I am traveling to USA as a research student with J1 visa. My university health insurance starts from 15th June, however I will land in USA on 8th June.
Will that be a problem?
Will the customs and immigration officer stop me or detain me for not having health insurance from 8th to 14th June?

  • Are you sure the university health insurance fulfills the specific requirements is a J1 insurance?
    – mdd
    May 4, 2019 at 14:39
  • Yes it does. But it starts from 15th and not 8th as I mentioned.
    – geronimo
    May 4, 2019 at 14:52
  • 1
    So it covers repatriation of remains etc.? If yes, I would just buy a travel insurance for the week that you are not covered. Health care in the US is extremely expensive and it is worth spending the $50 extra to be covered for the week. An immigration officer will probably not care about your insurance, but the international office of your host department (where you need to check in after arrival) will care.
    – mdd
    May 4, 2019 at 14:54
  • Okay, thanks for letting me know that. This really helps. In general what will the officer check once I land in US ?
    – geronimo
    May 4, 2019 at 15:33
  • 1
    I had a J1 visa last year with health coverage that only started on the day I began my internship. I just bought a travel insurance policy for the few days before that. I wasn't asked about coverage by the border officer: he just asked where I'd be working and reminded me not to lose the DS-2019. That isn't a guarantee that they won't ask you something else though.
    – Joe Malt
    May 4, 2019 at 16:20

1 Answer 1


Potentially, yes. They may also not look at your documents. But it's a risk.

Note that (source):

If you are traveling to the US on a J1 or J2 visa, you will be required to carry medical health insurance for the full duration of your program. Many sponsor programs provide both their students and dependents with health insurance, or you will be required to enroll in a private health insurance plan. Either way, the US Department of State has minimum J1 health insurance requirements that your insurance plan must meet (which applies to J2 visa holders, as well).

Medical Benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness Repatriation of Remains in the amount of $25,000 Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000 A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness A policy underwritten by an insurance carrier with: an A.M. Best rating of ‘‘A-’’ or above; a McGraw Hill Financial/Standard & Poor’s Claims paying Ability rating of ‘‘A-’’ or above; a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of ‘‘B+’’ or above; a Fitch Ratings, Inc. rating of ‘‘A-’’ or above; a Moody’s Investor Services rating of ‘‘A3’’ or above;

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