By Greta Albright
As financial professionals continue to navigate underwriting changes in today’s pandemic environment and anxiously await the possibility of releasing some of the temporary restrictions placed on life insurance underwriting, life insurance underwriters are continually asked, “How can foreign nationals and foreign residents obtain life insurance?”
We know that during this time, due to special pandemic rules and restrictions, life insurance for those who travel abroad or live abroad is often difficult, or impossible, to obtain. While we continue to navigate the challenging world of foreign national and foreign resident underwriting, we must remember that we also have a separate group of prospects who we see quite frequently in underwriting – those who have temporary or immigrant visas.
Do some of the recent headlines indicating that visa holders will be pushed out of the U.S. give us the entire picture of the present situation for visa holders and applicants? Will our pool of clients suddenly diminish, or worse, be removed from consideration due to the new temporary order or the implied threat of deportation?
Based on a review of the executive order recently signed by President Donald Trump banning work visa holder entry to the U.S., as a life insurance underwriter with 28 years of experience, my opinion is no.
This ban, in effect through the end of 2020, halts most new visa issuances, as well as restricts existing visa holders who do not possess a current visa stamp, from entering the U.S. Some headlines indicate that there could be deportations, etc.; however, through what we are seeing and experiencing this does not seem to be happening. Additionally, any rescission of this order would require a legal hearing.
So while many have stated online and in the media that this may mean a mass exodus for expiring visa holders, this does not appear to be the case as clients with expiring qualifying visas who are already in the U.S. should not be affected. There does not appear to be any provision for mass deportation for those here with qualifying visas, even if those visas are close to expiration.
Based on the facts in the executive order, it is my opinion that possession of a visa does not equal a life insurance decline in the future. Additionally, it appears there should not be any effect on present guidelines for visa holders (COVID-19 rules aside/guidelines vary by carrier) due to the executive order, as the people affected are those not present in the U.S., not those already here legally with a qualifying visa.
Greta Albright, AALU, ALMI, is senior underwriting consultant, Crump Life Insurance Services. Greta may be contacted at [email protected].
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