Will I get approved for a home loan with a 494 visa?

Yes, a 494 Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa holder can get a home loan up to a maximum of 90% of the property value including Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) provided you meet all the eligibility criteria.

Generally, to qualify, you must:

  • Have over 12 months remaining on your Australian visa;
  • Be earning your income in Australian dollars (AUD);
  • Provide a copy of your passport and visa, including the visa number; and
  • Provide a copy of the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval;

Apart from those listed above, standard lending criteria and income verification rules apply.

It’s worth pointing out that there are only a few lenders offering home loans to 494 visa holders.

We’re experts in getting mortgages approved for temporary residents. We can help you put together a strong mortgage application with the right lender.

Are all 494 visa streams accepted?

Yes, all three Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visas – Subclass 494 are accepted. They are:

  • Employer-Sponsored stream (5 years)
  • Labour Agreement stream (5 years)
  • Subsequent entrant (up to 5 years)

Will I be hit with a higher interest rate?

Not necessarily.

A 494 visa holder is eligible for the same interest rates offered to Australian citizens as long as you’re in a good financial position, with a stable job and a good deposit.

In fact, you may qualify for significant home loan fee discounts and special interest rates that are way below the Bank Standard Variable (BSV) rate.

How big of a deposit do I need?

Where possible, it is a good idea to only borrow up to 80% of the property value so you can avoid Lenders Mortgage Insurance fees. In which case, you’d require a 20% deposit plus funds to cover property purchasing costs such as stamp duty, legal fees, bank fees etc.

However, we understand that saving up a 20% deposit is not always possible.

So, if you were borrowing the maximum available that is 90% of the property value, then you’d only require a minimum deposit of 10% of the property value plus funds to cover costs.

In this case, Lenders Mortgage Insurance will apply. You can use our LMI calculator to work out the cost of LMI.

Speak with one of our award-winning mortgage brokers to find out if you qualify for a 494 visa home loan by giving us a call on 1300 889 743 or by completing our free assessment form.

Do I need government approval to buy a property?

Yes, all temporary visa applicants, including 494 visa holders, require approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) to buy property anywhere in Australia.

Don’t worry, getting approval from the government isn’t too difficult as long as you follow their foreign investment rules.

However, if you’re buying a property with your spouse who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident and the legal ownership structure is joint tenants, FIRB approval isn’t necessary.

Please refer to your conveyancer for more information on legal ownership structure.

Do I need to notify DIBP?

No, you don’t need to notify the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) of your property purchase in Australia.

You should refer to your migration agent for more information regarding immigration enquiries.

Do I have to pay the stamp duty surcharge?

Yes, in addition to the standard stamp duty, 494 visa holders are required to pay the foreign stamp duty surcharge. It was introduced by the government as a way to ease property investing by foreigners.

At the present time, the rate of surcharge differs from state to state and can be anywhere from 3% to 8%. New South Wales (NSW) has the highest stamp duty surcharge of 8%, with Tasmania (TAS) at the low end with 3% as of 2020.

You can use our foreign citizen stamp duty calculator to work out the stamp duty payable.

Can you avoid the surcharge?

One way to avoid the surcharge is if you’re married or in a spousal relationship with an Australian citizen and buying under their name as joint tenants.

Another is to buy property in the Northern Territory, which is the only state which doesn’t charge the surcharge (as of this writing).

Interestingly, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) only charges a 0.75% land tax surcharge instead of the stamp duty surcharge.

And finally, if you’re only a year or less away from getting permanent residency, you could simply wait in order to avoid the surcharge and save thousands.

Since the 494 visa has a pathway to PR after three years, you’ll be able to qualify with more lenders and qualify for even more home loan deals.

Do I qualify for the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG)?

Unfortunately, 494 visa holders do not qualify for the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG).

The only exception is if you’re buying jointly with an Australian citizen or permanent resident or wait to get your PR.

Apply for a 494 visa home loan today!

Our mortgage brokers are experts in helping temporary residents buy properties in Australia.

Please call us on 1300 889 743 or complete our free assessment form today to find out if you qualify for a 494 visa home loan.