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Life Insurance For H-1B Visa Holders

H-1B visa holders have options when it comes to purchasing life insurance. However, there are several guidelines and restrictions that you should familiarize yourself with before attempting to purchase a policy.  

Requirements for Purchasing Life Insurance

There are several requirements that H-1B visa holders must meet in order to purchase life insurance.

  • You must be present in the U.S. If you would like to purchase life insurance as a H-1B visa holder, you must be in the U.S. during the whole application process, which can take up to eight weeks. This ensures you will be present for the medical exam, be able to produce medical records and sign all of the application paperwork.  
  • Your premiums must be paid in U.S. dollars — Premiums must be paid in U.S. currency. Most life insurance companies also require that the U.S. currency comes from an American bank account.
  • You must have a U.S. Address — You must have a U.S. address so that your policy can be mailed to you. Your address has to match the state where you applied for life insurance.
  • You must complete a medical exam — A blood and urine sample will be taken as part of your medical exam during the application process.


Unfortunately, not all foreign citizens with a H-1B visa can apply for life insurance in the United States. If you are from one of the following countries, your government may prevent you from buying insurance outside their jurisdiction.

  • Argentina
  • Croatia
  • Canadian Provinces of Alberta
  • British Columbia and Manitoba
  • Hungary
  • India
  • France
  • Greece
  • Japan
  • Polan
  • Switzerland
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

If you are from one of these countries, the U.S. government prevents insurance companies from selling life policies to you:

  • Afghanistan
  • Colombia
  • Cambodia
  • Iraq
  • Lebanon
  • Russia
  • Burma
  • North Korea
  • Haiti
  • Iran
  • Sudan

Additionally, you cannot be currently active in foreign military, government, police or judicial services.

What life insurance options are available to me?

While you do have the option to purchase either term, universal, or whole life insurance, there are fewer restrictions on whole life and universal insurance for H-1B visa holders. High risk countries are usually limited to permanent life insurance only. Most insurance companies will also require you to purchase a policy of at least $250,000. 

What if I move back to my home country after I purchase my life insurance?

Even after you move, you will be able to keep your coverage. In the incident that you pass away, abroad or in the U.S., your beneficiaries will still receive the death benefit. The death benefit may be tax free, depending on the tax rules of your home country.

Be sure to notify your beneficiaries immediately once you have purchased life insurance in the United States. Once you pass away, your life insurance company will not be notified of your death. If possible, allow direct access between your agent and beneficiary.


As a H-1B visa holder, you will have to provide more information compared to a U.S. citizen, but the process is not as difficult as you may think. Below, we list a few tips to help you get started.

  • Ask yourself how much life insurance you will need 
  • Do your research to find a company that can give you the best premiums for your needs
  • Make sure you will be in the U.S. for at least eight weeks. Once you are sure you are settled in the U.S., apply for life insurance.
  • Get your medical records in order because your life insurance company will ask for them. If they are not in English, get them translated.
  • Complete a W-8 tax form. This is a tax form specifically for non-residents who make income in the U.S.
  • Take the medical exam. Your insurance agent will schedule it, and it usually does not cost you.

It generally takes six to eight weeks for application approval. Once you are approved, sign all of your delivered paperwork and return it to your insurance agent. 

Get Help From a Licensed Agent

Application approval depends on several factors. A licensed agent can provide you with more detailed information based on your unique circumstances. Speak with a licensed agent today at 1-855-303-4640.




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