This page is for foreign citizens who currently hold a work visa and are living in Australia.
How much can I borrow?
- 80% of the property value: Anyone who’s in Australia on a work visa can borrow 80% with select banks who are happy to work with foreign citizens living in Australia.
- 90% of the property value: Mortgages for up to 90% of the property value are available as a special exception to normal bank criteria.
- 95% of the property value: Mortgages for up to 95% of the property value are available if your partner is an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
- Visa expiry: As a general rule, your visa must have over 12 months remaining but there are some exceptions to this.
- Medical professionals: Special home loan deals including interest rate discounts and Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) waivers are available on a case by case basis.
The most common type of work visa application we receive is for professionals who are on a 457 visa.
Since March 2018, the 457 visa scheme was completely replaced by the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) scheme.
Slightly different lending rules apply to applicants on a TSS working visa so please see the TSS visa home loan page for more information.
Please call us on 1300 889 743 or fill in our free assessment form to have an obligation-free discussion with one of our mortgage brokers who specialises in lending to foreign citizens living in Australia.
Do I qualify for a 457 home loan?
Not everybody on a 457 visa is eligible. The lending policy is complicated and varies from lender to lender.
You’re likely to get approved if:
- You have at least a year remaining on your visa.
- Most of your savings are already in Australia.
- You have a stable job in a sought after profession.
It isn’t necessary to have an Australian credit history or to be buying a property with an Australian citizen.
We can even help you if you’re currently on a bridging visa, on the path to getting a permanent resident visa.
How can I borrow more than 80%?
If you’ve spoken to another mortgage broker or a bank officer already then you may have been told that you’re only eligible to borrow up to 80% of the property value.
Not all mortgage brokers have experience dealing with temporary residents and they may not know which lenders can help.
We have made special arrangements with some of our lenders to allow for loans of up to 90% of the property value for work visa holders and temporary Australian residents who are working in Australia.
This is designed to help you buy a home with a smaller deposit. If you’re borrowing 90% then you’ll typically need around 18% of the purchase price to cover the deposit, stamp duty (state government tax) and Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI), a one off fee charged usually when borrowing over 80% of the property value.
You don’t need to be married to, or in a de facto relationship with, an Australian citizen or permanent resident. However, if your partner is an Australian citizen then more of our lenders can approve your mortgage.
Please call us on 1300 889 743 or complete our free assessment form to discuss your situation with one of our specialist mortgage brokers. They can let you know if you’re eligible to borrow up to 95% of the property value!
Are first home benefits available?
No, you cannot apply for the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) and other government benefits unless you’re buying jointly with an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
Will I pay a higher interest rate?
As a foreign citizen residing in Australia on a working visa, you won’t have to pay a higher interest rate than Australian citizens or permanent residents.
In fact some of our lenders offer significant discounts and rates below the Bank Standard Variable (BSV) rate if you’re borrowing enough to qualify for a professional package.
If you’re applying for a smaller amount you can still qualify for a competitive basic mortgage.
Check out the special interest rates we have on offer from our panel of lenders.
Should I buy now or wait for permanent residency?
If you’re currently on a bridging visa and will soon be receiving your permanent resident (PR) visa, we recommend you wait.
Alternatively, if you can’t wait and you’re planning to buy with an Australian citizen or PR holder, you may want to consider purchasing in their name.There are a few reasons why you’ll want to consider taking these two options.
Getter better home loan deals from more lenders
You’ll be eligible to borrow more at better interest rates with a wider range of lenders.
The more lenders you qualify with, the better our negotiating power in saving you thousands with a mortgage that best suits your needs.
Avoid FIRB approval
Temporary residents and 457 visa holders are required to get Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval.
If you get your PR, or marry someone who has it, you can avoid the cost and hassle of this government approval process.
Avoid foreigner stamp duty surcharge as a 457 visa holder
Under a government move to curb non-resident investing, temporary residents and 457 visa holders planning to buy residential property in New South Wales, Queensland or Victoria will have to pay a stamp duty surcharge.
The surcharge varies anywhere between 3% to 7% of the land value depending on the state and can add tens of thousands of dollars to your purchase
If you’re close to getting your PR anyway, you may want to wait so you can avoid the surcharge.
Of course, you can also avoid the surcharge if you buy in the name of an Australian citizen under a spousal visa arrangement.
Your only other option is to simply purchase in a state or territory that doesn’t apply a surcharge. At the moment though, the only two locations are Tasmania and Northern Territory so your buying options are limited.
Let us help you to get approved!
In Australia, mortgage brokers are paid by the lender for introducing loans, so you can take advantage of a wide selection of loans from over 40 lenders without it costing you a cent!
We’re mortgage brokers who specialise in lending to people living in Australia on a 457 visa or other type of work visa and can quickly find you the most suitable loan.
If you need a mortgage, speak to us on 1300 889 743 or complete our free assessment form and we can help you with your loan application.
Did you know that we have made special arrangements with Australian lenders enabling us to obtain loan approvals for foreign citizens living in Australia? Even if your bank or mortgage broker has declined your application, please call us!
What if my partner is an Australian citizen?
If you’re married to or defacto with someone who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you have some additional options. Defacto is defined as living together for over 2 years.
As mentioned previously, by having their name on the property title, you can avoid the foreign buyer surcharge and FIRB approval.
However, you may want to keep both names on the mortgage title so that both incomes can be used, improving your borrowing power so you can buy the property you really want.
On that note, lenders generally prefer that the Aussie citizen/PR holder is the main income earner.
Some banks will focus on your partner’s Australian citizenship or PR status, rather than your temporary work visa status.
What that means is that these lenders will see you as a lower risk with stronger ties to Australia and will more likely approve you to borrow up to 95% of the property value.
What will also work in your favour is if you’ve been in a long-term relationship, say 5 years. Having children together or you, as the tempory resident, having family or relatives already living in Australia will also work in your favour.
Which work visa types will the banks lend to?
The Australian Government doesn’t restrict particular visa types when it comes to borrowing money however Australian banks and other lenders tend to prefer the below working visa types:
- Investor Retirement Visa (Subclass 405)
- Temporary Business (Long Stay) – Standard Business Sponsorship (Subclass 457)
- Foreign Government Agency Visa (Subclass 415)
- Domestic Workers Visa (Subclass 426)
- Diplomats Visa (Subclass 995)
- Medical Practitioner (Temporary) Visa (Subclass 422)
In particular, we receive many applications from Temporary Business (long stay) 457 visa holders who have been sponsored by their employer and are looking to apply for a loan to buy a property in Australia.
How much of a deposit do I need?
The size of your deposit will vary depending on which state you buy in and if you are married or defacto with an Australian citizen or not.
The reason for this is that some lenders allow you to add the lenders mortgage insurance on top of the loan, whilst others don’t. And if you buy with an Australian citizen then you may be eligible for government grants.
As a general rule the minimum amount you need is 5% to 10% of the purchase price.
Is Australian government approval required?
The Australian government had previously rolled back its foreign investment laws but since December 2015, Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval may still be required.
When you need FIRB approval
You can buy one established dwelling to live in subject to approval by FIRB and the payment of a fee.
This fee is $5,000 for land up to $1 million and $10,000 for land between $1 million and $1,999,999.
Higher fees apply after this.
Unfortunately, you cannot buy an established dwelling as an investment property.
You’re also required to sell the property 3 months after it ceases to be your principal place of residence.
Despite this, you can buy a new dwelling without being subject to any conditions including selling the property after you leave Australia.
In fact, you can buy an established dwelling (to use as your primary residence) and as many new dwellings to use as investment properties as you like.
Bear in mind, that you will need to get approval prior to each purchase.
When you don’t need FIRB approval
If you’re buying the property with a spouse who’s an Australian citizen and the legal ownership structure is joint tenants, then FIRB approval isn’t necessary.
Many people who buy a home here eventually decide to apply for permanent residency and don’t end up selling the home that they purchased while they were on their working visa.
Don’t worry, getting approval from the government isn’t too difficult as long as you follow their foreign investment rules.
Will I lose my property if I am made redundant?
If you’re on a 457 visa and lose your job it doesn’t immediately impact the property that you own.
If you’re made redundant you have two options available:
- You can find another employer to sponsor you.
- You can apply for another visa such as a bridging visa.
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) will monitor your activities if you’ve recently had your employment terminated. DIAC will take note of any other visa applications you make or if you’re taking action towards gaining further employment.
After 28 days, DIAC may issue you a letter notifying you that they intend to cancel your visa. You have seven to eight days to reply to this letter stating why they should not cancel your 457 visa.
If you do lose your 457 visa then you’re no longer able to live in your property and must leave the country. If the property is an older residence, then it must be sold.
However, if the property was new when you purchased it, or was vacant land that you have built a residence on, then you’re able to keep the property as an investment.
Do I need to notify DIAC?
You don’t need to notify the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) of your property purchase in Australia. We don’t believe that owning property in Australia will alter any decision made by DIAC.
You should refer to your migration agent for more information regarding any immigration enquiries.
Apply for a 457 working visa mortgage
We’re mortgage brokers who specialise in helping people without Australian citizenship to apply for a loan in Australia. We regularly help people on working visas, in particular 457 visas, to buy real estate in Australia.
If you’d like to buy a property in Australia and need mortgage approval please complete our free assessment form or call us on 1300 889 743.