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Everything you need to know about spouse visa travel insurance in the US 

Everything you need to know about spouse visa travel insurance in the US 

Are you going to the US with your spouse? Are you confused with the kinds of spouse visas and insurance involved? If yes, you are in the right place! This blog will help you to understand the types of spouse visas and how you can choose the right one. 

The US immigration authorities issue different visas for spouses of US visa holders. These are usually dependent visas and are valid along with the main visa holder. Some common spouse visas are: 

  • F2 visa which is issued to spouses of international students on the F1 visa. 
  • J2 visa issued to spouses of J1 visa, exchange scholar visa holders. 
  • H4B visa which is issued to spouses of H1B visa holders. 
  • K1 or fiancée visa holder. 
  • CR1 and IR1 or marriage visas. 

While not all these spouse visas require the visa holder to be enrolled in spouse visa health insurance, it is extremely risky to not have adequate health insurance in the US given the excessive cost of medical healthcare. 

J2 visa insurance 

A J2 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows spouses and dependents of J1 visa holders to accompany them to the United States. To obtain a J2 visa, the applicant must prove that they have adequate medical insurance coverage for the duration of their stay in the US. 

The insurance policy for a J2 visa holder must meet certain minimum requirements as laid down by the US State Department, such as providing at least $100,000 in medical coverage, including coverage for medical evacuation and repatriation of remains. The policy must also have a deductible of no more than $500 per accident or illness. 

Many insurance companies offer policies specifically designed to meet the requirements of J2 visa holders. It is important to carefully review the policy terms and conditions to ensure that it mefets the necessary requirements. 

It is also important to note that J2 visa holders may not be eligible for the same healthcare plan as J1 visa holders if the J1 visa holder gets coverage through their sponsor. They are not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid and may not be eligible for employer-sponsored health insurance. J1 visa holders must talk to the sponsoring organization if they provide insurance coverage for J2 visa holders. 

Some insurance plans options for J2 visa holders are Atlas America, Patriot Exchange, Study USA, Student Secure, Geoblue Navigator, and Student Health Advantage. To buy one, call Visitor Guard®. 

F2 visa insurance 

F1 visa holders are international students that come to the US for academic programs. An F2 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows dependents of F1 visa holders to accompany them to the US. Like the J2 visa, F2 visa holders do not have to have medical insurance, but it is highly recommended to have adequate medical insurance coverage for the duration of their stay in the US owing to the high health care costs. 

There are no mandatory State Department’s rules for F1 and F2 visa holders, but they must stick to the institutions insurance requirements, or else they might not be able to enroll in the classes/programs. Typically, a plan must provide at least $100,000 in medical coverage per accident or illness, including medical evacuation and repatriation of remains. Plus, the policy must be valid throughout the entire duration of the program or stay in the US. 

Some insurance plans available for F2 visa holders are Atlas America, Patriot America Plus, Study USA, Student Secure, Patriot Exchange, Student Health Advantage, and Diplomat Long Term. For more information, contact us. 

H4B visa insurance 

The H-4B visa is a type of visa available to dependents of H-1B visa holders who are temporary workers in the US. As a dependent, you may be required to show proof of health insurance coverage to be eligible for an H-4B visa, though it is not mandated by US law. 

The specific requirements for H-4B visa insurance can vary depending on the US state where the H-1B visa holder is working. However, in general, the insurance policy must include coverage for medical emergencies and illnesses, hospitalization and surgery, prescription medications, mental health, pregnancy, and childbirth, and more. 

H-4B visa holders are responsible for obtaining and maintaining their health insurance coverage. They may be able to buy a policy through H-1B holders’ employers or through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace (only if they meet the eligibility requirements) or a private insurer. 

If you are on H-4B visa and want to visit your spouse for a month in the US, you can opt for visitor insurance options. Safe Travels USA Comprehensive, Patriot America Plus, Atlas America, Visitor Care, and Safe Travel Elite are some popular plans. Some plans can cover you for up to 2 or even 3 years. You can buy one of these plans from private health insurance providers in the US, like us. 

K1 visa insurance 

The K1 visa, also known as the fiancée visa, is a nonimmigrant visa that allows a foreign fiancée of a US citizen to enter the US for the purpose of getting married. This type of visa allows you to stay in the US for 90 days (about 3 months) until you marry your partner. K1 visa holders do not need a health insurance plan by US law, but it is strongly recommended because of the expensive healthcare charges and structure. 

K1 visa holders can buy a plan that can cover them temporarily during their 90 days (about 3 months) stay. The insurance plan should cover medical expenses in the event of illness or injury during their stay in the US up to an adequate amount. The plan must also cover hospitalization, doctor visits, urgent care, prescription drugs, emergency services, medical evacuation, and repatriation of remains, etc. Also, the plan ideally should be valid for the entire duration of the K1 visa validity period. 

If you hold a K1 visa, you would not be covered by your partner’s health insurance plan because most insurance companies require policyholders to have lived in the US for at least six months. Moreover, you cannot be included in your partner’s employer’s insurance policy until you are legally married. This leaves you with one option which is buying a plan from a reputable insurance provider. 

K1 visa holders can buy visitor insurance plans for their 90-day stay. Policies like Safe Travel USA Comprehensive, Patriot America, Atlas America, Visitors Care, and Safe Travels Elite are recommended. It is also strongly suggested to buy a plan after the K1 visa has been issued but before you travel to the US. 

CR1 and IR1 visa insurance 

There are two types of marriage visas: the CR1 Marriage Visa and the IR1 Marriage Visa. The main difference between the CR1 visa and IR1 visa is the timing of when the foreign spouse obtains permanent residency in the US. 

The CR1 (Conditional Resident) visa is issued to a foreign spouse who has been married to a US citizen for less than two years. The visa is valid for 2 years, and the spouse becomes a conditional permanent resident after coming to the country. They can file an application to remove the condition after 2 years. They can work in the US after they receive their green cards. 

The IR1 (Immediate Relative) visa is issued to a foreign spouse who has been married to a US citizen for more than two years. The IR1 visa is valid for ten years, and the foreign spouse becomes an unconditional permanent resident upon entry to the country. In terms of the application process, both the CR1 visa and IR1 visa require the US citizen spouse to file a petition for alien relative (Form I-130) with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 

CR1 visa applicants must buy an insurance policy that can cover them before they remove their conditions from their permanent resident status. They may be covered under their spouse’s insurance coverage if they meet the eligibility criteria. Or they can buy immigrant or visitor insurance plans to cover them for 2 years. Plans like Safe Travels USA Comprehensive, Patriot America, Atlas America, Safe Travels Elite, and Visitors Care can be purchased. 

IR1 visa applicants become unconditional permanent residents and are eligible to apply for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. The foreign spouse can enroll in a health insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace or through their employer if they are employed. 

Conclusion 

Spouse visas must maintain adequate medical coverage in the US. No matter what visa status you hold, you must keep yourself protected from unfortunate medical and travel events. Depending on the visa status, you may be included in your partner’s insurance coverage or be eligible to buy domestic plans from healthcare.gov, or buy a comprehensive plan from an insurance provider. 

For more queries and concerns, contact 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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