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Home loans for temporary residents of Australia

If you're on a temporary visa in Australia, you may qualify for a home loan. It depends on your visa type, and you'll likely need a 20% deposit.

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It is definitely harder for temporary visa holders to qualify for home loans in Australia. But it's not impossible. While your success getting a loan approved depends on a range of individual factors, here are some general guidelines to keep in mind:

  • You will likely need permission from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and pay a fee.
  • You should be able to apply for a standard home loan, but most temporary visa holders can only borrow up to 80% of a property's value.
  • If you are buying a home with an Australian citizen or permanent resident you can avoid FIRB approval and will have an easier time getting the loan approved.
  • Having stable income and a history of savings will boost your chances of approval.

You should also note that Australian lenders have their own criteria when lending to temporary residents. Some lenders may not consider your application at all. One way to find out what loans may be available to you if you're a temporary resident is by talking to a mortgage broker before applying.

Which temporary visa types are eligible for an Australian home loan?

There is no specific list of temporary visas that allow you to get a home loan. You could get approval for a loan while on a temporary skill shortage visa (subclass 482), a working holiday visa (subclass 417) or even a student visa (subclass 500). It all depends on the lender and your circumstances.

But Australian lenders will take your visa type into consideration when assessing your application. You'll have an easier time getting approved if you are on a spousal or partner visa with a pathway to permanent residency.

Can I get a first home owner grant or stamp duty exemption?

In most circumstances a temporary resident buying property by themselves won't qualify for a state/territory first home owner grant, stamp duty exemption or federal home buyer scheme. This is because such grants and policies almost always specify that at least one buyer must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

Even Australian permanent residents don't qualify for several federal home buying schemes.

Temporary residents can only get a first home owner grant or stamp duty discount if buying with an Australian citizen or permanent resident. You and the person buying will need to meet other criteria (buying a home to live in, haven't owned property in Australia before).

Should I wait until I'm a permanent resident?

If you have a pathway to permanent residency, then you might have a much easier chance getting approval once you have your permanent residency approved. You need to weigh the potential cost and hassle of getting FIRB approval versus waiting until your permanent residency is approved.

If you're desperate to buy a property right now and can't wait for the visa to be processed, you might feel it's worth applying on a temporary or bridging visa.

What home loans are available to temporary residents in Australia?

If you are able to get approval, you'll find that you can get the same home loan products as other borrowers. The biggest restrictions may be around the amount you can borrow and your deposit size.

So just like other borrowers, you can look at:

  • Variable rate home loans. Your interest rate can change at any time. Variable rate mortgages usually have fewer fees and are much easier to refinance if you want to get a new loan.
  • Fixed rate home loans. You lock in a specified interest rate for a period of time, usually between 1 and 5 years. With a fixed rate home loan your rate won't change, but you have less flexibility in repaying the loan earlier and there are higher costs for refinancing the loan.
  • Loans with offset accounts. Some home loans come with 100% offset accounts. This useful feature lets you save money in a bank account that offsets your loan principal. This reduces the interest you pay.
  • Package home loans. Some lenders let you combine a home loan with a bank account, a credit card or other financial products. This is called a home loan package. You have to pay an annual fee of around $400 with this type of loan.

How to improve your chances of getting a home loan as a temporary resident

  • Have evidence of income. When preparing to apply for a temporary resident home loan, gather as much information pertaining to your employment as possible. Providing proof that you have been employed with the same company for over 2 years could allow you to borrow up to 10% more of the property's value.
  • Show proof of savings. You will generally need to save a 20% home loan deposit, to get a home loan with a loan to value ratio (LVR) of 80%. The greater the deposit you save, the better your chance of gaining approval.
  • Be prepared for extra costs. In addition to preparing your employment history, have funds set aside for extra costs when you purchase the house.
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12 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    MitchAugust 24, 2018

    I have a 461 Visa as my wife is from New Zealand. I earn a decent salary a package of $180k and wife is on a package of $150k.
    I just learned my Visa is not eligible for any loans if the deposit is not 20% of value to home. Despite, I’m wanting to pay the Mortgage insurance premium cover of $10-15k to the bank for a low LTV ratio. I can afford the finances. Do you know any lender who will look at my situation if I wanted to borrow say $1.55M and only had $270k cash to cover deposit, stamp duty and mortgage insurance premium and conveyance and legal fees, say the deposit was 10-11% of purchase price?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniAugust 24, 2018Staff

      Hi Mitch,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      Your employment history will have a large impact on the amount you can borrow as a temporary resident of Australia. Generally you’ll be able to borrow up to 80% of the value of the property, but if you have a professional job and have held that same position for two or more years, you might be able to have that raised to 90% of the home’s value.

      As an aside, New Zealand citizens can borrow up to 95% of the property value, even if they live in New Zealand. As Australia and New Zealand share the same credit reporting system, New Zealand citizens’ applications will be assessed on their credit history. If the applicant lives outside New Zealand and Australia, they may be treated as a foreign citizen and be offered to borrow up to only 80% of the property value. Of course, the percentage available to borrow will depend on the particular loan’s maximum Loan to Valuation Ratio (LVR).

      While the ability to obtain a home loan is there, not all lenders will grant loans to temporary residents. Each has its own policy regarding visas, so it’s important to research and ask around to determine what your options are for your specific visa. It can be worth speaking to a mortgage broker who has access to a range of loans that may be applicable for you.

      I hope this somewhat helps.

      Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other enquiries.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  2. Default Gravatar
    SammyMay 22, 2018

    I am a temporary resident holding de facto partner visa 801. Me and my partner are thinking to buy our first home. Are we eligible for first home buyer grant?

    • Default Gravatar
      NikkiMay 22, 2018

      Hi Sammy,

      Thanks for your message and for visiting Finder.

      As per the FHOG eligibility requirement, at least one applicant must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident. So, you may be eligible for First Home Owner Grant if your partner is an Australian citizen, provided you also meet all other FHOG eligibility requirements.

      Hope this was helpful.

      Cheers,
      Nikki

  3. Default Gravatar
    SharadMarch 15, 2018

    I am on 489 visa recently migrated to Adelaide from india in Jan 2018. Started own software company. Planning for buying some property in Adelaide. So looking for loan if possible.

    • Default Gravatar
      LiezlMarch 28, 2018

      Hi Sharad,

      Thanks for visiting Finder!

      As mentioned above, most home loan products available to citizens and permanent residents are also offered to temporary residents, provided that you meet the eligibility criteria and receive the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board’s approval. To compare your loan options, you can speak to a mortgage broker who can take your personal circumstance into account and offer you a range of borrowing options.

      Before applying, please ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria and read through the details of the needed requirements as well as the relevant Product Disclosure Statements/Terms and Conditions when comparing your options before making a decision on whether it is right for you. You can also contact the provider if you have specific questions.

      I hope this helps. Feel free to drop us a note if you have other questions.

      Cheers,
      Liezl

  4. Default Gravatar
    PoobalenMarch 11, 2018

    Im on 489 visa do i need to get FIRB approval?
    Can I use my overseas income details to purchase property in Australia?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayMarch 21, 2018Staff

      Hi Poobalen,

      Thanks for your question.

      Since you’re on a 489 visa (non-resident), yes, you’d need to get approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) if you intend to purchase a property in Australia. If you’re purchasing a property through a home loan, your overall financial situation will be assessed by the lender so it’s their discretion whether to accept your overseas income or not. In case, you’d like to know your options for a loan, best to speak to a mortgage broker.

      Cheers,
      May

  5. Default Gravatar
    ChrisOctober 30, 2017

    Hi, I bought a house and got a 30 year loan before all the FIRB and 457 changes. Still on a 457 and would like to refi to a lower rate. Which banks offer loans to temp residents? We’re also anticipating getting PR soon.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JudithOctober 31, 2017Staff

      Hi Chris,

      I hope all is well with you today. Thanks for contacting Finder.

      You may check a list of options which include banks offering refinance home loans. You can also speak to a mortgage broker who can take your personal circumstance into account and offer you a range of borrowing options.

      Please note that lenders vary in their policies regarding 457 visa holders, but you can generally obtain finance if you have a stable job in a profession that’s in demand, if you have a year or more remaining on your visa and if the majority of your savings are in Australia. However, if you plan to apply for permanent residency, you may want to wait to apply for a home loan, as securing finance is significantly easier for permanent residents.

      I hope this helps.

      Best regards,
      Judith

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