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 or a Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa.
If you’d like to buy a property while living in Australia then this page will help to explain how to apply for a mortgage and how we can help.
Slightly different lending rules apply to applicants on a Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) working visa so please see the TSS Visa Home Loan page for more information.
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 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.
- 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?
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.
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?
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.
How can you avoid it?
Firstly, you may want to buy in one of the other four Australian states because they don’t apply a stamp duty surcharge to non-resident buyers as yet.
Secondly, if you’re close to getting your permanent residency anyway, you may want to wait so you can avoid the surcharge.
Finally, you can avoid the surcharge if you buy in the name of an Australian citizen under a spousal visa arrangement.
The stamp duty surcharge can add tens of thousands of dollars to your purchase price so check out the foreign citizen stamp duty page for more information and updates.
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!
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 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!
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.
FAQ: 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.
Are first home benefits available?
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.
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