President Donald Trump has announced that he wants people to be denied U.S. visas if they cannot afford healthcare in order to prevent immigrants from “financially burdening our healthcare system’’.
In a statement released late Friday, the White House said immigrant visa applicants will have to demonstrate that they will be covered by health insurance within 30 days of entering the country.
He added that they should alternatively have their financial resources to pay for medical costs.
The new rule, which will come into effect November 3, applies to those seeking visas, not those seeking asylum and will not apply to children, the White House said.
The Trump administration is trying to move towards a merit-based immigration system, with the president repeatedly citing the immigration system of Canada as an example of what the U.S. system should become.
Mr Trump has made improving security along the U.S.-Mexico border a main priority for his administration.
The Trump administration has battled with Congress over the wall and other border security matters, as well as his efforts to stem the flow of illegal immigrants, drugs and asylum seekers into the U.S.