This page is for foreign citizens who currently hold a work visa and are living in Australia. The most common type of work visa application we receive is for professionals who are on a 457 visa.
If you’d like to buy a property while living in Australia then this page will explain how to apply for a mortgage and what we can do to help you qualify.
How much can I borrow?
The amount that you can borrow depends on your situation, your employment history and your marital status:
- 80% of the property value: Anyone who’s in Australia on a work visa can borrow 80% with select banks who’re happy to work with foreign citizens living in Australia.
- 95% of the property value: Mortgages for up to 95% of the property value are available as a special exception to normal bank criteria.
- Medical professionals: Special loan packages are available on a case by case basis.
Did you know that in Australia, mortgage brokers don’t charge any fees for most loans?
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.
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 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 95% of the property value for work visa holders and temporary Australian residents who’re working in Australia.
This is designed to help you buy a home with a smaller deposit. If you’re borrowing 95% then you’ll typically need around 13% 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.
Is Australian government approval required?
The Australian government has recently changed and then rolled back our foreign investment laws but FIRB approval may still be required depending on your situation.
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.
You can also buy an investment property and, if it’s a newly-built dwelling, you won’t usually be required to sell the property when you leave Australia.
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.
On that note, you don’t need to notify the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) of your property purchase in Australia.
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.
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.
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.