Travel Insurance

What Is the Liability of Visa Sponsors for Unpaid Medical Bills?

What Is the Liability of Visa Sponsors for Unpaid Medical Bills?

If you’re considering becoming a U.S. visa sponsor or if you already are one, you might be wondering about the responsibility for your visitor’s unpaid bills. The I-134 form, also known as the “Affidavit of Support,” plays a crucial role in outlining the sponsor’s obligations and potential liabilities.

Here is some useful information for those who are considering sponsoring a U.S. visa for their parents, or who are either seeking a visitor visa, legal permanent resident status, or student visa. 

What Is the I-134 Form?

A form I-134 is also referred to as an Affidavit of Support, and is a form that requires a visa sponsor to agree to provide financial support to a beneficiary for their stay in the United States.

This sponsorship document is typically required to be filed by a sponsor in the United States in order for a visa applicant to be approved.

The I-134 form serves as a contract between the sponsor and the U.S. government. By signing this document, the sponsor agrees to provide financial support to the visitor/beneficiary during their stay in the United States. This support includes covering essential living expenses such as food, lodging, clothing, and healthcare.

What Does an I-134 Form Enforce?

The I-134 is a contract between the sponsor and the U.S. government stating that the sponsor will be responsible for the visitor/beneficiary while that person is in the U.S. 

One of the primary purposes of the I-134 form is to ensure that the sponsored individual does not become a burden on public funds. If the sponsored visitor becomes a “public charge” or a liability for the government, the agency providing assistance can take legal action to recover the costs incurred. This stipulation is explicitly stated on the I-134 document, emphasizing the enforceability of the sponsor’s financial responsibility.

You’ll want to make sure you have the financial means to support the visitor for the duration of their stay. This includes basic amenities to support their living and welfare in the U.S. which includes food, boarding, clothing, and healthcare.

What Is the Liability of a Visa Sponsor?

If your visitor seeks medical services from the healthcare provider, and fails to pay the medical bills, you, as the sponsor, can be held responsible for the visitor’s unpaid US medical bills.

The medical provider runs its services from the public funds. So, if you’re sponsoring a visitor to the U.S., be cautious when filling out the affidavit of support.

Healthcare providers, often operating with public funds, may pursue legal action against sponsors to recover the unpaid amounts.

Unpaid medical bills can be a disaster both financially and emotionally. This means a significant level of stress and could even lead to bankruptcy.

How US Visa Sponsors Can Avoid Unpaid Medical Bills

As a US visa sponsor, there are some ways that you can avoid having to be responsible for a visitors unpaid medical bills.

  • Avoid risky propositions: Make sure that the person you are considering sponsoring is responsible and trustworthy. This includes making sure they do not overstay their visa term.
  • Tell the truth: Carefully enter all the information on the form accurately and honestly. This will help prevent any discrepancies in future. Make sure you have all the documentation needed to verify that the information entered on the form is correct.
  • Protect yourself: Make sure that you and the person you’re sponsoring have adequate insurance coverage for travel and healthcare during the entire period of stay. This will not only help protect against emergency, but will also buy you peace of mind. You can find many great options for visitors insurance at VisitorsCoverage.

Travel Insurance Can Help You Avoid Unpaid Medical Bills

Travel medical insurance, also referred to as US visitors insurance, can help visitors be protected from unpaid medical bills with sufficient medical coverage for new illnesses or injuries that occur abroad that require medical attention.

Benefits of Visitors Insurance

Visitors insurance offers a range of benefits, including:

  • Coverage for medical expenses related to accidents, illnesses, and injuries.
  • Emergency services such as hospitalization, surgery, and medical evacuation.
  • Access to a network of healthcare providers and quality medical care while traveling.

The VisitorsCoverage Advantage

At VisitorsCoverage, we offer a variety of travel medical insurance plans tailored to meet the needs of travelers from around the world. Our comprehensive coverage plans ensure financial protection and medical protection through access to quality medical care, providing peace of mind for both sponsors and visitors alike.

To learn about how travel insurance with good medical coverage can help protect you in time of emergency, check out our travel insurance plans or connect with our award-winning Customer Success Team.