You don’t have to be a US citizen to get a mortgage and buy a home.
There are a couple of scenarios where non-citizen homebuyer’s can buy a home in the United States. You can be a resident that is looking to purchase a primary residence and occupy the home full time. There is a way for non-residents who want to buy a vacation property here as well. Each of these scenario’s allow the buyers to finance a property with a foreign national mortgage.
Permanent and non-permanent resident aliens can finance homes in America. It works pretty much like any other mortgage. They can even get FHA and conventional loans with a down payment as low as 3% down. The borrower’s status will dictate the documentation requirements. Typically, if you are a permanent resident alien, you’ll need your green card and your social security number. The mortgage application process will be very similar to that of US citizens.
Non-Permanent Resident Aliens
You won’t have to have a green card if you’re a non-permanent resident alien, but you will need your social security number. A special employer-sponsored visa or a a work permint may be needed for you to finance a home. Your lender will have to verify that you’ll be able to live and work in the country for at least three years. Sometimes there are scenarios where if your permit is going to expire within 12 months you could make a case for your likelihood of remaining in the country, but it is a case by case decision.
Non-resident Aliens may qualify for FHA Mortgages
If you’ve had your visa or work permit renewed at least once, it’s easier to meet the ongoing employment and residency requirements. It becomes a bit trickier if you’ve never had your visa or permit renewed. The lender may check with Immigration Services to get more information regarding your status, and your employer may need to be contacted.
Credit Scoring can be a challenge
Foreign borrowers may face a lack of credit data. It can take years to accumulate enough credit history to generate a qualifying score. There are ways to build alternative credit profiles with utility payments, rental history, school tuition, child care and even having a history of regular savings deposits can help bolster a credit history that is lacking sufficient qualifying information.
Bamboo Mortgage is the foreign national lending leader here in Portland. We specialize in getting this type of transaction done. Our Managing Loan Officer Jeff Zoria is a licensed attorney that specializes in serving the foreign national community. If you have any questions, please contact us.