I have been living in America for couple of years and I hold H1b work visa. Technically speaking H1b holders are not permanent residents, which seems to be required in Amex travel insurance fineprint. I tried to find it out from Amex, but I don't get definite answers. Can anyone help me out am if I'm permanent resident in eyes of Amex if I have been living in states for couple of years without having address elsewhere?

  • 1
    Did you try phoning the claim line and asking them? I've had good luck doing that to get answers for Amex UK travel insurance queries
    – Gagravarr
    Commented Aug 19, 2013 at 21:42
  • 1
    I disagree with the close vote. The question is about travel insurance, so the insurance covers TRAVEL, it does not cover the stay as a permanent resident. Maybe it could be clearer in the question.
    – Vince
    Commented Mar 26, 2014 at 13:19

3 Answers 3


Pretty much without exception, travel insurance for permanent residents of any country requires actual legal permanent residence (= green card or equivalent), not just living somewhere for a while. Being resident for tax purposes isn't going to cut it.

The reason insurers care is that they need to know if your country's health system will be able to cover any of the bill, or whether they will have to assume sole responsibility for covering you. Obviously the latter is riskier for them, and thus more expensive.

Of course, the insurance company has no direct line to Immigration and can't really verify whether or not you are actually a permanent resident... but if you get mauled by a bear or something and end up with a $1m medical bill, you can rest assured the insurance company will do everything they can to not pay it, so it would not be advisable to lie on your application.

(Disclaimer: This is based mostly on my experiences looking for insurance while based in Australia and Singapore. Your mileage for other countries may vary.)

  • 1
    This logic doesn't quite work in this case, as the asker is living in the US, which doesn't have a national health system. Commented Aug 21, 2013 at 4:30
  • 2
    I suspect recipients of Medicare or Medicaid would dispute that, and Obamacare will also have an impact. Commented Aug 21, 2013 at 4:33

You need to double check with American Express but probably you are eligible for insurance. If you have an H1B visa, then most likely:

  1. you are a resident of the state you live in,
  2. you are a resident of the United States for tax purposes,
  3. but you are not a legal permanent resident (LPR) of the United States.

It's likely that to get an AMEX insurence you need to be a resident of the state you live in and you don't have to be an LPR.

If you post a link to Amex terms and conditions here, it will be easier to give a more detailed answer. Rules and laws in other countries are very different and don't apply in this case.

This is not legal advice.

  • All points 1-3 are true in my case. Thanks for listing them clearly, makes it easier for me to ask again with proper terms from Amex customer service.
    – user14742
    Commented Aug 23, 2013 at 17:22

Technically speaking H1b holders are not permanent residents, which seems to be required in Amex travel insurance fineprint.

You know that you are not a permanent resident. You know that Amex requires you to be a permanent resident. So how can anyone shed more light on it ?

You are an Alien resident. Most of the companies which ship in H1Bs usually have a tie up with American Express for their corporate cards. I know from colleague's experiences that your transactions on this corporate card does not add up to your credit history. I am not fully aware how this is possible. I believe that AmEx has some sort of services for corporate card holders who are not American citizens/PRs. Only their customer care can help you, I believe. Also, FYI, many other service providers like Visa covers such needs in some circumstances. You are a PR (of your own country) for one of such service providers.

  • 1
    You usually can't use travel insurance from country X while living in country Y, because there will be small print that says it's only valid for travel of up to N days, and simply staying in Y is "travel" as far as they're concerned. Commented Aug 21, 2013 at 1:45
  • In my case it's not a corporate card. I've been able to get solid credit score in US and was granted personal Amex after application.
    – user14742
    Commented Aug 23, 2013 at 17:20

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