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Can you get health insurance if you are not a US citizen?  

Can you get health insurance if you are not a US citizen

Are you coming to the US in the upcoming holiday season? As a non-US citizen are you wondering about high medical expenses? If yes, you are in the right place! Unfortunately, the US is not a place where anyone can afford medical fees. The doctor fees, hospital charges, and other related expenses are so high that you may lose all your money. The only thing that can save your finances and help you live stress-free is a robust health insurance plan.  

Suppose you are not a US citizen and come to the US for work, study, vacation, entertainment, training, research, business, vocational, and other purposes. In that case, you need health insurance to keep you safe during your stay. US citizens, nationals, and green card holders can access US medical programs for medical ‘treatment. However, visitors and new immigrants cannot access these government-sponsored health insurance programs; hence they rely on buying insurance plans from private companies.  

Coming to the US as a foreign visitor  

If you are coming to the US as a visitor for vacation or business, meeting your family, or any work-related purposes, you need an insurance plan. As a visitor, you cannot buy domestic plans from, but you can buy a comprehensive policy from a private insurance provider.  

Typically, these plans will cover you for unforeseen and unfortunate medical incidents, and also hospital stays for treatments and procedures due to new ailments. Some plans can also cover you for trip-related expenses like trip delay, trip interruption, baggage delay or loss, loss or theft of travel documents, personal belongings, and more.  

Without insurance coverage, you will be responsible for bearing all the expenses. From now on, you must buy a policy from an insurance provider, like us, to save finances. You can check several visitor insurance plans on our site and compare them.  

Coming to the US as an international student  

If you are coming to the US on a J1 or F1 visa,  buying an insurance policy may be mandatory. Students on J1 visas are required to buy an insurance plan that meets the requirement of the US State Department. But, in the case of F1 visas, there are no specific requirements that the US State Department has defined. . However, students on F1 visas must check with their institutions about the insurance requirements, or they may not be able to enroll in classes.  

Students on F1 and J1 visas may be able to buy plans provided by their institutions or universities. If the institution permits the F1 student to buy a plan from somewhere else and waive the university insurance, they can submit a waiver form by buying a plan that meets the institution’s minimum insurance requirements. Visitor Guard® has different insurance plans for international students. If you would like to buy one, call us.  

Coming to the US as immigrants  

You are considered a visitor to the US till you get your green card, and have to wait for government-sponsored insurance programs till you become eligible. Immigrants can only buy domestic plans from once they attain the LPR (Legally Permanent Residents) status or get a green card. However, getting a green card takes a lot of work. There is a long waiting period before getting a green card and accessing government facilities. If you are an immigrant, you need insurance coverage to keep you safe during the temporary period.   

In such cases, you can buy immigrant plans from outside. These are like visitor plans protecting your finances when you fall sick or get injured. Whether you are on your immigrant visa or waiting for your green card, you can buy immigrant plans from a private insurance company like ours.  


If you are not a US citizen but a foreigner,  an international student, a J visa scholar, an immigrant waiting on the green card process, or a visitor coming to the US, you cannot buy domestic plans from This is because you will not be entitled to enjoy government facilities designed for US nationals, citizens, and green card holders. But you can get a health insurance plan from a third party, i.e., insurance providers in the US.  

There are comprehensive and fixed benefit plans suited for various categories of foreigners coming to the US. Visitor Guard® can help you pick the right plan for your next visit to the US. From selecting a plan to getting confirmation in your email, it all takes a few minutes! To know more, call us. 

Pallavi Sadekar

Pallavi Sadekar

Travel Insurance Expert

Pallavi Sadekar is a seasoned insurance professional with over 17 years of experience in the industry. As the Head of Operations at Visitor Guard®, she brings a wealth of expertise to the field. With a profound understanding of insurance, Pallavi has consistently demonstrated her commitment to helping clients make informed decisions about their coverage.

Pallavi’s insights and advice has earned her recognition in esteemed publications, including Forbes, USA Today, and various online platforms. Her contributions to these outlets have solidified her reputation as a trusted authority in the insurance domain. Whether it’s navigating the complexities of visitor insurance, finding the right coverage for clients, or understanding the intricacies of visitor health insurance, Pallavi’s in-depth knowledge allows her to offer practical and informed guidance to her clients.


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