Visas for Medical Treatment in the U.S.
Medical services in the United States are rather expensive when compared to Fiji. U.S. law prohibits the issuance of a visa to anyone who is likely to become a public charge, including individuals who might require medical care at the expense of federal, state, or local government agencies in the U.S. In order to qualify for a nonimmigrant visa to seek medical care in the U.S., an applicant will need to present certain information during the interview at the Consulate to show that he or she will not be treated at the expense of a governmental entity in the U.S. The applicant will also need to show that he or she is otherwise eligible for the visa.
These two basic requirements are listed below:
The applicant will need to present:
- A letter from a physician in the patient's home country certifying that the procedure cannot be performed in the home country.
- A letter from the institution in the United States certifying that the patient has been accepted for treatment. The letter should include the estimated cost of the proposed treatment and hospitalization, and the length of time the patient will need to be in the U.S. for treatment and follow-up.
- Proof that the treatment, as described in the letter from the institution, will not be paid by public funds. The proof should be presented in one of the following forms:
- A notarized affidavit of support from a U.S. citizen or resident confirming both the commitment to pay for the treatment, as well as the ability to pay for the treatment. The affidavit should demonstrate sufficient income and/or other financial resources to enable the sponsor to pay for the treatment. (A copy of the most recent tax returns or other financial document should be included as proof of ability to meet the proposed expenses), or
- A show of significant resources, controlled by the patient, which are sufficient for use in meeting expenses, or
- A letter from the treating institution, indicating that all expenses of treatment in the United States will be covered by the institution itself.
The financial evidence presented should also cover living arrangements for any accompanying family members (where will they stay, for how long, at what cost, and who will pay).
Other eligibility concerns
Please note that applicants for visas to receive medical treatment in the United States must meet not only the requirements listed above, but also all other requirements to qualify for a U.S. visa. In this connection, the applicant should be aware that United States immigration law places on each nonimmigrant visa applicant a presumption of immigrant intent, and puts the burden of proof on the applicant to overcome this presumption and thus show eligibility for a nonimmigrant visa. During the visa interview, nonimmigrant visa applicants should present evidence of their family, social, and economic ties to their home country that would compel them to return here at the end of their authorized stay in the U.S.
A consular officer's determination of whether an applicant qualifies for a nonimmigrant visa must be made on the basis of the objective circumstances presented by the applicant, and what these circumstances indicate about the applicant's intentions. The decision cannot be based on the assurances of friends, relatives, or other associates of the applicant.