If you’re thinking about moving to the United States or have recently immigrated to the U.S., you may be wondering if you too can pursue the American dream of homeownership. When most people buy a house, whether they’re citizens or not, they take out a home loan. But can being a non-citizen hurt your chances of getting approved? It’s a fair question to ask.
As it turns out, many non-citizen U.S. immigrants and visa-holders are still able to qualify for a mortgage. There’s a little bit of extra work involved, but it’s by no means impossible. Here’s what you need to know about home loan requirements for non-citizens.
Home Loans & Residency Status
How easy it is for you to obtain a home loan as a non-citizen will depend on your residency status and whether you are a:
- Permanent resident with a green card
- Non-permanent resident with a visa
- Foreign national with a primary residence located outside the U.S.
It’s easier for green card and visa holders to obtain a home loan because they meet the guidelines set in place by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Foreign nationals do not meet these guidelines, which means the lender will have to take on the loan themselves. This means there’s a higher risk involved. For this reason, lenders who take on borrowers that are foreign nationals will usually require a larger down payment.
Requirements for Permanent & Non-Permanent Residents
Whether you’re applying for a loan as a permanent resident or a non-permanent resident, you will be required to submit certain documents to verify your eligibility. Keep in mind, requirements vary from one lender to the next. Here are some examples of documents you may be asked to provide:
- Your social security number
- A valid green card (if a permanent resident)
- Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or work permit
- A special visa as proof of legal residency
- Evidence of renewal if the visa or work document is set to expire in less than one year of the closing date
- Proof of income
- U.S. credit score or non-traditional credit report
Requirements for Foreign National Mortgages
In order to obtain a mortgage as a foreign national, you will need to be able to prove your income in your resident country. This is typically done with a letter from an accountant, CPA, or employer. You may also have to provide bank statements from the past two years. Then, you may be required to make a down-payment of anywhere from 30-40% of the loan.
Learn More About Home Loan Requirements
Do you have questions about home loan requirements? Ready to start the application process? Reach out today to discuss your options with a member of our team.