Q1. What does the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obama Care mean for those who are aspiring for permanent residence in the United States?
For the almost 10 million immigrants who are in the United States of America legally, either with green cards or visas Obama Care will require many of them to have health insurance.
Permanent Residents or Green Card holders who do not have health coverage are expected to buy insurance through any of the state-based exchanges that opened recently.
Q2. What about the unlawful immigrants who are in the US illegally?
It is estimated that the number of unlawful applicants in the U S are around 11.3 million and are not eligible to take part in the government’s health-care program. Medicaid or insurance cannot be purchased by them.
Q3. What groups are eligible to take advantage of the new law?
Some immigrant groups that are eligible are :
Lawful permanent residents
Green card holders
Refugees / Asylees / Parolees etc.
Q4. Are there penalties for eligible lawful immigrants who do not participate in the new system and stay uninsured?
Yes there are. Legal immigrants who do not participate in the new system and refuse to get health insurance are subject to paying fines to the Internal Revenue Service.
Last week the immigration activists met up with the Department of Homeland Security Chief and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director – and some concerns were brought up.
The Enforcement Director had said that it would be beneficial for Congress to pass a law requiring the police to hold immigrants for ICE, a statement that came as a great shock to those who followed the issue, since the administration had spent a lot of time trying to repair relations with localities that resisted detaining people on ICE’s behalf. ICE soon reversed these remarks from the Director, issuing a statement stating that such legislation would only be counter-productive. But the Director stated that she was surprised that her comments had caused concern and she tried to counter them.
The Obama administration has tried to work a lot on immigration reform. In the month of November a new deportation relief program for parents of U S citizens and legal permanent residents was announced. The expansion of an existing program too was done, that allowed some undocumented immigrants who came to the U S as children to stay, work and reside on a permanent basis. All these programs however, are on hold because of a court injunction. But all ICE officers, agents and attorneys have been asked to evaluate all cases on an individualized basis throughout the immigration process.
Applying for a green card involves almost, always a long – drawn out procedure of lengthy activities. But most immigrants will state that it is worth all the effort in the end! Obtaining a green card from the USCIS enables immigrants to reside and work on a permanent basis in the United States of America.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A GREEN CARD?
Various advantages can accrue to a green card holder. Here are some of them:
- A green card holder is allowed to enter or leave the United States whenever he or she pleases, without having to be stopped at the point of entry by an Immigrations authority. The immigrant is always advised to keep a record of the dates each and every time he or she enters or leaves the country. Every time the immigrant comes back into the country it is advised that the card is shown to the USCIS officials, as the USCIS is the authorized body for all categories of immigration to the United States. (USCIS stands for U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services.) The holder is always advised to enter the country in a lawful manner, without resorting to illegal recourse.
- There is no need to fill up the I-94 form or worry needlessly about the authorized stay in the country, as the card stands valid for a lifetime.
- A green card holder can henceforth apply for government-sponsored aid for education purposes.
The holder can start a business and even create own corporations.
Immigration reform has always been a debatable issue, as advocate communities, politicians and the experts argue over whether the Congress should grant lawful status to the 11 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States of America. Even as this is going on, there is at least 1 group that has always remained in favor of taking action – the business class.
Most experts agree that a comprehensive immigration reform, if ever it is passed, and the President’s executive action, if ever it is executed, would have a positive effect on the economy. For one, it could add billions to the G D P of the country over the next 2 decades while increasing the tax base and for the other, bringing down the federal deficit. The action could also bring more legal workers into the economy while helping to enhance the Social Security Trust Fund’s financial solvency.
An expert on Fiscal Policy also agreed, saying that the immigration reform actions could only have a positive impact. He said that it would allow people to find better jobs that matched their talents and capabilities better and would also promote the staying in compliance with the law. Marginally small businesses could also benefit, transforming into stronger small businesses, which could have a beneficial impact on the local and national economies.
The USCIS, or the United States Citizenship Immigration Services is the authoritative body that oversees the immigration procedures for green card applicants in the United States of America. It is the USCIS that appoints Civil Surgeons who then become eligible to conduct the Green Card Physical Exam for aspirants who are on the Green Card journey.
If you are a green card applicant and you are about to get the Green Card Physical Exam conducted for yourself or even for you and your family you shall need to find a list of USCIS approved Civil Surgeons in or around your area of residence. If you have access to the web you could also find a list of designated Civil Surgeons on the USCIS website. If you reside in an area which has a local USCIS office you could find a list of Civil Surgeons there too. Another easy to use alternative is the easyIME website – www.easyIME.com, in which you can search for the best-priced, most appropriate Civil Surgeon in your area. The listing is free and the website gives you online, updated access to information on economically – priced Civil Surgeons across the United States.
The USCIS Medical Exam cost differs between Surgeons. Each Surgeon can have his own pricing for the Green Card Physical Exam.What easyIME does is to provide a listing of the Civil Surgeons on its website along with a drop down of pricing that includes vaccinations, physical exam prices or any other tests that have to be conducted. This way the applicant gets complete information on what the USCIS Medical Exam Cost will entail.