Mortgage on a 457 visa

2011 March 6

New home owners in AustraliaAre you an employee from overseas currently working in Australia? If your answer is yes then you may be able to apply for a home loan! Applying for either an investment property or just somewhere to live whilst you are in the country, you are able to qualify for at least the same basic competitive rates as an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

There are different names for loans to visa holders that are regularly used. Some examples include(the bottom two are far less common);

  • Temporary business (long stay) Visa home loan or mortgage
  • Work sponsored visa mortgage or home loan
  • 457 visa home loan or mortgage
  • Subclass 457 Business (Long Stay) Visa home loan or mortgage
  • Employee sponsorship visa home loan or mortgage
  • Employer sponsored visa home loan or mortgage
  • And so on…

To quality for application you must satisfy a number of simple criteria. There are more complicated criteria relating to things such as the percentage value of the property you are allowed to borrow, and whether you are eligible for the First Home Buyers Grant.

You can find out more about this by looking up the specialists in work sponsored visa mortgages, the Home Loan Experts.

Initially you must be holding a valid 457 working visa. This means you have been working in the country for a minimum of three months and a maximum of four years. Why four years? This is the length of time the visa will last therefore it is the longest time you can work in the country without renewing the visa or applying for residency.

Importantly, if you are a foreign worker you must apply for loan approval from a body called the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). In the basic terms, it assesses investment applications made by foreigners in Australia. So who needs approval?

  • Australian citizens and permanent residents are exempt.
  • New Zealand citizens are also able to apply without approval.
  • Temporary Australian residents (employed here for over twelve months) may not need approval for most common purchases of real estate.
  • You must have FIRB approval if you are a foreign citizen looking for property in Australia!

After FIRB approval, how large can my loan be?

A loan at 80% of the property value is fairly easy to find. Including the value of the property plus other fees such as stamp duty, this means that you would need to have approximately 24% of the value of the home in savings.

As mentioned above there are certain criteria that decrease the amount you need upfront, therefore lowering your deposit. This means the bank or lender loans you a greater percentage of the property value. In some cases you can even borrow above 95%. Some criteria the lenders take into consideration include;

  • A married or defacto spouse living in the country.
  • If you have been in Australia longer than twelve months and are therefore classified as a temporary resident.
  • If you have savings in a savings account, shares, or a term deposit of at least 5% of the property value. This proves you are fairly careful with money and can service a larger loan.
  • You profession such as whether you work as a medical professional.

Follow the links below to talk to a mortgage broker and find out if your situation qualifies you for a larger loan.

Once your visa is close to expiry and you do not want to sell your home, there is always the option of applying for permanent residency. This is a fairly common way for foreign workers to keep their property in Australia. Some of course have found fairly permanent employment or start a family and decide to live here.

Now I have more information, what do I do now?

It is important to get the right information specific to your situation!

If you are declined a 457 visa mortgage even once it can damage your chances of approval going forward. Discussing this with a mortgage broker BEFORE you apply is an important step. Their services are normally free and can help make sure if you qualify you can find approval the first time you apply.

The Home Loan Experts have mortgage brokers who have been finding these loans for clients for years. Contact them now on 1300 889 743 or enquire online to discuss your circumstances.

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