Australian expats in Switzerland can get a home loan!

How much can I borrow?

  • Australian citizens and permanent resident (PR) visa holders living in Switzerland may be able to borrow up to 90% of the property value.
  • You can qualify for the same interest rates as an Australian citizen.
  • Self-employed borrowers may be able to borrow up to 80% of the property value with one of our lenders and we have at least one that will use 90% of your net income rather than gross income.
  • Loans available for purchase, refinance, investment property or to buy a house and land package.
  • If you’re a dual citizenship holder or you’re married to a foreign national, some lenders may unfairly treat you as a foreigner so choosing a lender that favours expats is essential to borrowing at the maximum Loan to Value Ratio (LVR)
  • A Power Of Attorney (POA) in the name of a solicitor or family member is required by some banks.

Call us on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 from outside of Australia) or complete our easy free online assessment form to speak with one of our mortgage brokers who can help you get approved with the right lender.


Am I eligible for a competitive home loan?

Australian expats in Switzerland can qualify for a home loan with the same interest rate as any Aussie!

However, you’ll need to provide sufficient documents to prove your income in order to qualify for a mortgage.

Some factors that determine how much the bank may lend to you are:

  • Your credit history.
  • Evidence of your income.
  • Your savings.
  • The status of your visa.

Although some banks may not offer you the same discounts as people living in Australia, we can help you negotiate a substantial discount below the Bank Standard Variable Rate (BSVR).


How will banks access my CHF income?

Swiss Franc (CHF) is one of the most common currencies that Australian banks deal with, which means that you have a good chance to get approved for a mortgage!

Switzerland is currently ranked as the wealthiest country in the world (in per capita terms) so it’s common to find Australians working for multinational corporations earning in Euros, Great Britain Pounds Sterling (GBP) or even US dollars (USD) in Switzerland.

Check out the Australian expat mortgage page to find out if your foreign income is accepted.


What are the costs involved?

As a general rule, borrowers are required to have at least 5% of the value of the property to cover various costs associated with buying a property in Australia.

Some of these costs include:

  • Legal fees: Often $800 to $2,000.
  • Loan establishment fees: Can sum up to $895 (depending on the lender).
  • Stamp duty (state government taxes/fees): You can refer to our Stamp Duty Calculator to get an idea about this.
  • Property inspection fees (building, pest and strata inspection): Normally up to $800.
  • Buyers agents fee: The cost depends on the nature of the service provided.
  • Other minor costs: Costs for building insurance, council rates, water rates, etc.

You can get a better idea of the costs involved by using our Purchasing Costs Calculator.

You can also call us on 1300 1800 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 if you’re outside Australia) and speak with our mortgage brokers who can help you get a competitive mortgage approved!


Do I need approval from the Australian government?

If you’re an Australian expat in Switzerland, then you don’t need Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval when buying a property in Australia.

The approval is only required if you’re a foreign citizen who would like to invest or buy a home in Australia.

You also don’t need FIRB approval if you’re an Australian permanent resident living in Switzerland.

What if I’m married to a foreign spouse?

You won’t need an FIRB approval even if your husband/wife or de facto partner is a foreign citizen.

Can I avoid the foreigner stamp duty surcharge?

Yes! Australian citizens living in Switzerland are exempt from stamp duty and land tax surcharges that have been introduced to almost all states across Australia.

That’s because expats are, for all intents and purposes, still considered Australian citizens, even if they’re non-residents.

The caveat to this rule is if you’re buying with a partner who is not an Australian citizen.

If their name is on the property title, you can still be hit with the foreign citizen surcharge.

To avoid paying potentially thousands more in tax, you may want to consider having just your name on the property title.


How will I be taxed?

Australians living overseas are sometimes required to make superannuation contributions under the legislation of both countries for the same work.

In order to prevent this, Australia and Switzerland signed a bilateral double super coverage agreement on 1 January 2008. However, it only applies to superannuation contributions made on or after this time.

You can get the latest news and updates on taxation policies from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) website or the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FTA) website.

Also, check the superannuation as a deposit page to find out how you can use your super funds as a deposit!


How will my debt in Switzerland be assessed?

Foreign debt is usually assessed at Australian interest rates which may sometimes be higher than what you’re already paying.

In case you’re renting in Switzerland, some lender may take into account the rent you’re paying when assessing your total debt.

It’s recommended that you provide your rental statements along with your current debts as it can help prove that you can cover the debts you’re paying off. It can also help reduce any negative scoring due to debts.


What if I can’t provide sufficient documents?

Do you run your own business in Switzerland?

Your loan process may become complicated if you’re a business owner.

As a general rule, most banks will want to see your full financial statement, including your tax returns for the last two years, notices of assessment and a letter from your accountant, which can make the entire process difficult.

Luckily, not all banks have the same requirement for self-employed borrowers.

Depending on the lender you apply with, you won’t need to provide tax returns or financials as long as you sign a declaration confirming your income.

You may be charged Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI), a one off fee that acts as insurance for the lender if you’re borrowing over 60% of the purchase price.

Our mortgage brokers are specialists in finding low doc solutions for Australian expats in Switzerland!

Call us today on 1300 1800 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 if you’re outside Australia) and let us help you find a suitable lender that meets your financial needs.


Do my foreign documents need witnessing?

As one of Australian expats in Switzerland, generally, you’ll need to have copies of your ID and supporting documents witnessed by an authorised witness when applying for a home loan from outside of Australia.

The documents that may require an authorised witness signature include:

  • The loan offer or mortgage contract between you and the bank.
  • A statutory declaration or a ‘stat dec’ to confirm a particular piece of information requested by the lender.
  • Certified identification, such as a photocopy of your ID that has been signed and certified by an authorised witness.
  • The mortgage form, the actual document lodged with the government to register the lender’s interest in your property.

The documents that require witnessing often depends on the state in which the property is located in as well as the lender you’re applying with.

Did your bank request an unreasonable stat dec?

Complete our free online assessment form and one of our lenders can help you find a more suitable lender for your home loan.


How is an Australian mortgage different from a mortgage in Switzerland?

The process of obtaining finance in Australia is quite different from other countries like Switzerland.

First off, the interest rates and house prices in Australia are comparatively much higher than that of Switzerland. On top of this, it’s common to find new migrants who have experienced poor and inefficient service from Australian banks.

Even with this, home loans for Australian expats in Switzerland are quite flexible and easy to manage once they’ve been set up. With an Australian mortgage, you can:

  • Make unlimited additional repayments. This doesn’t apply to fixed rate mortgages.
  • Access/redraw the extra repayments that you’ve made.
  • Get flexible lending policies and fewer restrictions for people living outside Australia that want to buy or invest in an Australian property.
  • Get packages that include a cheque account, credit card and mortgage, all with special discounts.
  • Contact specialist non-resident/foreign customer call centres or credit team exclusive to a few banks.

Our mortgage brokers specialise in getting loans approved for Australian expats in Switzerland!

We can help you get approved for a great home loan by matching you with the right lender from our panel of almost 40 lenders!

Call us on 1300 1800 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 if you’re outside Australia) or complete our easy free online assessment form today!

  • Gabriel

    I’m an Australian working in Switzerland and have been doing so the last couple of years. I work as lab technician in Pfizer, Zurich. I’m thinking of buying a property in Brisbane as an investment. Will I be taxed again since I’m living overseas?

  • Hi Gabriel,
    Australians living overseas are sometimes required to make superannuation contributions under the legislation of both countries for the same work. This means that Australian expats in some countries can be taxed twice (in the case, a super contribution) which can seriously reduce their assessable income and their borrowing power for a home loan in Australia.

    Luckily, Australia and Switzerland signed a bilateral double super coverage agreement on 1 January 2008 in order to prevent this. However, it only applies to superannuation contributions made on or after this time. You can get the latest news and updates on taxation policies from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) website. Call us on +61 2 9194 1700 to discover how we could help you