My father-in-law was hospitalized for a heart attack. He doesn't have money to pay all the outstanding bills and did not reply to any bills. He wants to return to the US but without travel insurance. Because of the medical bills, this will he be prevented from re-entering the US?

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    Debts generally aren't a factor in border crossing (assuming no criminal proceedings e.g. in cases of theft/fraud or some specific court sanctions), but the question still would need clarification on: (a) which are the other countries involved; (b) where the hospitalization and debt occurred. – Peteris Oct 25 '15 at 12:01
  • Data point: Unpaid finesmay keep a NZ citizen in NZ. – Russell McMahon Oct 25 '15 at 13:29
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    It's a bit difficult to understand what you're asking, due to you leaving the subject out of most of your sentences. But I've edited your question for clarity, making a best-guess. If I got something wrong, please let me know (using complete sentences). – Flimzy Oct 25 '15 at 15:33
  • Of course, this partly depends on his nationality. Under the circumstances he might have trouble showing the visa officer (if he needs a visa) or even the immigration border guard that he has sufficient funds, if his bank account is empty. If you are only asking if the hospital sends its debt records to the Immigration people, the answer is No. – Andrew Lazarus Oct 25 '15 at 16:20
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    On a sidenote - your father in-law already has a huge medical bill because of an illness he wasn't insured for, and now he wants to travel again without travel insurance? – DJClayworth Oct 26 '15 at 3:15

Wow. Here I thought the US abolished debtors prisons in the 19th century. You can't get arrested for failing to pay a loan or a hospital bill or such (taxes and child support is an entirely different kind of beast). So if this is about a debt in the USA, you won't be held at the airport or anywhere else neither will you be deported. Law enforcement does not get involved in this at all until you have a court order to pay and you disobey that. In some states, you can be jailed in this case for contempt of court.

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