If you are not a US Citizen, it can be a long and difficult road to obtain a mortgage. Many lenders won’t makes mortgages to people who don’t have social security numbers or permanent work stability. For the purposes of getting a mortgage, US Citizens and Permanent Resident Aliens are the same, with one subtle difference, the Permanent Resident Alien possesses a green card their citizenship authenticity in the United States.
Terms to understand..
US Citizen-natural person born United States with a valid social security number
Permanent Resident Alien-person who possesses a green card making them a citizen in the United States who also possesses a valid social security number
Non-Permanent Resident Alien-person who does not possess a Green Card and has a valid social security number. A host country like the U.S., will offer temporary employment to a Non-US Citizen bringing from their home country, during their stay here in the United States, this person is considered to be Non-Permanent Resident Alien, meaning that their residency is not permanent, due to a fixed employment term in most cases.
Mortgage conditions for non-US Citizens: loopholes to be aware of
*Borrower’s ideally want to show the continuance of income for at least three years and need to be filing U.S. Income Tax Returns.*
For conventional loans , those backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, restrictions are more stringent on both Permanent Resident Aliens and Non-Permanent Resident Aliens.
Permanent Resident Aliens must have at least one of the following:
- Permanent Resident Card Form l-551 with an original term of ten years, (doesn’t matter even if term is set to expire).
- Permanent Resident Card Form l-551 valid for two years with supporting receipts from INS
- INS receipt for a petition to remove condition residence form l-175, filed by the spouse who is a citizen
Non-permanent Resident Aliens must have a valid work visa or other supporting documentation of legal residency. Such documentation includes any of the following designation visas:
- E1, E2, H1B, H2 A, H2B, H3, L1, G series and 0-1.
- valid social security number is needed
- Foreign nationals, or consumers with diplomatic immunity or any borrower without a social security card will be very hard pressed to find financing in this credit climate
For government mortgages, insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), terms are more lenient. You need not be a US Citizen in order to get an FHA Loan. As long as you plan to occupy the property as your primary residence, even if you are a Non-Permanent Resident Alien, you are still eligible for financing.
*Mortgage Tip: If you’re looking to get a mortgage, and are a Permanent Resident Alien, the FHA Loan is more flexible to the extent your temporary residency in the United States is not set to expire in the next 12 months. If it is set to expire the next 12 months, strong supporting documentation will need to be provided to show this extension is approved and, or more emphasis will be on continuance of residency from the INS, supporting the long term income condition.
Q & A on citizenship in conjunction with qualifying for a mortgage
Q: Can I get a conventional loan if I’m not a US citizen?
A: You would likely fall into the Non-Permanent Resident Alien category and the answer is yes, so long as you can support a three-year continuance of income, have a valid social security number, and you have an eligible work visa. If your work visa is not any of the following E1, E2, H1B, H2 A, H2B, H3, L1, G series and 0-1, this doesn’t necessarily preclude you from being able to get a mortgage.
Q: Can get a mortgage loan if I’m a Permanent Resident Alien?
A: Definitely, provide a copy of your Permanent Resident Alien Card/Green Card, and two years copies of your US Income Tax Returns, and in most cases you should be good to go.
If you are seeking mortgage loan financing and are not a US Citizen, you can still qualify for a loan. If you like to learn more about your unique situation and whether or not you qualify for financing, start today by getting prequalified with us online today with no obligation.