Life Insurance For H1B Visa Holders

Written by Immigrant Life Insurance

If you are looking for H1B visa life insurance or L1 visa life insurance, you’ve come to the right place. If you are in the United States on an H1B visa and looking for life insurance, we can help you. If you are in the United States on an L1 visa, we can help you.

Insurance companies will look at your nationality, family ties in the United States, predicted length of employment, travel plans, and other financial considerations

H1B, L1, J1, and other foreign national visa holders are not considered permanent residents of the United States. Consult with a qualified life insurance expert to make sure you purchase the correct policy. You don’t want to purchase the wrong policy and find out that it is no longer valid at a later point in time.

Why is life insurance important for H1B visa holders?

Life insurance is an important financial tool for providing cash to loved ones upon your death. Knowing that the family you leave behind will be able to keep their home, pay their bills, and not have to struggle financially provides peace of mind to everyone who owns life insurance.

If you are a visa holder in the United States, there is even more uncertainty for your family. You are often thousands of miles away from relatives and other extended family members.

Many visa holders seeking life insurance are single family income earners. For example, a male H1B visa holder comes to the United States to work as a computer programmer and brings his spouse (H4 visa) along with their children (H4 visa).

If the H1B visa holder passes away, the spouse and children are at tremendous financial risk. They will often have no financial reserves to stay in the United States or fly back to the home country. An affordable life insurance policy is the perfect solution to protect your family, children, and loved ones in this situation.

Luckily, most visa holders will qualify for life insurance coverage while living in the United States. There are some critical factors to consider before applying for life insurance.

How does my resident status effect life insurance eligibility?

All life insurance companies have different underwriting criteria. Many life insurance companies choose to specialize in some underwriting categories and ignore others.

Some insurance companies specialize in approving clients with diabetes, heart conditions, overweight clients, and other medical conditions. By specializing in specific health conditions, they gain a better understanding of the risk associated with those physical impairments and can underwrite and insure these risks with greater expertise.

Some insurance companies want absolutely nothing to do with visa holder life insurance. There are simply too many unknowns when someone is from another part of the world. They don’t understand the underwriting process and have no interest in becoming experts in this area and offering life insurance to visa holders.

That’s the bad news.

The good news

The good news is there are companies out there who are very good at underwriting for visa applicants. All companies, however, do have different underwriting criteria depending on your visa type, residency status, and the location of your home country.

Why does the United States issue H1B and L1 visas?

Companies within the United States are always looking for talented workers in all job classifications. The United States is one of the most stable and business-friendly countries in the world. It is common for foreign workers to work in the United States, or have foreigners establish businesses in the United States.

Life insurance policies purchased in the United States are some of the best insurance values in the world; offering low premiums and high face amounts.

What are the qualification requirements to purchase life insurance with an H1B visa or L1 visa?

There are requirements that the insurance companies have in place that you must meet to purchase life insurance in the United States. These are some things the insurance companies must know about you to approve you for a US life insurance policy:

  • Citizenship and immigration or visa status
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Smoking, drinking, or drug use
  • Lifestyle
  • Medical history and family health history
  • Residency time in the United States (amount of time in the US and future plans)
  • Assets (in certain cases)
  • Criminal and driving/traffic records

How long can I keep life insurance for an H1B, L1, or other visas?

If you’ve purchased life insurance in the United States and it has been in force for over two years (three years in some states) you may keep your life insurance even if you leave the US at a later time (verify with each insurance company).

Minimum requirements for purchasing life insurance for foreigners living in the United States:

  • ITIN – Individual Taxpayer Identification Number ( in some cases)
  • Social Security number
  • A bank account in the United States
  • Must be a resident in the United States for a specified period
  • Must be a US citizen, green card holder, or have a legal visa to stay in the United States

The Application Process & General Guidelines

Most U.S. insurance companies are not licensed or authorized to sell in foreign jurisdictions. Each country has laws and regulations on permissible activity regarding the sale of insurance products.

The solicitation of all U.S. life insurance applications must take place in the United States, regardless of the prospective customer’s country of residence.

Solicitation includes all aspects of the sale process from the presentation of the illustration, application, to the completion of underwriting requirements including any examinations and the delivery of the policy. Also, the policy premium must be paid for from a U.S. bank account.

As part of the application process, the proposed insured will take a medical exam (does not apply to non-medical policies) that with few exceptions must be conducted in the United States by a life insurance company approved laboratory or examiner.

Insurance companies have country specific underwriting guidelines, which consider factors such geographic region, U.S. relations, economic stability, and political climate.

Coverage limits and underwriting rates are determined by the classification code assigned to the proposed insured’s country of residence. U.S. citizens/residents with long-term foreign residency plans may be subject to the country classification to the countries of travel.

How long does it take to get my life insurance policy?

Each life insurance company will want to review your medical records. Of all the things required to purchase life insurance in the United States, if you have an H1B visa, obtaining and verifying your medical records will take the most time.

Don’t expect the application process to happen overnight. Technology and ease of accessing electronic medical records help get policies issued quicker, but it can still take weeks for the insurance companies to obtain physician statements from doctors in another country.

It’s best to leave adequate time for the entire insurance process to take place. In most cases, you would be wise to allow a full eight weeks for the entire life insurance process to be complete.

How much life insurance can I purchase with an H1B visa?

The insurance amounts may fall within $250,000 to $20,000,000 dollars. Most people don’t need $20,000,000 of life insurance. Some insurance companies offer smaller life insurance amounts under $250,000 if you purchase non-medical life insurance products; fully underwritten policies may be subject to the minimum $250,000 policy amount.

Each company will view your employment and income requirements differently. You may not be eligible if you are currently active in the foreign police, military, government or judicial services.

Other considerations:

  • Most policies can be purchased up to the age 70.
  • With some companies, it’s easier to purchase cash value life insurance (whole life insurance) than term life insurance.
  • Those with moderate to severe medical issues may not be accepted term or whole life insurance.
  • Insurance may require current health medical records; some carriers require a doctor visit within the last three years.

Are life insurance death proceeds taxed?

Typically, no. Consult with a tax specialist in your home country before purchasing life insurance. Check with tax consultants in your country of citizenship to understand all life insurance income ramifications. Life insurance for US citizens is not taxed.

How do I get the best premiums and best coverage?

Most life insurance agents are competent in providing coverage to H1B Visa Holders. Most life insurance agents are not qualified to provide coverage to non-US citizens or citizens who live and travel abroad.

The ramifications of getting approved for the wrong policy when traveling or living abroad can be catastrophic to your family or your business. We recommend you only deal with experts, such as

It is important you also work with an agent/broker with access to many different insurance companies. Some insurance companies have more favorable underwriting and terms of coverage for different countries; finding the best policy need not be a chore. We will do it for you!

We work with the top-rated life insurance carriers in the United States and can find you the best policy, at the best pricing. You can contact us via telephone or fill out an online quote, and we will get in touch with you to get more specific information about your unique situation.

What insurance companies are best for visa holders?

We could write a big long list of all the insurance companies and what they currently offer. If you see a list like this on a website somewhere, be wary of its accuracy. Insurance companies change their visa life insurance eligibility standards often and the information is likely out of date.

The current political climate in your home country, the United States State Department’s view of what’s going on in your country, and even what part of the country you lived in, all have an impact on your insurability in the United States.

Most websites that show a list of insurance companies and current eligibility requirements are out of date within months, unless you are using the most recent literature produced by each life insurance company.

If you see a list on a website of insurance companies and eligibility by country, beware that this is purely for marketing, and is rarely accurate. You’re always best to deal with a company like Immigrant Life Insurance who talks with insurance companies every day and understands their current visa eligibility status for life insurance.

What are some other visa life insurance considerations?

Even though a life insurance company may accept your current visa status, there may be other restrictions that could prevent or limit coverage for you. They are as follows:

  • Your country of origin and location of residence within the country.
  • Minimum time requirements in the United States – some companies require you to have lived in the United States for a specified period (often six months to three years).
  • Insurance underwriting rating limits – some companies will limit your eligibility if you have certain medical conditions. Other companies will offer no higher than the standard rating.
  • Some insurance companies will consider issuing life insurance on a case-by-case basis. Most companies will require a Social Security number, but some companies will accept applicants with ITIN’s or other documentation.

Other documents that may be needed for H1B life-insurance applicants

Here are some other documents that will be helpful in securing the best life insurance for your visa status:

  • Social Security number
  • ITIN or W-8BEN
  • Green card document
  • Visa documents
  • Foreign residency questionnaires
  • Medical records
  • Employment and travel history
  • State-specific forms depending on what state you reside in the United States.
  • Medical exams must be performed in the United States.
  • Premium payments are required to come from a bank located in the United States.

What about “letter grades” for different countries?

Some insurance companies assign a lettering system to help qualify people in the underwriting process for life insurance. Here’s an example of a lettering system from one insurance company:

  • A country – acceptable for residents of that country and you may qualify for the best rates available (up to preferred plus).
  • B country – acceptable for residents of that country and you may qualify up to Non-Smoker plus rates.
  • C country – unacceptable countries of residence and you will not be eligible for life insurance coverage.
  • Prohibited country – some countries prohibit life-insurance sales to residents of the country due to their nation’s insurance regulations.

The region of a country – some insurance companies will offer life insurance if you are from a region in a country that is more industrialized (good sanitation, healthcare, and emergency medical care availability). The same life insurance company may deny you if you originate from a part of the country that is less industrialized (poor sanitation, poor healthcare, import emergency medical care availability).

There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to getting a visa holder qualified for life insurance. It is to your advantage to bypass a general “Jack of all trades” life insurance agent if you want the best rates and eligibility options.

Always work with specialists like Immigrant Life Insurance to get your best chance of approval, and best life-insurance rates.

What if I have a green card?

If you have a green card, you are treated like a US citizen when it comes to life insurance underwriting. You will be able to qualify for all insurance plans for which a US citizen would be eligible. You will, however, still have to meet other underwriting criteria based on your age, height, weight, and physical and medical condition.

It is still in your best interest to work with a company like Immigrant Life Insurance, as there are other important considerations when designating beneficiaries and insuring spouses and partners with their unique visa status.

It is also important to mention that many visa holders, when moving to the United States, apply for a green card immediately – and then wait – often for years or decades for their green card to be approved.

The green card process in the United States is incredibly slow. You will want an expert to help you with your current visa status, and an expert to help you when you get your green card (as you may be eligible for lower rates at that time).

Once your spouse or partner’s visa status changes, they too may be eligible for more favorable underwriting from the insurance company (which means better rates).


Life insurance is important for H1B visa holders living in the United States. Living and working abroad places families and businesses at great risk should an unexpected death occur.

Life insurance is an affordable way to protect your family and business should the worst ever happen to you.

At immigrant life insurance, we specialize in helping people living abroad qualify for and get the best rates on life insurance. This is all we do, so we’re great at it!


We work with immigrants, visa holders, and undocumented individuals across the nation to secure the best life insurance rates.

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