Home loan options for temporary residents of Australia

If you're on a temporary visa in Australia, you can qualify for a home loan. But there are more hoops to jump through.

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Temporary residents of Australia who have been issued a visa may be able to qualify for a home loan in Australia. You will need to provide proof that you have a steady source of income and in most cases will need to get special permission from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).

If those qualifications are met, you will be able to apply for and receive a home loan worth up to 80% of the value of the property. Unfortunately as a temporary resident, you will not be eligible for a First Home Owner’s Grant (FHOG) unless you are purchasing the property jointly with your Australian citizen or permanent resident spouse.

One way to find out what loans may be available to you if you're a temporary resident is through a mortgage broker.

Find a mortgage broker to help you get a home loan

What home loans are available to temporary residents in Australia?

The home loan options being offered to temporary Australian residents are typical mortgage packages that would be available to Australian citizens or permanent residents. The main difference being the cap on the amount you are allowed to borrow and the down payment that is required. Depending on your job circumstances you may be able to qualify for up to 90% of the value of the property. The loan types on offer include:

  • Basic home loan. This features a lower variable interest rate and your choice of 30 year terms or 15 year interest-only payments.
  • Standard variable rate home loan. Features a competitive variable interest rate for your loan and the ability to request to redraw funds from your extra payments.
  • Fixed rate home loan. Allows you to choose terms of one to five years at an interest rate that will not change over the course of the loan.

You can lock in at a low advertised rate and have three months before it can rise. The wide array of options that are available to temporary residents of Australia allows for you to choose the terms that will work best for your budget.

Pros and cons of a temporary resident home loan

Pros

  • Same terms. You are offered the same terms and interest rates as Australian citizens and permanent residents. There are no penalties for your temporary resident status such as higher monthly payments on your loan.
  • All features are available. There are features available including offset accounts and the option to delay your mortgage payments under certain circumstances.

Cons

  • You must receive approval. You will need to obtain approval from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board before qualifying for a temporary resident home loan
  • No first home owner grant. You can’t access the FHOG unless your spouse or partner is an Australian citizen or permanent resident

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 two 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. Keep in mind, you don't have access to grants and incentives like waiving of stamp duty for first home buyers, if you are a temporary resident.

FAQ about getting a home loan as a temporary resident

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12 Responses

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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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