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Mortgages for Foreign Nationals

Can I get a foreign national mortgage in the UK?

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By Pete Mugleston   Mortgage Advisor

Last updated: 15th April 2019 *

With a steady increase in enquiries for advice on foreign national mortgages, making sure everyone has the correct information they need on the often complex topic is more crucial than ever. Although numerous  websites and forums claim to have the answers to important questions about mortgages for foreign nationals, many will find it’s often difficult to get reliable advice.

As a way to prevent more people from being misinformed, we’ve compiled a handy guide for non-UK citizens with all of the key things you need to know.

You’ll find the following topics covered below...

At Online Mortgage Advisor we assist in helping people to get the best from their foreign national mortgage. Our platform allows everyone to make enquiries and as a part of our mission to help you get the right information, we match people with specialists who offer expert advice.

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Can I get a foreign national mortgage in the UK?

Yes! An ever increasing number of lenders are offering foreign national mortgages and we work with expert brokers who arrange these products every day.

What is a foreign national mortgage?

To put it simply, a foreign national mortgage is a type of mortgage for those who fit into the following three criteria:

  • If you don’t have permanent residency in the UK
  • You were born outside of the EU but have indefinite leave to remain or permanent residency
  • This may also apply in some ways you if you’re an EU citizen too

Common foreign national mortgage guidelines

Most foreign national mortgage lenders take into consideration two key factors when assessing if applicants are suitable for a mortgage:

  • How long you have left on your visa to stay in the UK
  • What type of visa you have (Some lenders offer mortgages to those on a Spouse Visa but not, for example, a Student Visa)
  • How long you have been in the UK

The majority lenders will want you to either have lived or worked in the UK for at least 12 months before they’d offer you a foreign national mortgage.

To stand a better chance of getting a mortgage as a foreign national, it would be beneficial when applying if you have at least two years left on your visa.

The best way to find out more about guidelines and how they could affect you is to make an enquiry with us so we can put you in touch with a specialist tailored to your needs and circumstances.

How to get a foreign national mortgage in the UK

Don’t let bad advice scare you into thinking you can’t get a mortgage in the UK without having a British passport - it’s more than possible to get exactly what you need if you take the following into consideration.

First step, if you haven’t done so already, open a bank account and keep it active. Being in a permanent job in the UK is also a great way to make your application more attractive to lenders.

If neither option is for you, some lenders accept mortgages paid from an overseas income or paid in foreign currency, see our guide here for more information.

We also work with specialist foreign national mortgage brokers who can offer bespoke advice on these products - make an enquiry to speak with one of them over the phone today.

Visa classes and how it affects lending

When it comes to foreign national mortgages, your visa type is very important - as for many it determines status - and again links to the lender criteria of checking how long you have been in the country and will stay there.

Here are the three main types of visas and what they could mean for your mortgage potential:

  • Family visa:
    These visas cover those who are married and live with their spouse, as well as blood relatives i.e. child, parent etc.
    There is an option for a joint application if a foreign national on these visas, which has many benefits and it also allows you to work.
  • Tier 1 or 2 Work visa:
    Getting a mortgage on either visa you increase your chances of a successful application the longer you have left on your visa.
    Majority of lenders will ask that foreign nationals have around 1-2 years left remaining as this gives them more confidence you are able to stay in the country long enough to cover payments for the duration of the mortgage.
  • EU citizen:
    Normally entitled to the same mortgage and lending options as a UK citizen but this is of course dependant on if you have credit history here that can count towards your application.

The easiest way to ensure you are on the right track and get support from those who know all about how best to apply with your visa situation is to reach out to us. We can get you the specialist guidance you need from the team of brokers we work with.

Buy to let mortgages for foreign nationals

Buy to let mortgages for foreign nationals are judged by lenders - in terms of risk - in a very similar way to a standard mortgage. Long term stay either before or post application is encouraged, especially because it affords them more credit history to check.

This means the process is often more simple for those who have full working UK permits, permanent residence rights in the UK or have lived in the country for two years.

That’s not to say that lenders will not consider those who do not match those requirements, as the dedicated brokers we work assist in all circumstances - so don’t hesitate to make an enquiry.

Can I get a foreign national commercial mortgage?

Yes, this could be possible. At the time of writing, UK property remains popular among foreign investors and we work with expert international mortgage brokers who arrange commercial mortgages.

One thing to keep in mind is that commercial mortgages work and are assessed differently to residential. You can read more about this in our guide to commercial mortgages or make an enquiry for specialist advice.

Foreign national mortgage rates and lenders

As rates chop and change it’s best to focus on averages when trying to determine if you will get a good one. Mortgage financing for foreign nationals can also be a little complex. Being a foreign national may place you in a position where you are viewed as more of a risk to lenders, though other factors are also kept in mind.

Things that may affect you - or create a higher possibility of being declined would be things like - adverse credit history, income source, deposit size and property type to name a common issues few.

Luckily, the Online Mortgage Advisor site is designed to answer most of your questions via comprehensive guides but it’s always best to take full advantage of all the services.

Where to find mortgage brokers for foreign nationals

If you have questions about where to find foreign national mortgages and need the right advice make an enquiry here to speak with a specialist broker.

Allow a team of experts to help match you with a broker that suits your needs and circumstances. Using our services won’t have an effect on your credit rating and of course won’t cost you a penny because there are zero fees.

Updated: 15th April 2019
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FCA disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The info on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs. Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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