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llchun87

Tourist Visa Holder Looking to Come to the US for Medical Treatment

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My father-in-law is in poor health and want to come to US to get medical treatment. I was wondering if he'll be able to come here on a tourist visa for that? I don't know if it's too late, but do you know of any health insurance for visitors that are widely accepted here? Also, what other requirements are needed? Any information is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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I saw the section of the Visitor Visa Guide regarding visiting for medical treatment, I'm wondering if he must specify that he's coming here for medical treatment, or if he can just use an unexpired visa or get a tourist visa in general if we know he's not going to have trouble getting one?

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Depends on the medical treatment. He can certainly get the treatment done if he pays for it himself. If he is not a permanent resident nor citizen of the United States it will be very difficult for him to get insurance or coverage for a treatment of a pre-existing condition. That is not how insurance works. 

 

Healthcare in the US is one of the most expensive in the world. He will have to show that he is capable of paying for the treatment first. As a tourist he does not qualify for Medicaid as he never paid into it. There are many who have come here to get treatment done and never pay the bill thus abusing the system.

 

Travel insurance covers accidents and emergency illness and things like that. A re-existing condition will likely not be covered.

 

Many immigrants come to the US for medical treatments and even birth bit like I said these procedures are paid for by them.

Edited by NuestraUnion

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Generally if he was coming here SOLELY for medical treatment, he would need to prove that he can afford to stay here while being treated AND pay for the treatment. He would also need something from his doctor stating the condition, and then something from a US doctor stating they will treat it. 

But ideally, if the condition can be treated in the home country they may wonder why he's coming to the US.

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/b-2-visa-us-medical-treatment-who-qualifies.html


 

Quote

Visiting a U.S. physician to receive medical treatment may not seem like a typical activity of a “tourist for pleasure,” but if you want to travel to the U.S. for medical reasons you must apply for a B-2 tourist visa at your local U.S. embassy or consulate. To do this, you will need to show that this treatment is medically necessary and unavailable in your home country, as well as prove that that you can afford to pay the often extremely high costs of U.S. healthcare

 

Edited by Ash.1101

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He has a visa he can use it come for treatment, as far as getting somebody else to pay for it that may well depend on what he currently has in his own country.

 

I find it very difficult to imagine a situation where his existing arrangements would pay for him to have treatment in the US, there is health tourism but usually that is normally people going somewhere cheaper.

 

Is there a specific reason he needs treatment in the US?

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Ash.1101 thanks for the link. Boiler, he lives in Suriname and medical treatment has much lower quality than here in the states, that's the main reason. I'm aware now that he will have to pay for his treatment out of pocket, which he should be able to afford.

 

At this point I'm trying to find out if he can use his existing unexpired visa to come here for the purpose of medical treatment, or if he needs to get another visa specifically for medical reason like the link that Ash.1101 provided. And based on Boiler's response, sounds like he can use his existing visa. I'm still doing some more research.

 

Thank you for the info guys, this is helpful.

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Yeah normally if he was applying for it, he'd have to show everything to the interviewing officer.

Since he already has an unused visitors, he'll just have to provide what ever the CBP officer asks of him at POE.

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12 hours ago, llchun87 said:

Ash.1101 thanks for the link. Boiler, he lives in Suriname and medical treatment has much lower quality than here in the states, that's the main reason. I'm aware now that he will have to pay for his treatment out of pocket, which he should be able to afford..

Hope he is very wealthy! Just as an example of the extreme costs that are possible, a family member was in an intensive care unit this September (in California) for 11 days, and then in the regular unit of the hospital for 2 more days. Total billed cost: $344,375.00. And he did NOT have any surgery.

 

He is fine now, by the way.

Edited by databit

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Do the CBP at POE usually ask for the same documents that would be required for a new visa application, as in these that I copied these from the visitor visa guide?

  • Medical diagnosis from a local physician, explaining the nature of the ailment and the reason the applicant requires treatment in the United States.
  • Letter from a physician or medical facility in the United States, expressing a willingness to treat this specific ailment and detailing the projected length and cost of treatment (including doctors’ fees, hospitalization fees, and all medical-related expenses).
  • Statement of financial responsibility from the individuals or an organization that will pay for the patient’s transportation, medical and living expenses. The individuals guaranteeing payment of these expenses must provide proof of ability to do so, often in the form of bank or other statements of income/savings or certified copies of income tax returns.

Is it illegal if he doesn't tell the CBP that he's here for medical treatment?

Does anyone here have experience finding doctors/hospital that treats foreigners? I called a few doctors today including my family doctor and they don't treat people without insurance. I'm going try to call a local hospital tomorrow and see what they say.

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6 minutes ago, databit said:

Hope he is very wealthy! Just as an example of the extreme costs that are possible, a family member was in an intensive care unit this September (in California) for 11 days, and then in the regular unit of the hospital for 2 more days. Total billed cost: $344,375.00. And he did NOT have any surgery.

 

He is fine now, by the way.

Oh man that's crazy, this is useful information @databit, thanks, I'll let them know. Good thing your family is good now.

Edited by llchun87

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15 hours ago, llchun87 said:

 

Is it illegal if he doesn't tell the CBP that he's here for medical treatment?

 



Yes. If the CBP officer asks "What is the purpose of your visit" and he says "Vacation" or anything other than "I plan on getting medical treatment" and they find out, say at a future visa interview that it was false, he can be punished for lying.

Never lie to anyone in this process, Interview officer, consular officer, CBP, etc.


Also, a lot of doctors won't treat without insurance, because there is the risk of the treatment never getting paid for, and they don't want that to come back and bite them in the butt.

You need to show them evidence of how much money he makes/has, and even talk about a pre-plan where you can pay money upfront prior to service, much like pre-payment plans prior to birth at hospitals.
 

Edited by Ash.1101

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