their opinion, a detailed treatment plan, the expected duration to complete the treatment and all estimated costs.
Additionally, you must be prepared to undergo additional medical screening as directed by the U.S. Consulate. The U.S. Consulate may request that you undergo a medical examination by a physician they work with to verify the information provided to them. They may also want to rule out any signs of a communicable disease.
DID YOU KNOW?
Foreign nationals suspected to be suffering from certain contagious diseases may not be able to obtain a B-2 visa, regardless of the medical need. Communicable diseases such as leprosy, tuberculosis and syphilis are deemed to be unfit for travel to USA for medical treatment. Health and Human Services has a list in place for diseases that render travelers inadmissible to the U.S.
D. B-2 Visa Extension While In The U.S.
After entering the US, if you require an extension of stay due to continuation of treatment beyond the granted period of time, you can file Form I-539 with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) to extend your B-2 status.
USCIS will consider all the circumstances surrounding the situation, including current status, the reasons for extension and continuing ties to the home country in deciding whether or not to grant the extension of status. In case the extension is denied and you have already crossed the pre-approved period, you will need to leave the country immediately.
You may read more about the B-2 visa application process and prerequisites.
Considering an illness waits for no one, you need to get the B-2 visa application process right the first time. Ensuring that you have all the necessary documents, including proper physician letters and documentation regarding your ability to pay for healthcare in the U.S. out of pocket is essential to avoid delays, and possible denials while seeking a U.S. visa for medical treatment.
If you have any questions, or need assistance applying for U.S. visa to travel for medical treatment in USA, our top immigration lawyers will be happy to assist you. Schedule A Free Consultation Today >>
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