H1 Visa Holders Need for Life Insurance
Thousands of H1 visa holders come to the U.S. every year for temporary work in the U.S., primarily to work as computer programmers. A vast majority of them are males and many of them have a wife that can’t work (except in very limited circumstances) and minor children on H4 visas. If the primary visa holder unexpectedly died, their family would be left in a desperate situation. It is important for the H1 visa holder to purchase life insurance to provide financial security to their dependent family members with a lump-sum death benefit; this financial security can also benefit extended family members living in a foreign country.
All H1 visa holders should purchase life insurance for valuable peace of mind.
What is H1 Visa?
An H1 visa is a temporary work visa that allows a foreign national to come to the U.S. and work for a U.S. employer. This visa allows a foreign national to stay in the U.S. for 3 years and is extendable for another 3 years, for a maximum 6 years. For specific situations where they have a green card pending for a certain duration or in a certain stage, they can extend the H1 visa beyond the maximum of 6 years, in increments of either 1 year or 3 years.
For life insurance purposes, the situation of L1 visa holders is very similar to H1 visa holders. Therefore, this article applies to L1 visa holders as well.
Obtaining Life Insurance
Even though life insurance may be available from your country of origin, it may be beneficial to purchase life insurance from a U.S. company as you could receive a high amount of coverage at very affordable rates. Moreover, as the lump-sum death benefit would be paid in U.S. dollars, it would help against the high inflation in some developing countries.
For detailed information on obtaining life insurance, please look at life insurance for non-us-citizens.
The primary concern of any insurance company offering life insurance is their level of risk, "What are the chances that you will die and we will pay money to your beneficiary?"
Typically, H1 visa holders live and work in the U.S. for several years, just like U.S. citizens. However, as it is a temporary visa, the more details you provide an insurance company about the likelihood of you staying in the U.S. for some time in the foreseeable future, the easier it would be to obtain coverage.
- Has your employer filed for your green card?
- What status is it in?
- Has your labor certification (PERM) been approved?
- Is Form I-140 (Petition for immigrant worker) approved?
- Have you filed for I-485 (Adjustment of Status)?
The farther along you are in your green card process, the easier it will be to get life insurance at better rates.
Obviously, the green card process is very complex and it takes many years or even decades, and it not possible to tell with surety whether you will eventually get it or not. However, it is up to the insurance company to determine the amount of risk they are willing to take in case you eventually leave the country and reside somewhere else.
Lump-Sum Death Benefit
Qualifying and buying life insurance is the important first part; however, an important question remains, "What happens when the insured person dies?"
As long as the life insurance company knowingly provided the life insurance to a non-U.S. citizen, they would pay the lump-sum death benefit, irrespective of where the death occurs, as long as the insurance policy is active and the premium has been paid according to the contract. For example, if your green card does not work out and you need to return to your country or settle in another country, that is fine. In general, if the life insurance policy is in force for two or three years (depending upon the state), you may keep your life insurance even if you leave the U.S. at a later time; it is best to verify this to make sure.
Of course, you would should inform your beneficiary in advance that you have a life insurance policy and how to collect the death benefit from the U.S. based life insurance company.
Life insurance for H1 visa holders is not as simple as the coverage for U.S. citizens. While there are thousands of life insurance agents that sell life insurance to U.S. citizens, you really need to talk to a life insurance broker that specializes in life insurance for non-U.S. citizens and understands the complexities of U.S. legal immigration system. Get Instant Quotes online now and contact us with any questions.