My girl friend gave birth in the USA three years ago and used Medicaid. She went back home with baby and got denied a visa for reentry to the US because of that Medicaid use. Now as a permanent resident, if I petition for her, will that Medicaid use affect the immigrant visa process?

The letter said they cannot explain to her why she did not qualify for the non-immigrant visa she was asking for. However, they told her she was free to come back another time if there is any change in the future. We are both from Senegal (West Africa).

The first paragraph of the letter said that she was ineligible for a nonimmigrant visa under the section 214(b). In another paragragh they said she could apply again anytime she want if there is a change with the application form.

  • 1
    If what occurred was that Medicaid reimbursed the hospital for delivering the child, you may want to consider reimbursing Medicaid to address the issue. To do so, you'd contact the State's Medicaid office which is usually a division of a State’s Department of Health.
    – Giorgio
    Oct 27, 2018 at 15:23
  • There's a similar situation where you can be denied entry if you have an unpaid NHS bill. All you need to do is take out your credit card, pay the bill, and they let you in. It's not done at the time when you try to get a visa.
    – gnasher729
    Dec 5, 2021 at 17:03

1 Answer 1


There is no ground to deny someone a visa or deny someone entry based on having used Medicaid. There is a ground inadmissibility if someone is "likely to become a public charge", but the determination of that currently does not consider non-cash benefits like Medicaid (except Medicaid for long-term institutionalized care).

She was denied entry for failure to overcome the presumption of immigrant intent. The presumption of immigrant intent applies to most types of nonimmigrant visas, and it says that the officer must presume the person is an immigrant, and thus ineligible for the nonimmigrant visa, unless they can prove otherwise. This is a generic reason used to deny visas when the officer feels that there is any factor in the applicant's situation they do not like (but there is not necessarily another ground of inadmissibility that applies), because, the theory goes, the negative factor makes it harder to convince the officer that you don't intend to immigrate. This ground of inadmissibility doesn't apply to immigrant visas, so you don't have to worry about that.

(There was a rule on public charge inadmissibility that was released during the Trump administration, but it was vacated by the courts and is not in effect. See the USCIS page on public charge. Public charge inadmissibility is currently administered according to the 1999 interim field guidance. On page 28693, it says:

B. Benefits That May Not Be Considered for Public Charge Purposes


  1. Medicaid and other health insurance and health services (including public assistance for immunizations and for testing and treatment of symptoms of communicable diseases; use of health clinics, short-term rehabilitation services, and emergency medical services) other than support for long- term institutional care,


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