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Life insurance for non U.S. residents and Foreign Nationals

Researcher & Writer
January 11, 2017

Are you a non U.S. resident or foreign national looking for affordable coverage from Top Companies in the United States?

If you are, then welcome. We are glad you are here! The good news is that non U.S. citizens and foreign nationals can buy U.S. life insurance!

Obtaining life insurance for non U.S. residents is easier today than it has ever been. In the following article we will give you a ton of information on what American life insurance companies offering coverage to non U.S. residents are looking for. Our goal is to give you the inside scoop so you know how life insurance underwriters handle non U.S. residents

Life insurance for non U.S. citizens or foreign nationals is within your grasp. Life insurance underwriters are primarily concerned about one thing --- the life expectancy of the country you reside in. If you reside in a country that has a good life expectancy, then chances are you will be eligible for life insurance as a non U.S. citizen.

And we are seeing more interest from insurers looking to offer life insurance to approved countries, such as China and the Philippines.

Call Today 888-234-8376

What exactly is a non U.S. resident?

If you reside outside of the United States for greater than 3 months a year or you do not have a full-time permanent U.S. residence then you will be considered a non U.S. resident for life insurance purposes. Citizenship is not a determining factor. Therefore, you do not have to be a U.S. citizen to qualify for life insurance in the United States.

More specifically, a non U.S. resident:

  • Is outside of the U.S. more than 3 months a year.
  • Visits the U.S. for business or pleasure but whose permanent residence is not in the U.S. An example may be a U.S. citizen, who moved to Hong Kong, China but returns periodically to the U.S. to visit family.
  • Expects to reside in the U.S. only temporarily. Some examples may be an individual in the U.S. for business, professional, or educational training or an exchange student in the U.S. for education but plans on returning home upon the end of the school year or upon graduation.
  • Resides is the U.S. only part time. An example may be a Taiwan citizen who owns a home in Taiwan and lives in the U.S. for 3 months a year for business purposes.Basically, you do not live in the U.S. but you travel to the U.S.
  • It really helps if you have some sort of minimum contacts with the United States such as immediate family, real estate, a business interest, or financial assets such as a brokerage account or bank account.

Can a Canadian Citizen get life insurance in the U.S.?

Yes. Non-U.S. citizens in Mexico and Canada can typically find life insurance in the United States.
Mexico cities of Cancun, Ciudad Juárez, Guadalajara, Mexicali, Mexico City, Monterrey, Puebla, Puerto Vallarta, San Miguel de Allende, San Pedro, Garza Garcia and Zihuatanejo are generally considered preferred residencies.

What is required for compliance purposes?

The compliance requirements set forth by the U.S. life insurance company are that all aspects of the transaction for getting affordable life insurance for non U.S. residents be completed in the U.S.

  • This includes: solicitation,
  • the application,
  • the paramedical exam,
  • inspection and
  • contract delivery.

Since the timeline on most life insurance approvals is around 6-12 weeks, you will want to plan accordingly. Please note: NON RESIDENTS--- the general rue of thumb in order to qualify--- you have to be in U.S. for at least 90 consecutive days. Therefore, a non U.S. citizen can get life insurance in the United States simply by being present and available in the U.S.

How long will it take?

The life insurance carrier will want to see medical records. This can take a great deal of time. Please don’t expect this process to happen overnight. Technology has helped expedite this process dramatically, but it can still take weeks to procure attending physician statements from a physician in another country. Therefore, it is best to plan on the process of obtaining life insurance for non U.S. residents taking at least 8 weeks so that you do not run out of time.

Eligible Residents

The insurance regulations of some countries prevent their residents from purchasing life insurance outside their country of residence.

Residents of the following countries may be eligible: Antigua, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Barbuda, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Chile, China, Colombia, Curacao, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Germany, Grenada, Guatemala, Holland, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Monaco, Montserrat, Morocco, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain (non-citizen residents only), Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad, Tobago, Turkey, Turks & Caicos, Ukraine, United, Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and Venezuela.

Countries that are not eligible

Due to insurance regulations in certain countries, the following countries may prevent residents from buying life insurance outside the country they live*: Argentina, Croatia, Canadian Provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba, Hungary, India, France, Greece, Japan, Panama, Poland, Switzerland, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

*However, if you are not a permanent, full time resident of one of these countries the life insurance company will take certain information into consideration when determining residency status. The professionals at TermLife2Go will ask you the appropriate questions to determine your eligibility.

Current U.S. government restrictions prevent life insurance being sold to residents of Afghanistan, Columbia, Cambodia, Haiti, Iraq, Lebanon and Russia.

More details

Some additional details for non U.S. citizens looking to buy life insurance in the states:

  • Automatic limits of $20,000,000 with minimum policy amounts at $250,000.
  • 70 is the maximum age for fully retained cases.
  • Different types of life insurance products available are term, whole, and universal life.
  • Some companies offering cash value life insurance might be easier to qualify for.
  • Rate classes available range from preferred plus to table D. What this means is that if you qualify for life insurance but your rate class is lower than table D, you will be declined.
  • You will not be eligible if you are currently active in foreign military, police, government or judicial services.
  • Premium must be paid annually in U.S. currency.
  • Ongoing health maintenance record. Some carriers require most recent visit within 3 years.
  • Third-Party Financial Documentation for face amounts of $1million and above.
  • Version of Form W-8 for those without a Social Security Number.
  • Don't wait. Give us a call today to see if you can get life insurance in the United States as a non U.S. citizen, Resident Alien, or Foreign National. 

Life insurance for Visa holders, Green card holders, and permanent residents

Now, for those of you who either reside in the U.S. on a visa, who are applying for or have a green card, or who live here for more than 3 months out of the year, the guidelines and the life insurance company you want to go with will vary.

Typically, a life insurance underwriter wants to see that you have been in the U.S. for 6 consecutive months or more. The longer you have been in the U.S. the easier it will be to obtain life insurance for permanent residents with a visa or green card.

Some temporary Visas that are accepted are: E 1-2, H-1B, H-4, K 1-4, L-1A, L-1B and L-2.

The life insurance carrier will want to know if you plan on staying in the U.S. permanently. You might change your mind down the road or there might be extenuating circumstances out of your control that forces you to leave. But the main point is, the life insurance underwriter wants to know that you intend to stay in the U.S. for the foreseeable future. If that changes down the road after you have the life insurance you do not forfeit your life insurance. The carrier takes the risk that you might eventually leave the country when they approve you for the life insurance.

And finally, the life insurance carrier has the right to review each client on a case by case basis. Therefore, if someone looks like a beneficial risk, the life insurance company will probably take the risk and approve the client even if the client does not meet all the criteria. Therefore, if you are even considering getting life insurance while in the U.S. as a non U.S. citizen or non U.S. resident, it is worth your time to apply to see if you are eligible even if you do not specifically meet each criteria.

Remember, Foreign National Life Insurance, non U.S. residents life insurance and non U.S. citizens life insurance is available.

Affluent foreign nationals benefit from U.S. life insurance policies

Foreign Nationals that have ties to the United States benefit greatly from obtaining life insurance in the United States. Costly estate taxes of 45% take a significant bite out of anyone's inheritance. If the foreign national's spouse is not a U.S. citizen, then the 2017 $5,490,000 estate tax exclusion will not apply. You can transfer assets into a Qualified Domestic Trust. However, that will simply defer taxes, not avoid. Thankfully there is another option.

Life insurance for affluent foreign nationals is the easiest way to protect and secure wealth. The death benefit will not be subject to U.S. estate tax, income tax, or transfer tax. And for those familiar with the infinite banking concept, dividend paying whole life insurance is a great vehicle for storing your wealth.

Affluent foreign nationals with larger estates may also wish to consider setting up an irrevocable life insurance trust. Typically, if all the requirements of the ILIT are met, the proceeds from the insurance will be free from estate tax. The proceeds can then be used to replace the portion of your taxed estate.

Foreign nationals who are U.S. business owners should also consider setting up a business succession plan. One of the best methods is to fund a buy sell agreement with life insurance.

Foreign nationals owning property and/or businesses in the United States should consider funding the ILIT with Indexed Universal Life Insurance. IUL policies provide for more flexibility and often a guaranteed minimum rate of return in the cash account.

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We are a team of life insurance experts with the simple mission of helping you find the best coverage for your unique situation. We research, review, and rank life insurance companies to make that process easier.