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Health insurance after i-485 app for elderly parents

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I am a naturalized citizen of 10+ years. 86-year-old parents have an approved i-130 form and are coming on a tourist visa.

My understanding is:

  • Once i-485 is filed we can apply for obamacare since they don't qualify for Medicare.

We'll need to indicate that they aren't eligible for medicare to get coverage.

Am I missing anything?

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From my understanding, you can apply from outside or within. 2 separate processes completely.

They come to stay for 4-6 months and a few years back we did the i-130 process since they were leaning to staying, then they decided against it last second.

I was not aware of any violation or it being aginst any laws to apply for AOS once they are here legally. Am I wrong?

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In addition to what Vandaveer said, you must have both a SSC and legal residence (green card) to file for Obamacare. Simply filing the 485 won't do, unfortunately.

But if you go through NVC and your parents arrive that way, they'll have their green cards and SSC within weeks.

Approved I-130s and tourist visas are a toxic mix at any POE.

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From my understanding, you can apply from outside or within. 2 separate processes completely.

They come to stay for 4-6 months and a few years back we did the i-130 process since they were leaning to staying, then they decided against it last second.

I was not aware of any violation or it being aginst any laws to apply for AOS once they are here legally. Am I wrong?

Entering on a non-immigrant visa with intent to stay permanently is fraud. I don't wish this on your elderly parents, but if you think this is an OK thing to do, have them announce to CBP that they are going to file for AOS while on this trip. They'll be refused entry.


Entry on VWP to visit then-boyfriend 06/13/2011

Married 06/24/2011

Our first son was born 10/31/2012, our daughter was born 06/30/2014, our second son was born 06/20/2017

AOS Timeline

AOS package mailed 09/06/2011 (Chicago Lockbox)

AOS package signed for by R Mercado 09/07/2011

Priority date for I-485&I-130 09/08/2011

Biometrics done 10/03/2011

Interview letter received 11/18/2011

INTERVIEW DATE!!!! 12/20/2011

Approval e-mail 12/21/2011

Card production e-mail 12/27/2011

GREEN CARD ARRIVED 12/31/2011

Resident since 12/21/2011

ROC Timeline

ROC package mailed to VSC 11/22/2013

NOA1 date 11/26/2013

Biometrics date 12/26/2013

Transfer notice to CSC 03/14/2014

Change of address 03/27/2014

Card production ordered 04/30/2014

10-YEAR GREEN CARD ARRIVED 05/06/2014

N-400 Timeline

N-400 package mailed 09/30/2014

N-400 package delivered 10/01/2014

NOA1 date 10/20/2014

Biometrics date 11/14/2014

Early walk-in biometrics 11/12/2014

In-line for interview 11/23/2014

Interview letter 03/18/2015

Interview date 04/17/2015 ("Decision cannot yet be made.")

In-line for oath scheduling 05/04/2015

Oath ceremony letter dated 05/11/2015

Oath ceremony 06/02/2015

I am a United States citizen!

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From my understanding, you can apply from outside or within. 2 separate processes completely.

They come to stay for 4-6 months and a few years back we did the i-130 process since they were leaning to staying, then they decided against it last second.

I was not aware of any violation or it being aginst any laws to apply for AOS once they are here legally. Am I wrong?

No you're not wrong but they can't come here on a tourist visa with the intent to reside permanently.

If they spontaneously decide to stay is one thing but to plan to reside then use a tourist visa is frowned upon.

Their age may make a difference in that a CBP officer at the POE may show leniency but it's indeed against the law.

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It is all about intent when you hit the point of entry. To leave their home thinking they are staying when they are presenting a visitors visa is a lie and therefore fraud. If the come to visit you and decide they can't live a day without Sals Pizza ( or whatever) and file for AAOS that is allowed.


This will not be over quickly. You will not enjoy this.

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It is all about intent when you hit the point of entry. To leave their home thinking they are staying when they are presenting a visitors visa is a lie and therefore fraud. If the come to visit you and decide they can't live a day without Sals Pizza ( or whatever) and file for AAOS that is allowed.

OP already made it clear that the plan is for the parents to enter on tourist visas and then file I-485s. That's obviously the wrong plan.


Entry on VWP to visit then-boyfriend 06/13/2011

Married 06/24/2011

Our first son was born 10/31/2012, our daughter was born 06/30/2014, our second son was born 06/20/2017

AOS Timeline

AOS package mailed 09/06/2011 (Chicago Lockbox)

AOS package signed for by R Mercado 09/07/2011

Priority date for I-485&I-130 09/08/2011

Biometrics done 10/03/2011

Interview letter received 11/18/2011

INTERVIEW DATE!!!! 12/20/2011

Approval e-mail 12/21/2011

Card production e-mail 12/27/2011

GREEN CARD ARRIVED 12/31/2011

Resident since 12/21/2011

ROC Timeline

ROC package mailed to VSC 11/22/2013

NOA1 date 11/26/2013

Biometrics date 12/26/2013

Transfer notice to CSC 03/14/2014

Change of address 03/27/2014

Card production ordered 04/30/2014

10-YEAR GREEN CARD ARRIVED 05/06/2014

N-400 Timeline

N-400 package mailed 09/30/2014

N-400 package delivered 10/01/2014

NOA1 date 10/20/2014

Biometrics date 11/14/2014

Early walk-in biometrics 11/12/2014

In-line for interview 11/23/2014

Interview letter 03/18/2015

Interview date 04/17/2015 ("Decision cannot yet be made.")

In-line for oath scheduling 05/04/2015

Oath ceremony letter dated 05/11/2015

Oath ceremony 06/02/2015

I am a United States citizen!

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OP already made it clear that the plan is for the parents to enter on tourist visas and then file I-485s. That's obviously the wrong plan.

Perhaps OP's parents traveled to the US previously on tourist visas with an already approved I-130 and had no issues at the POE. That may have given them the impression that it's OK.

In my experience, the elderly receive a different treatment from what a working age, 20 or 30 something year old, would get at a POE.

It's still an intent issue at the POE, however.

Edited by Mounat

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Perhaps OP's parents traveled to the US previously on tourist visas with an already approved I-130 and had no issues at the POE. That may have given them the impression that it's OK.

In my experience, the elderly receive a different treatment from what a working age, 20 or 30 something year old, would get at a POE.

It's still an intent issue at the POE, however.

Well, it is OK to visit with approved I-130s. What's not OK is to enter on a tourist visa while planning to file I-485s while in the US on that trip and that seems to be OP's plan for the parents' next trip.


Entry on VWP to visit then-boyfriend 06/13/2011

Married 06/24/2011

Our first son was born 10/31/2012, our daughter was born 06/30/2014, our second son was born 06/20/2017

AOS Timeline

AOS package mailed 09/06/2011 (Chicago Lockbox)

AOS package signed for by R Mercado 09/07/2011

Priority date for I-485&I-130 09/08/2011

Biometrics done 10/03/2011

Interview letter received 11/18/2011

INTERVIEW DATE!!!! 12/20/2011

Approval e-mail 12/21/2011

Card production e-mail 12/27/2011

GREEN CARD ARRIVED 12/31/2011

Resident since 12/21/2011

ROC Timeline

ROC package mailed to VSC 11/22/2013

NOA1 date 11/26/2013

Biometrics date 12/26/2013

Transfer notice to CSC 03/14/2014

Change of address 03/27/2014

Card production ordered 04/30/2014

10-YEAR GREEN CARD ARRIVED 05/06/2014

N-400 Timeline

N-400 package mailed 09/30/2014

N-400 package delivered 10/01/2014

NOA1 date 10/20/2014

Biometrics date 11/14/2014

Early walk-in biometrics 11/12/2014

In-line for interview 11/23/2014

Interview letter 03/18/2015

Interview date 04/17/2015 ("Decision cannot yet be made.")

In-line for oath scheduling 05/04/2015

Oath ceremony letter dated 05/11/2015

Oath ceremony 06/02/2015

I am a United States citizen!

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EM_Vandaveer,

I appreciate your feedback. I am clearly asking because I don't know the full procedure.

Last time it was a decision we made halfway through, we didn't plan on it. This time it's something we (kids) would like, however it's their (parents) decision. At this age they aren't fans of moving. They have a return flight. They plan to go back. This is more our initiative.

They never want to live here permanently, but since they come for 6 months and are getting older we are trying to plan for the future. When their health worstness, we aren't in a position to go back and take care of them. GC seemed like a good route to eventually move them here.

They do have approved i-130's from the first time they considered AOS. A lot depends on their health during these 5 months.


Also for what it's worth - we haven't had the conversation with them about it yet. I just feel responsible to be prepared a step ahead.

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Are you sure those old I130's are still active. If there has been no activity on them they may be closed. You may want to preprice insurance. It is very expensive for older people. They will never get free Medicare as they didn't pay into it for decades to make it free.


This will not be over quickly. You will not enjoy this.

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From my understanding:

130's don't expire, medical exam results might need to be adjusted

Just priced insurance: $1,197.92 per month minimum Silver plan with 12k family deductable.

If they came without intent to immigrate (which they do not have themselves), we suggested to do so and they agreed, seems like they would be eligible to buy this coverage.

Please correct me if I am missing anything. Thank you.

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Amuses me that the discussion has moved to which route, how long it will take to get her. Mind you at their age that may well be an issue.

I do not believe Texas has extended Medicaid so they you are looking at buying under Ocare, and obviously the premiums are not cheap, then the deductibles and uninsured costs just go on from there.

I assume they are in passable ghealth at the moment so the real issue is it will likely not be long before they need significant services and that will not be cheap.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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