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Old 02-26-2005, 06:51 AM   #1
alisonbestford
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Question Different type of visa question :-)

About 10 minutes before we were due to land in Florida, and I was busy filling in the green visa waiver forms for the family on the plane, I noticed the question about whether you were in good health (or similar wording) on the back - below the question about whether you have any convictions!

Now, my question is, when is it necessary to get a visa because your health isn't 100%?

DH has a brain tumour and we'd already paid extra insurance, got doctor's letters to say he was ok to fly,forwarded them to the airline etc, etc. The Virgin air staff said to ignore the question as he isn't awaiting any treatment so we did and had no problems.
It's outwardly obvious that he has a problem as he has only one eye and extensive facial scarring from recent surgery but no one at customs said anything and he was chatting to the customs officer about his op (much to DD's embarrasment ) for quite a while.

It got me thinking though Does anyone have any experience of this?

I understand that it's probably to discourage people from travelling to the US for health care or something but, if we do have to go down the road of a visa to gain entry I'm afraid our trips to WDW are finished
The added expense of a trip to the Embassy, price of a visa and physical exertion on DH's health will just make the vacation a nightmare-not sure how I can justify that to DD (6) tho if the situation arises....

Thanks.

Alison
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Old 02-26-2005, 07:17 AM   #2
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I believe that the US is concerned that you don't have aids or any other transmittable disease.

Something in the back of my mind recalls that at one time a few years back, at least one hospital in Florida was advertising routine operations to UK citizens who could travel! (and pay). There is no equivalent of the UK National Health service in USA, so there would be no possibility of getting free treatment there.

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Old 02-26-2005, 07:24 AM   #3
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I think Andrew is right, they are more worried about SARS and AIDS.

I don't think a visa will ever be required from someone with a non-communicable chrinic condition or disease, although I wouldn't be surprised if proof of covereage of health insurance valid in the US, or proof of ability to pay for services might be coming down the road. I wouldn't worry, it sounds like you've got your bases covered.

And FYI Andrew, ALL public and most private hospitals are required by law to treat anyone who walks through their doors, regardless of ability to pay. (The difference would be a private eye hospital would not be required to treat a woman in labor, etc.) In some cases part of the cost is picked up by the US governement and various charities, but more often than not with an uninsured foreign national is treated at a US hospital and can't or won't pay the bill, the hospital is stuck with it.

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Old 02-26-2005, 08:34 AM   #4
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I know for sure that one of the concerns is things communicable diseeases like SARS, Ebola virus, active TB (being in Infection Control there are lots of things that you don't necessarily think about that come up in regular conversation ).
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Old 02-26-2005, 08:54 AM   #5
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Smile

Thank you all
That's more or less what I thought - when I wasn't panicking! .
To have everyone with any health problems have to apply for a visa would mean chaos
Having to provide proof of insurance etc seems absolutely right - think it's something we should do here in the UK too
Phew, back to planning the next trip when we've got enough cash to go.........
Alison
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Old 02-28-2005, 07:49 AM   #6
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Alison,

Just noticed this thread, I too worried about this question before our trip in 2003 so I e-mailed the US embassy in London and got a lovely reply saying that for my condition that was not what was meant and that I could use the visa waiver programme. I made sure I took a copy of the e-mail when we travelled but had no problem whatsoever. I'm sure the same is true for your circumstances but you could always e-mail them and then you would have the reply to carry with you.

Sue
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