Life Insurance with a TN visa

Is it possible to obtain life insurance with a TN visa and what are the requirements? These are the first questions many of our customers are asking us when reaching out to us to assist them with obtaining coverage to protect their families.

In this article, we will list the requirements, and available options, and answer some of the most common questions when it comes to securing life insurance as a TN visa holder.

What we would cover

Requirements to obtain life insurance

Available options while on a TN visa

Process of obtaining coverage and steps

Helpful information and tips

If you have any additional questions that we have not addressed in the article, please simply reach out to us. We would be happy to review your situation and present you with a custom solution.

We decided to skip general information about the visa, and the number of applicants per year and jump straight to the important topics. 

Life insurance with a TN visa

Requirements to obtain life insurance:

Be physically present in the US

This is number one. There are no exceptions to this rule. For you to obtain a US-issued life insurance policy, you need to be physically in the US.

Be here for more than 12 months

This is a second requirement many life insurance companies have when underwriting life insurance for someone who is here on a TN visa. This would give you enough time to establish yourself in the US. 

Now, some companies would require you to be physically in the US for 3 years and others for 5 years before they can offer you coverage. Therefore, it is crucial to work with an experienced agent and apply with the right company based on your circumstances. 

Have an ITIN or an SSN

According to Brian Zuccaro, “TN visa workers are eligible to obtain a Social Security Number“. In other words, you can easily mark off this requirement to obtain life insurance. In addition, some companies would approve your application if you have an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number).

Have a US bank account

Carriers would want you to have a US bank account for 2 reasons: 

  • First US life insurance must be paid using a US bank account and always in US dollars. 

  • Second, they view having a bank account as an additional safety measure since banks would need to confirm your identity before opening an account.

Have a US employment

This goes with the TN visa and it is often the reason you are in the US in the first place. However, we wanted to clarify that life insurance companies ask for your employment information to demonstrate financial ties to the US. In addition, as a part of every life insurance application (excluding guaranteed issues and final expense policies), there are questions about financial underwriting. The companies want to ensure that the policy you are applying makes financial sense.

Let us give you an example:

If your annual income is $50,000 and you are in your 30s, the most life insurance you can have on you is 20 or 30 times your salary (the number varies amongst companies).

In our example, the most individual life insurance you can have on you between all life insurance companies is $50,000 x 30 = $1,5 mil.

Unfortunately, companies can deny your application solely based on financial underwriting. 


Available options for coverage

Now, we turn our attention to the available life insurance options. Please note that what option is best for you, will depend on your needs and what you try to accomplish.

Let us explain…

Term insurance 

This is the first option for coverage. As the name suggests, term life insurance is temporary coverage. It has a clear end to the policy, and it is best suited for temporary needs. For example, you only need coverage while the children are little or until you pay off a loan or mortgage.

The biggest advantage of term insurance is price. This product is straightforward and it is priced accordingly. 

On the other hand, the biggest negative is that you could potentially outlive your policy. In other words, you still may need life insurance when your term ends. If this is the case, you would need to re-qualify again, and likely you will have fewer options at a higher rate.

Permanent Insurance

There are many types of permanent insurance and they can be set up to address various needs. Key benefits are that these policies will last a lifetime and some of them even build cash value. Cash value is money building inside the policy and could be borrowed against if needed in the future.

The biggest downside of this policy is the price. Typically, you can expect to pay for a permanent policy on average 3 times more compared to term insurance.

Key Point:

If you are not sure what product is best suited for you, we’ll review your situation and make a recommendation. We are strong believers in having the right product based on your needs. In some cases, having a mix of the 2 products may be in your best interest.


Application process and next steps

Now that you have a general idea of requirements and options, we are turning our attention to the steps in securing life insurance with a TN visa.

  • Find out the coverage that is best suited for you. Do not rush this step. It is important to take the extra time to explore your options and select the right product. Key factors we would help you understand are what type of coverage you need, amount, and duration. Once we have that figured out, we will move to the next step.
  • The next step in the process is to match you with the right carrier. As agents, this is our job. We would shop over 20 different carriers and find the one that would offer you the best rate and the easiest approval process. 
  • Apply – based on the carrier and the product we are applying for, the application could take anywhere between 10 to 45 minutes. With some companies, we complete the basic information and they would send you a link to fill out and answer any medical questions. With others, we would need to go over every health/lifestyle question verbatim and record your answers.
  • Based on the carrier, there might be a medical exam. As a foreign national, please note that is more likely than not to be required to complete an exam. There is no fee for you to do that and we will help you schedule and coordinate the appointment.

This is a good time to mention that some companies can approve your application without a medical exam.

Once we select the right company, and coverage amount and complete the application and exam, your paperwork is sent to an underwriter for review.

Please note that the average turnaround time to get you from a quote to a policy is 2-6 weeks. We have a team working directly with the carriers and will try to get your application moved as fast as possible.


Helpful information to consider

Not every company would work:

Not every company would approve your application solely based on your immigration status. It is crucial to work with an agency specializing in life insurance for foreign nationals. We will help you navigate the process and will advise you of your options.

Not every product will be available

Similar to the information above, not every product and process is available to non-permanent residents or non-US citizens.

There are still options if your visa has expired

This may come as a surprise to many of you, but you can still qualify for coverage, even if your visa has expired. We have created several guides on life insurance if undocumented or life insurance with EAD.

You are eligible for life insurance with living benefits

Living benefits in life insurance (aka Accelerated Benefit Riders) allow you to use your life insurance death benefit while still alive if diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition. We have created several guides providing additional information on living benefits for visa holders.

It costs nothing to work with us

There is no fee for working with an insurance broker – we just wanted to point this out. Many clients have asked us if there is any fee or cost of working with us. The answer is no, there is no fee you need to pay. The rate we give you is the exactly same as if you were to call the company directly. We also want to mention that you would at no point make payments to us. All of the payments would be between you and the life insurance company.

The coverage would cover you worldwide

This is another common question we get when working with global citizens. When the policy is in force, it will cover you anywhere in the world, as long as premiums are paid.

This is a good point to mention that you need to disclose if you have immediate travel plans (in the next 2 years). For example, if you know that next year, you will be moving back to Canada, you need to share that information with us and on the application. If you omit information, it could be a reason for the company to void your policy and not pay out should you pass away. 


In conclusion,

Life insurance with TN is possible and easy to secure if you are working with the right agency. The key is to be physically in the US and know what to expect in the process.

Should you need any additional information or would like us to review your personal situation, simply reach out to us. We would take the time to ask you the right questions and present you with tailored options.

Hope you have a great rest of your day!

Thank you!