Australian citizens who are living overseas can apply for a home loan to buy real estate in Australia or they can even refinance their existing home loan.

Thousands of Australian citizens who have moved overseas continue to invest in the Australian property market because it’s familiar to them, stable and can generate great returns.

Need help buying a property in Australia?
Talk to our experts and get a free assessment.

Can I qualify for a home loan?

  • You can borrow up to 95% of the property value if you have a good job overseas and a clear credit history in Australia
  • Self-employed borrowers may be able to borrow up to 80% of the property value with one of our lenders.
  • Interest rate discounts are available from some lenders even if you are overseas.
  • Loan available for purchase, refinance, investment property or to buy a house and land package.
  • The currency of your income is important and will affect which lenders will accept your application.
  • If you are married to a foreign citizen then some lenders will not accept your application.
  • Foreign business income is acceptable to a small number of Australian lenders.
  • Your borrowing power may be reduced due to some lenders allowing for large exchange rate movements.
  • A Power Of Attorney (POA) in the name of a solicitor or family member is required by some banks.

Looking for help with your home loan?

Please call us on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 from outside of Australia) or enquire online and one of our specialist mortgage brokers will help you to get approved.

Will I pay a higher interest rate?

Some banks do not allow people living overseas to qualify for discounted home loans.

As specialist mortgage brokers we can often successfully negotiate a substantial discount below the Bank Standard Variable (BSV) rate with some of our lenders.

You should not pay a higher interest rate for an Australian mortgage, unless you can’t provide evidence of your foreign income.

Will my currency be accepted?

Since you’re earning an income in a foreign currency, the first thing you’ll have to work out is whether your currency will be accepted. The most common currencies we deal with include:

  • United States Dollar (USD)
  • Great Britain Pounds Sterling (GBP)
  • Euro
  • Singapore Dollar (SGD)
  • Canadian Dollar (CAD)
  • Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
  • Japanese Yen (JPY)
  • Swiss Franc (CHF)
  • New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
  • Chinese Renminbi (CNY) – Conditions apply

For the above currencies, there is a good chance that we will be able to get you approved for a loan but what if you earn an income in a currency that falls outside of this list?

You may still be able to qualify for a mortgage although restrictions and conditions may apply, such as restricting your borrowing power to 80% of the property value (Loan To Value Ratio):

  • Bahrain Dinar (BHD)
  • Bruneian Dollar (BND)
  • Danish Krone (DKK)
  • Fijian Dollar (FJD)
  • Indian Rupee (INR)
  • Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
  • Kuwaiti Dinar (KWD)
  • Macau Pataca (MOP)
  • Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)
  • Norwegian Krone (NOK)
  • Oman Rial (OMR)
  • Papua New Guinean Kina (PGK)
  • Philippine Peso (PHP)
  • Qatari Riyal (QAR)
  • Samoan Tala (WST)
  • Saudi Arabian Riyal (SAR)
  • Solomon Island Dollar (SBD)
  • South African Rand (SAR)
  • South Korean Won (KRW)
  • Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)
  • Taiwan New Dollar (TND)
  • Thai Baht (TBH)
  • Tongan Pa’anga (TOP)
  • Turkish Lira (TRY)
  • United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED)
  • Vanuatu Vatu (VUV)
  • Vietnamese Dong (VND)

It’s important to keep in mind that investment policy changes on a regular basis including which currencies lenders will accept for the purposes of expats and foreign investors wanting to purchase property in Australia.

Please call us on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 from outside of Australia) or complete our free assessment form and we can tell you if we can get you approved.

Will I need a deposit?

Most non-residents looking for a home loan will need to provide a 5% deposit and have enough funds to pay for stamp duty and other expenses. This deposit must usually be in the form of genuine savings, or it may not be accepted by lenders.

If you have a larger deposit or already own real estate in Australia then you may not be required to prove any genuine savings.

If your parents own a property in Australia then you may qualify for a guarantor loan which means that you don’t need a deposit at all.


Getting a home loan with a foreign citizen

If you’re married to or in a defacto relationship with a foreign citizen then this will affect the way that some banks see your application.

There’s three ways that they could assess your application:

  • Assess you both as Australian citizens.
  • Assess you both as foreign investors.
  • Use the nationality of the highest income earner to determine how to assess your loan

The problem is that if you are assessed as a foreign investor then only a small part of your income will be used and you’ll require a larger deposit.

With some lenders you will also pay a higher interest rate.

You can avoid this by apply with a lender that has favourable lending policy for someone in your situation.

Please call us on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 from outside of Australia) or complete our free assessment form and we can let you know which banks will accept your situation.

How can I prove my income?

If your payslips or foreign tax returns are in English then these can be provided as evidence of your income.

Several of our lenders have specialist non-resident departments with staff that understand most common languages, so even if your documents require translation this is not normally a problem.

A valid work visa is required by several lenders as part of their verification process. This is waived if you are a dual citizen or can provided other evidence that you are permitted to work in that country.

What about my foreign partner’s salary?

Most lenders will ignore the income of your partner if they are not an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident (PR) holder.

However, this is a very grey area of policy and we have many clients that we have helped to get approved by making a case.

A lender may consider your wife or husband’s income in the following circumstances:

  • They have a valid visa for Australia.
  • They’re living in Australia.
  • They have ties to Australia such as family or close relatives.
  • You have children together.
  • You are married or have been defacto for over two years.
  • You’re the main income earner.

It’s best to call us to discuss your situation by calling 1300 889 743 or by filling in our free assessment form today.

What if I’m self-employed

If you’re self employed then there are very few lenders that will accept your income.

It’s much easier to assess overseas PAYG income than trying to work out the income earned by a self-employed Australian expat.

We have a couple of options that may be able to assist depending on whether you have an accountant or not, the country you are in and the currency of your income.

You may actually be able to borrow up to 80% of the property value with one of our lenders if you can provide all of the following:

  • 2 years personal and business tax returns or Notices of Assessment.
  • 6 months business bank statements.
  • An accountants letter verifying your income.

What if I earn in dual currencies?

It’s not uncommon for Australians abroad to earn an income in more than one currency.

This is particularly true of professionals working at large multi-nationals with offices in many different countries around the world.

If both currencies are on the preferred or secondary currency lists mentioned above, then there are banks that will consider these income sources.

Bear in mind that a different foreign currency exchange rate will apply to each currency type which may affect your overall borrowing power.

If only one or none of the currencies you earn in are in either of the lists, don’t worry. We may still be able to get you approved for an Australian expat home loan.

Your borrowing power

Exchange rate fluctuations, foreign tax rates, negative gearing benefits and repayments on foreign debts can mean that calculating your borrowing power is quite complicated and will vary between lenders.

Most lenders will use:

  • Somewhere between 60% and 90% of your actual income.
  • Australian tax rates even if you are living in a country without income tax.
  • No negative gearing benefits.
  • Loaded repayments on your foreign loans.

How does the foreign exchange work?

When converting your foreign currency into Australia dollars, most lenders will use their own exchange rate, which is more conservative than the current market rate for your currency.

If your foreign currency is not on the preferred or secondary list, the lender will either not accept your currency or apply a reduced rate from XE Live Exchange Rates.

Unfortunately, depending on your currency, this can have a big impact on your borrowing power.

Speak with us and we can let you know if we can negotiate with the lender on what method of foreign exchange they use.

Do I need a Power of Attorney (POA)

If you’re overseas then it’s quite handy to have a trusted family member, friend or solicitor that can sign documents on your behalf. A Power Of Attorney allows them to do this.

Some lenders require you to have a power of attorney that meets their requirements. They may require you to have a POA with a solicitor or a family member which may mean your current POA isn’t accepted.

Other lenders do not accept a POA! This can be a real hassle if you then need to have documents couriered overseas and then you need to attend the Australian colsulate to have them witnessed.

It’s a good idea to ask your mortgage broker what the lender’s requirements are before you both decide on a lender.


Choose your lender carefully

The main problem faced by most Australian expatriates is that they have great trouble meeting the requirements to get their loan approved. Did you know that?:

  • Some banks need to see your original payslips, tax returns and other documents prior to loan approval.
  • There can be significant delays if you choose a lender that does not have a loan processing system that is designed to handle foreign addresses or foreign phone numbers.
  • Many lenders will not approve a loan for more than 80% of the property value.
  • Some lenders may require you to sign a formal loan offer at the nearest Australian Consulate.
  • Several lenders charge higher interest rates if you are outside of Australia.

We are specialists in Australian expat mortgages!

Here are a few reasons why you should use our services:

  • Many of our customers are Australian citizens or dual citizens living overseas who want to invest in the Australian property market.
  • We will choose a lender that accepts your situation. This way, you can avoid many of the headaches associated with applying for a loan.
  • Most of our services are free.
  • We know over 40 banks & lenders.

Having an expert mortgage broker in Australia can make all the difference! Please call 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 from outside of Australia) or enquire online and our team will contact you to discuss how we can help.

Is Australian government approval required?

No, Foreign Investment Review Board approval is not required, even if you are buying with a spouse who is not an Australian citizen (refer to the FIRB guidelines for more information).

Case Study

After a few years working at a large electricity and gas provider learning his trade as an electrician, 35-year-old Tom decided it was time for something more.

Applying for a senior position at a major building company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), his skills and expertise saw him land the job and he and his wife, Tracey (a US citizen), moved to Dubai to start the next chapter in their lives.

Although Tom’s new income was enough to live comfortably, Tracey wanted to work and was soon able to get a position at a local hairdresser, the same work she had been doing in Australia.

With stable employment and a good salary supplemented with Tracey’s income, the couple felt they were in a good position to purchase an investment property in Australia.

Having found a property, and with a deposit of 18% of the purchase price, they approached their bank in Australia for a loan. Unfortunately, they were knocked back because most banks don’t accept UAE dirham (AED) currency.

Fortunately, they got in touch with a mortgage broker that specialises in Australian expat mortgages who was able to find a lender that would accept AED. In order to qualify though, they would need an extra 2% of the purchase price as a deposit since the lender would only lend up to 80% of the property value.

On Tom’s income though, they were soon able to save this little bit extra and qualify for an investment loan. The vendor was even willing to hold off selling the property until Tom and Tracey were able to sort out their finances so they were even able to purchase the prime piece of real estate they wanted.

Apply for a home loan

We’re mortgage brokers who specialise in helping people overseas to buy property in Australia.

We have helped countless Australian expats buy a holiday home or invest in Australian real estate.

Our Australian mortgage brokers are based in Sydney, Australia but our services are available worldwide.

With a team of offshore credit experts located in Nepal, our mortgage brokers are available outside of standard Australian business hours so we can work with your timezone and personal schedule.

If you are an Australian expat, would like to buy a property in Australia and would like to know more about how we can help, then please contact us on 1300 889 743 during business hours (+61 2 9194 1700 from outside of Australia) or enquire online.

  • Anora Sendurgut

    Hi, I am an Australian citizen working in Turkey, my income is in USD but subject to local law my salary is exchanged into the local currency, I have been working with the same company for 9 years. I have been recently rejected by a big bank who specialises in expat mortgages due to the fact that I am a dual passport holder (also a Turkish citizen). Will any other banks or institutes approve me if I have 20% plus stamp duty?

  • Hi Anora,

    Yes we can assist with this. We’d need evidence of your USD salary via a copy of your employment contract. Dual passport holders are acceptable for some of our lenders. We have a broker who is Turkish and specialises in expat lending so I’ll get him to email you.

  • Robert

    Hi, I am an Australian citizen working in the People’s Republic of China for the last few years, I am also married to a Chinese national. We have a 10% deposit saved in a Chinese bank and my regular income is in CNY. We are wanting to purchase a home in Australia also with the possibility of renting the property to a family member in our absence. What is the likely hood on being approved a home loan from abroad, under these circumstances.

  • Hi Robert,
    We can help you to borrow up to 80% of the property value so your deposit would be the main problem. If you have a family member in Australia that owns a property then we could consider a guarantor loan https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/guarantor-home-loans/

  • Campese Maafu

    My names George David Campese Maafu and I currently live in the U.K with my wife and 7yo son.

    We are originally from Sydney but moved here as I am a professional rugby player and have been for 6 years over here in the U.K

    My family and I are looking to move back very soon to Australia preferably Sydney. We have a savings of about £20k and are looking to buy our first home when we return.

    Can we still get approved for home loans being out of the country so long?

    What are some strategies that could work in our favour in order to be approved for a home loan?

    How can we prepare ourselves to apply for a home loan in return?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    George.M

  • Hi George,
    Yes you can qualify for a home loan when you return. If you’re an Australian Citizen or Australian Permanent Resident then this should be fine. You’ll need new employment in Australia before you can get approved. A contract with another club would be ok.
    £20k may not be enough of a deposit to buy a place in Sydney, it just depends on how much you would like to spend. So the best way to prepare is to save as much as you can and to keep these savings in a bank account. This is what they should look like https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/genuine-savings/
    FYI there are some special packages for sportsmen and entertainment professionals which you may qualify for https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/unusual-employment-loans/mortgages-for-sports-players/

  • Jonathan Nesbitt

    Hi there,

    I’m a Canadian, married to an Australian living in Tokyo. We want to buy our PPR, but can only find banks willing to do 60% LVR. My wife doesn’t work, but are there any visa’s that I can apply for to help with my application even though I’m still overseas? We want to buy the home before we move back to Australia.

  • Hi Jonathan,
    Yes this is possible however it may not be straightforward. As you are the primary income earner and are not an Australian citizen some banks don’t see this favourably. Whereas if your wife was the primary earner this would be fine.
    If we can show evidence that you plan to return to Australia and that place you are buying is near your wife’s family then this shows ties to Aus and can help us to get an exception to policy
    As you’re earning JPY we can likely use 80% of your income when assessing your ability to repay a loan and we can help you to borrow 80% of the property value (varies depending on the lender).
    If you’d like our help then please contact us here https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

  • Antony John Parker

    Sorry, can’t help, but I’m also in Japan and looking for any bank that will give me a line of credit backed by my Australian property. Any leads would be greatly appreciated.

  • Hi Antony yes we can help with this. Some banks have issues with releasing cash for someone who is overseas. We have to do some additional checks but aside from that we should be fine.
    If you’d like our help then please contact us https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

  • mac

    I applied for a home loan with BankWest but I found out that they recently changed their policy to lend a maximum of 60% for Australian expats! The banker told me that nobody lends to Australians living overseas. Can anyone else help?

  • Hi mac,

    Yes, that’s true. There are other lenders that can allow you to borrow more. Because you’re an Australian expat, some lenders can allow you to borrow up to 95% of the property value. However, if you’re assessed as a foreigner then this can drop to 80%. Please call us on our overseas number +61 2 9194 1700 to discuss with an Australia expat home loan specialist.

  • Jilian

    Wait, so BankWest dropped their max LVR for expats and CBA owns BankWest so does that means CBA will follow the same changes as well?

  • We don’t know this as yet. We find the banks review their policies in this area quite regularly. CBA and BankWest don’t have the same policy, however, it is the same in some areas.