Homeownership is one of life’s biggest milestones – but is it possible for non-US citizens? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the eligibility criteria for non-US citizens to get a mortgage loan.
Who is considered a non-US citizen?
Simply put, non-US citizens are individuals who are not legally considered full citizens or residents of the United States. This includes (but is not limited to) individuals who are:
- Visiting the country on a temporary visa
- In the process of obtaining (or currently have) a green card
- Not authorized to work in the United States
Despite not having full US citizenship, homeownership is still possible for these individuals. In fact, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported over 98,000 foreign buyer home purchases between April 2021 and March 2022. The opportunity is there, but it may require some extra steps.
Residency Status Matters
Another consideration worth noting is that the mortgage requirements for non-US citizens may vary depending on their residency status. A permanent resident with a green card may have a different experience than a non-US citizen with a work visa, and vice versa.
Generally, it will be easier for permanent residents to attain homeownership than non-permanent residents. We’ve outlined the differences between the two below:
Permanent Resident vs. Non-Permanent Resident
- Permanent resident: a non-US citizen who has the right to live in the United States indefinitely (with a green card)
- Non-permanent resident: a non-US citizen who does not have a green card permitting indefinite residence and instead has a temporary visa
Because permanent residents aren’t bound by a work visa and have indefinite residency approval, they pose less of a risk for lenders and will have a higher chance of loan approval. Non-permanent residents, on the other hand, may have difficulty verifying long-term employment when seeking approval for a mortgage.
If you’re a non-US citizen who falls into either of these categories, contact a loan expert for more information.
What is needed for a non-US citizen to get a mortgage?
The eligibility criteria for non-US citizens to get a mortgage will vary based on their residency status, visa type, and other factors. However, these general items will always be important regardless of the borrower’s situation:
- Valid passport and social security number
- Stable income and good credit history
- Solid financial assets proving the ability to repay the loan
- Funds to cover a 20 percent down payment (conventional loan) or 3.5 percent down payment (FHA loan)
- Valid visa/work authorization, if applicable
Even when it comes to mortgage loans for non-US citizens, every borrower has a different situation. Total Mortgage offers a personalized experience for every borrower – get a free rate quote today to start your journey.
Non-US Citizens: Is a Mortgage Possible?
Now that we’ve covered some basics, let’s revisit the main question: is homeownership possible for non-US citizens? The short answer is yes, but it will ultimately depend on the borrower’s residency status, personal finances, loan product of choice, and more.
The loan experts at Total Mortgage are happy to help. Find an expert near you for an in-depth, commitment-free assessment of your situation so you can make the most informed decision moving forward.