Life insurance is a popular way for Americans to provide financial security to their loved ones. Non-U.S. citizens might also require life insurance. It is possible to get life insurance for green card holders and visa holders, but it can be more difficult. While many life insurance providers offer life insurance to visa holders and green card holders, not all will.
“Visa holders, like everyone else, are looking for the best way to protect their loved one in the event of their death,” stated Simon Huften, President, Life Insurance Canada. Many of them come here to work and have dependent families. Life insurance is a great way to financially protect the people you love and to provide financial security for your family members when you aren’t there.
You should know what information you will be required to fill out if you have a green card or visa and are looking for life insurance. It can help speed up the process by knowing what to expect.
What is the difference between green cards and visas?
You can have life insurance in the States for many reasons. You could be an expatriate, a permanent resident or a student from abroad.
Susana Zinn , an independent life insurance agent in Los Angeles, is . She said, “Both green card and visa holders should have life insurance to cover their families and businesses in the event they die and leave behind financial obligations such as estate taxes and debts, income replacement, and future payments such as house or college payments, as well as any future expenses.”
Green cards and visas are two completely different documents. The Department of State issues visas and distributes them through the consulate or embassy of your country. This visa allows you to travel temporarily to the U.S. for work-related or school-related purposes. Temporary residents are also known to be visa holders, as they aren’t U.S citizens.
Elizabeth Ricci of Rambana & Ricci PLLC said that a visa is only temporary. She has been a practicing attorney for more than two decades. In other words, a visa holder has not shown an intention to stay in the U.S. permanently.
Green cards, however, are permanent. Green card holders are U.S. citizens, unlike visa holders. They are eligible for lifetime citizenship, unless they have cause to be deported. Zinn explained that green cards expire after 10 year and can be renewed. “Green card holders pay taxes, and can do almost everything as U.S. citizens with the exception of vote and having a U.S. Passport.”
There are options for life insurance that can be tailored to your specific situation, regardless of whether you intend to stay for the long term or for a short time.
Non-citizens can get life insurance
If you are a citizen of the United States or a visa holder, your options for life insurance can vary greatly from one company to another. Some companies may not offer you insurance, while others may limit what coverage you can purchase.
There are many factors that could affect your ability or inability to obtain life insurance coverage.
- Country of origin
- The length of U.S. residency
- No matter if you have a social insurance number
Travel restrictions and coverage may also apply. You may also be eligible for coverage by life insurance, which can increase your chances of approval.
How to apply for life insurance using a green card, visa or passport
You will need to submit documentation to receive a insurance quote. For visa holders, there are usually more documents required than for those with green cards. This makes the process more difficult.
These are just a few of the things you might need to give to your insurance company if you are a visa holder.
- A copy of your visa: This is similar to a passport or driver’s licence.
- ITIN: Nonresident aliens and residents are issued an Individual tax identification number. This number is your tax processing number. It’s nine-digits long and begins with the number 9.
- W-8BEN is the Certificate Of Foreign Status of Beneficial Holder for United States Tax Withholding & Reporting. You may need to prove that you are a U.S taxpayer.
- Foreign resident form: If requested, your insurance company will provide this questionnaire. You may be asked for additional information about your employment, health, and travel history.
- Social security number: Although some insurance companies may require you to have one, it does not mean that you cannot get coverage. Talk to a live agent instead to discuss your options.
You may need to meet additional requirements depending on your state.
Non-citizens are subject to restrictions on life insurance
Non-citizens could face restrictions on their life insurance policies.
- U.S. restrictions: People from certain countries are prohibited from buying life insurance in the U.S. by the State Department. These include Syria, North Korea, Iran and North Korea. You will not be eligible to buy life insurance in the U.S. if you’re from any of these countries.
- Limitations on country of origin: Similar to how the U.S. regulates American policies for life insurance, your country may have its own requirements. You may not be allowed to purchase life insurance in the United States if you do not comply with the laws of your country.
- Longevity of residency: Insurance companies might require proof of residency for a specific number of years. Your application could be denied if you fail to meet the minimum residency requirements.
Ricci said that roadblocks to insurance could include the requirement that the carrier has U.S. citizenship, or that beneficiaries reside permanently in the United States.
Other factors may also be involved. Zinn explained the differences in visa and green card holders. Green card holders have the same life insurance options as U.S. citizens. In order to apply, they will need their SSN/TIN. Most cases require that they have been residing in the U.S.A. at least six months.
Zinn stated that visa holders have to go through a more detailed process. Zinn stated that visa holders must have an insurable interest (such as a property or substantial investment) in the United States. Both the application and the medical testing must be completed in the U.S.
Zinn said, however, that the list is subject to change by carrier and that there are always updates.
Before deciding which life insurance policy to purchase, it is a good idea to consult an agent if you are a green card holder or visa holder.
Questions frequently asked
Which is the best life insurer for green card and visa holders?
There are many factors that determine the best life insurance company to offer visa holders and green card holders. This includes details like your country of origin and length of residence as well as the type of visa.
What amount of life insurance does a green card holder and visa holder need?
Before you apply for a policy, you must first figure how much coverage you will need. Before you apply for a policy, you will need to consider your debts, burial expenses, and how long you plan to be able to provide for your family.
What is the cost of life insurance for green card and visa holders?
The cost for life insurance for green card holders and visa holders can vary depending on many factors such as the type of policy, the death benefit amount and your health history. It is a great way to get quotes from several companies and find the right coverage at a cost that suits your budget.