A Guide to Non-Resident Home Loans in Australia

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Key Takeaways

Key Point Description
Definition
Non-resident home loans are designed to enable those who don’t live permanently in Australia or those who aren’t Australian citizens to obtain properties within the country.
Who Can Obtain Non-Resident Loans?
Temporary residents with work, student, and partner visas as well as foreign investors, expatriates, New Zealand citizens and foreign citizens with Australian spouses are eligible to apply for non-resident home loans.
Eligibility Requirements
Those who want to apply for non-resident home loans must be above the age of 18 and must have a visa that allows them to stay in the country for a certain period. They must have a verifiable source of income, stable employment, a good credit history, and an Australian bank account. Non-residents will also need to prepare a larger sum for deposit. Temporary residents and investors will also need approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).
Tips for Qualifying
To qualify for a non-resident home loan, applicants must first understand their visa limitations and how they can affect eligibility. They must establish a financial presence in Australia and ensure they prepare proper documentation and a sizable deposit.
Australia’s property market is attractive for many reasons, including its stability, growth potential, and the lifestyle it offers. However, buying property in the country isn’t as straightforward if you’re a non-resident. This guide will help overseas buyers learn all about non-resident home loans and how to obtain them.

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What are Non-Resident Home Loans?

Non-resident loans are specific financial products designed to enable individuals who do not reside permanently in Australia or who are not Australian citizens to purchase property within the country. These loans cater to a diverse group of people, including temporary residents, foreign investors, and others who see the value in owning property in Australia.

Who Can Obtain Non-Resident Loans?

Temporary Residents

Individuals living in Australia on temporary visas, including work visas, student visas, and partner visas. The type of visa and its validity period can significantly influence loan approval and conditions.

Foreign Investors

People living outside Australia who wish to invest in the Australian property market. This group often faces stricter borrowing criteria and may need approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).

Expatriates

Australian citizens living abroad for work or other reasons who want to invest in property back home. Although technically not non-residents, they are treated similarly by lenders due to their income being earned overseas.

New Zealand Citizens

Often enjoy privileges similar to Australian permanent residents, including the ability to purchase property and access to home loans, due to the close relationship between Australia and New Zealand.

Foreign Citizens with Australian Spouses

Mixed nationality couples where one partner is an Australian citizen or permanent resident may have access to home loans, potentially under more favourable conditions.

Eligibility Requirements for Non-Resident Loans

While eligibility criteria vary, non-resident lenders generally focus their assessment around:

  • Age Requirement: To be eligible for non-resident loans, applicants must be at least 18 years old. Some lenders may also have other age restrictions, especially for more mature applicants.

 

  • Visa Status: Most lenders require non-residents to have a visa that allows them to stay in Australia for a certain period. The type of visa can affect the terms lenders are willing to offer. Permanent Resident (PR) visas and certain temporary visas, like work or student visas, are often viewed more favourably.

 

  • Income Verification: Non-residents must provide proof of income, which can be more challenging if you earn money outside Australia. Lenders will assess your income for stability and continuity, and it may need to be converted into Australian dollars for evaluation purposes.

 

  • Employment Status: Stable employment is important for approval. Lenders look for at least a 3 to 6-month work history in your current job or a longer history in the same industry. If employed outside Australia, the stability of your job and your employer’s reputation can be scrutinised.

 

  • Deposit Requirements: Non-residents usually face higher deposit requirements, often needing at least 30-40% of the property’s purchase price due to higher perceived risks. Some lenders may require even more, depending on your visa type and income source.

 

  • Australian Bank Account: Having an Australian bank account is typically necessary for loan repayments.

 

  • Credit History: If you have an existing credit history in Australia, it will be assessed. If not, lenders may consider your financial history from your home country or look for alternative evidence of financial responsibility.

 

  • FIRB Approval: Temporary residents and foreign investors are subject to regulations by the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). However, if your make a joint application with your Australian national spouse, you don’t need to get approved by the FIRB. You can lodge your application through the Australian Tax Office’s online services.

Tips for Qualifying

Here are some helpful tips to increase the chances of non-resident home loan approval:

 

  • Understand Your Visa Limitations: Different visas have different limitations and privileges regarding property ownership and borrowing capacity in Australia. Ensure you understand the specifics of your visa and how it affects your eligibility for a loan.

 

  • Establish a Financial Presence in Australia: Opening an Australian bank account and, if possible, building a credit history in Australia can enhance your credibility with lenders.

 

  • Secure Stable Employment: Having stable, ongoing employment is crucial, especially if you’re earning in a foreign currency. Lenders will look for stability and reliability.

 

  • Prepare a Significant Deposit: The more you can contribute as a deposit, the lower the risk for the lender. Non-residents may be required to provide a larger deposit, often 30% or more of the property’s value.

 

  • Gather Comprehensive Financial Documentation: This includes bank statements, proof of income, tax returns, and any other documents that can prove your financial stability. The requirements may be more stringent for foreign income.

 

  • Seek Pre-Approval: Loan pre-approval can give you a clear idea of how much you can borrow and show sellers that you’re a serious buyer. It can also speed up the process once you find a property.

 

  • Understand FIRB Requirements: If you need Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval to purchase property, make sure you understand the process and any associated costs.

 

  • Research the Market: Understanding the Australian property market, including prices, trends, and areas of interest, can help you make informed decisions and find a property that is a good investment.

 

  • Plan for the Future: Consider how your circumstances might change and how that could affect your loan. For example, if your visa status changes, it could impact your ability to repay the loan or your eligibility for refinancing.

 

  • Consult with a Loan Expert: A loan professional experienced in non-resident loans can provide invaluable advice, help you navigate the complexities of the application process, and find a lender that suits your needs.

Looking for Residential Properties in Australia?

If you’re a non-resident interested in securing a property in Australia, you can seek help from home-grown loan experts who understand the workings of the country’s housing market.

We can help you every step of the way, from loan pre-approval to picking up the keys to your new property. 

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