If you are a non-U.S. citizen, obtaining life insurance has actually become much easier than it has been in the past. For non-U.S. citizens or foreign nationals, life insurance is within your grasp and there are some steps and factors associated with obtaining it. Within this article, we are going to clarify what is required, how long it will take, and if you are eligible. All of these questions are important and must be understood before attempting to obtain a life insurance policy.

Requirements for a Non-U.S. Citizen and Obtaining Life Insurance

non american citizen life insuranceYou must have a Green Card or Permanent Visa in order to qualify or be eligible for a life insurance policy in the United States. Many life insurance companies also require that you have been living within the United States for at least 2 years, and if you have been in the U.S. for less than a year, insurance companies will usually classify you as a “non-resident”, even if you are in the process of applying for a visa.

A non-resident can be approved for something called a “best class offer,” but the offer can come with specific stipulations attached. When you are applying for life insurance as a non-U.S. resident or citizen, there is certain information that is needed which includes the following:

  • Date of Birth
  • Country of Origin (Where you were born)
  • Length of U.S. Stay
  • The State You are Living in
  • Any Travel Plans Within the Next 12 Months
  • Visa Expiration Date

Some insurance companies will also look at your current economic ties to the United States, which includes your job, family, home, or any businesses that you own. Also, when you are applying for coverage, you must present a copy of your green card or a visa document, in which you will need to submit a W-8 or a W-9 tax form. Insurance companies need this in order to collect information about your country of origin and any further information regarding work history within the United States. Without this, you will be unable to proceed in obtaining life insurance.

How Long Will it Take? Am I Even Eligible?

Your life insurance company will seek to view your medical records, which can actually take a substantial amount of time. While technology has helped speed up this process dramatically, it can still take several weeks to procure physician statements from another physician within your country. Therefore, plan out the process of obtaining life insurance and give yourself at least 8 weeks when conducting this process. Before you get ahead of yourself and start estimating the time it takes, it is important to understand if you are even eligible.

There are certain countries that have insurance regulations that prevent residents from purchasing life insurance outside of their country of residence. These countries include Argentina, Croatia, Canadian Provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba, India, France, Greece, Japan, Panama, Hungary,  Poland, Switzerland, Uruguay, and Venezuela. While these countries are a few of what are ineligible, talk to a life insurance agent and they will be able to provide the most thorough insight. If you are not a permanent or full-time member of one of these countries, then the insurance company will take this information into consideration when determining residency status.

Once again, if you either reside in the U.S. on a visa or are applying for a green card, or are someone who lives here for more than 3 months out of the year and you meet with all of the guidelines, then your chances of receiving life insurance within the U.S. increases substantially. Overall, a life insurance underwriter wants to see that you have been in the United States for six consecutive months or more. The longer you have been in the U.S., the more likely you are to obtain life insurance.


Overall, yes, you are able to receive life insurance if you are not a U.S. citizen. You just have to make sure that you meet all of the requirements, have the proper documentation that is needed, and are in a country that is deemed as eligible. It is also advised to look around and locate a company that has guidelines that you can comply with. Obtaining life insurance is a necessity, even if you are not a U.S. citizen but are living within the United States. Obtaining life insurance will save your family from the financial burden if something unexpected was to happen to you, including covering any cost associated with a funeral, travel cost, medical bills, and various other costly factors associated with passing away. Therefore, speak with an insurance agent and locate the most advantageous life insurance policy for you and ensure that your family is financially protected.

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