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Can non-US citizens get life insurance?

Sep 7, 2021 4 Minute Read

Life Insurance for Non-U.S. citizens

As a parent, spouse, or other provider, you recognize the value of providing life insurance to your family. If you don’t hold U.S. citizenship, though, life insurance can feel a lot more complicated.

Can a non-U.S. citizen obtain life insurance?

As an immigrant or foreign national, you might be worried you won’t qualify or that applying will be difficult. The good news: Life insurance for a non-U.S. citizen may be available to you.

Though there are restrictions, it’s worth taking a closer look to find out if you qualify. The peace of mind life insurance can provide is well worth a little research into your options. Here’s what to know.

Basic requirements for foreign nationals to obtain life insurance

In general, you can often apply for a U.S. life insurance policy as a foreign national if you have a dual passport, green card, or visa. You may need to provide information, including documentation of your connection to the U.S., proof of your global assets, U.S. bank account information, U.S. address, copies of your brokerage accounts and/or property deeds, your medical records for the last five years, and you may also need to reside in the U.S. throughout the approval process or have an attorney represent you. Your insurance carrier can let you know about the specific requirements necessary to apply.

Can green card holders apply for life insurance?

The simple answer is yes, many people with a green card can qualify for life insurance policies from U.S. carriers. Keep in mind that every carrier sets their own rules, but many are willing to offer coverage to green card holders.

>A permanent resident, or green card holder, has permission to live in the United States on an ongoing basis. However, they still maintain citizenship in another country. In many cases, as long as you have been a green card holder living in the U.S. for the last two years consecutively, you can qualify for life insurance coverage.

What’s more, the policies you apply for through U.S. carriers are the same as those designed for citizens. That means you won’t pay more for life insurance or have limited options just because you’re a permanent resident instead of a citizen. In other words, if you have a green card, applying to obtain financial security for your family in the event of your death.

Can work visa holders get life insurance?

Some people live in the U.S. for long periods of time with a visa. Visas often have limitations or conditions, depending on the type of visa you hold.

If you have a work visa, for example, you can often qualify for coverage. Work visas are granted to people working in the U.S. and are usually sponsored by an employer.

You may qualify for life insurance for foreign nationals if you hold one of the following types of visas as well:

  • H-1B visas: This type of visa is given to those in a special occupation, specifically for those in fields that require very specialized and hard-to-find knowledge.
  • E-1 visas: This visa is specifically for individuals or company employees coming from a country that are trade partners with the U.S., allowing these individuals to engage in trade efforts.
  • E-2 visas: These are non-immigrant classifications for a treaty country (one that the U.S. trades with) that may allow long-term stays.>
  • K-1 visas: People who hold this visa have a fiancé or fiancée in the U.S. that is a citizen. Many apply for a green card after they’re married.
  • K-2 visas: This visa allows for the children of a K-1 visa fiancé or fiancée to enter the U.S. and remain here.
  • V-1 visas: The government issues this visa to a person who is the spouse of a lawful permanent resident of the U.S., such as a person who holds a green card.
  • V-2 visas: This visa allows families to remain together while they are processing immigrant visas for them.

There are some restrictions on access to these policies. Student visas, which are given to foreign nationals who are studying in the U.S., are not enough to qualify for a life insurance policy through most carriers. Also, if you have a work permit visa, you may not qualify for life insurance, either. This type of visa allows a person to travel and work in the U.S. for a specific amount of time.

Another key to remember about visas is that they must be current and valid. They should not be up for renewal when you apply for life insurance.

Not all carriers provide life insurance for non-U.S. residents who have a visa, though. If you’re unsure if you qualify and you hold a visa, ask an agent for clarification or more information.

What non-U.S. residents need to apply for a policy

Applying for life insurance for nonresidents is pretty much the same as applying when you’re a citizen. You’ll use the same application, and the life insurance company is likely to conduct the same types of screenings to determine your premiums and coverage options.

To buy life insurance for foreign nationals, it’s important to provide documentation. This may include any identification you have, such as a state-issued ID, green card, or visa. You may also be asked for other information, like a passport, to verify your identity.

Ready to apply for life insurance?

We can help. Give our team a call today or see your personalized, no-obligation quote online.


At eFinancial, our goal is to make life insurance simple, affordable, and understandable for everyday families. This content is intended for educational purposes only. Each post is carefully fact-checked, reviewed and updated regularly to ensure the information is as relevant as possible.