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Foreigner Mortgage

This page is a guide for foreign citizens living overseas who would like to apply for a mortgage to buy real estate in Australia.

Few Australian banks will lend to foreign investors as this is a complex and high risk area of lending.

Can I qualify for an Australian loan?

Would you like help to apply for a mortgage in Australia?

Call us on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 from outside of Australia) or complete our free assessment form to get assistance from one of our specialist mortgage brokers.

What are the interest rates?

Interest rates vary significantly depending on the country that you are living in and the currency of your income. People who are receiving an income in a primary currency (see below) tend to get rates similar to Australian citizens. Whereas people earning an income in another currency (see secondary currencies below) have less lenders available and will typically pay 3% to 4% higher than standard rates.

Which currencies are preferred?

Primary currencies

It’s much easier to get approved if your income is in one of the below currencies:

  • Australian Dollar (AUD)
  • Canadian Dollar (CAD)
  • Chinese Yuan (CNY)
  • Danish Kroner (DKK)
  • European Union Euro (EUR)
  • Great British Pound (GBP)
  • Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
  • Japanese Yen (JPY)
  • New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
  • Swedish Kroner (SEK)
  • Singaporean Dollar (SGD)
  • Swiss Franc (CHF)
  • United States Dollar (USD)

Secondary Currencies

There are select lenders that will lend for the following currencies:

  • Bahrain Dinar (BHD)
  • Brazilian Real (BRL)
  • Bruneian Dollar (BRN)
  • Chinese Yuan (CNY)
  • Indian Rupee (INR)
  • Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
  • Omani Rial (OMR)
  • Macau Pataca (MOP)
  • Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)
  • Mexican Peso (MXN)
  • Norwegian Krone (NOK)
  • Oman Rial (OMR)
  • Papua New Guinean Kina (PGK)
  • Philippine Peso (PHP)
  • Qatari Riyai (QAR)
  • Samoan Tala (WST)
  • Saudi Arabian Riyal (SAR)
  • Solomon Island Dollar (SBD)
  • South Korean Won (KRW)
  • South African Rand (ZAR)
  • Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)
  • Taiwan New Dollar (TWD)
  • Thai Baht (THB)
  • Tongan Pa’anga (TOP)
  • Turkish Lira (TRY).
  • United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED)
  • Vanuatu Vatu (VUV)
  • Vietnamese Dong (VND)

If you’d like to buy an investment property in Australia and are looking for lenders in Australia, please call us on +61 2 9194 1700 or complete our free assessment form and one of our brokers will contact you to futher discuss your options.

What if I earn in a different currency?

We can still consider your loan application if you earn an income in another currency or you’re self-employed.

However, you may need to provide a larger deposit and will pay a high interest rate, often over 10% p.a.

If you already own a property in Australia, you have a very high income and you’re borrowing less than 60% of the property value then we may be able to make an exception to this. Please contact us for more informtation.

How do they calculate my borrowing power?

The lender that we apply with will complete a ‘serviceability assessment’ to work out how large of a loan you can afford to repay.

The method that they use is much stricter than what they normally use with Australian citizens living in Australia.

Most lenders will use

  • 80% – 85% Rental income from the property you are buying.
  • Somewhere between 60% and 90% of your actual income.
  • In some cases overtime, allowances, commission and bonus income are ignored.
  • Income from businesses outside of Australia (case by case basis).
  • Australian tax rates even if you are living in a country without income tax (some exceptions).
  • Loaded repayments on your foreign loans to allow for interest rate movements (some exceptions).

That means that most lenders will allow you to borrow much less than you can actually afford!

If you apply with the right lender then you’ll have your income accepted and a much higher chance of getting approved.

Call us on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 from outside of Australia) or complete our free assessment form to get assistance from one of our specialist mortgage brokers.

How does the loan application process work?

Obtaining your finance is relatively simple if you apply with a lender that commonly works with foreign investors.

You can then send us the required documents so that we can verify your income, confirm your identity and make sure that you’re eligible for a buy to let mortgage. We can then arrange the paperwork for you and seek an approval from the lender we have selected.

For most loan types, our services are free.

You can call us on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 from outside of Australia) or simply fill in our free assessment form and we can help you apply for a loan with an Australian bank.

Is approval from the Australian government required?

Yes, Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval is required for foreign nationals buying real estate in Australia.

The only exceptions are New Zealand citizens and permanent Australian residents.

Be careful of the foreign citizen surcharge on stamp duty!

The states of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria currently apply a stamp duty surcharge to foreigners.

All other Australian states do not currently have a stamp duty surcharge.

The actual amount you’ll be charged and the rules around when the surcharge applies varies from state to state.

You should check out the foreign citizen stamp duty for information and to stay up to date with any changes.

Which nationalities are allowed to borrow in Australia?

Some countries have tax legislation that makes investing in Australia unfeasible. Our Australian banks and lenders have provided us with a list of countries that they believe to be acceptable for home loan applications.

We recommend that you consult your accountant before deciding to apply for an Australian mortgage.

  • Austria (subject to conditions)
  • Belgium (you may need to pay Withholding Tax in Belgium)
  • Canada
  • China
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Malta
  • New Zealand (special mortgages are available for NZ citizens)
  • Norway
  • Singapore
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • The Netherlands
  • The United Kingdom (UK)
  • The United States of America (USA)

Finance for residents of other countries is available on a case by case basis at interest rates above 10%. Australian citizens who are not living in one of the countries listed above are eligible for lower interest rates.

What languages do our mortgage brokers speak?

We’re able to help people from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds to apply for an Australian Mortgage. Our staff can speak the following languages:

  • English
  • Cantonese
  • Mandarin
  • Arabic
  • French
  • Nepali / Nepalese
  • Bengali
  • Hindi
  • Urdu
  • Turkish
  • Spanish
  • Vietnamese
  • Tagalog
  • Japanese
  • Croatian (hrvatski jezik)
  • Bahasa Indonesia / Bahasa Malaysia
  • Other languages are available via an interpreter

Why did so many Australian banks stop lending to foreigners?

From 2005 up until 2016 there was a significant increase in the number of foreign investors. Unfortunately many of the loan applications contained false documents or were used to launder money earned illegally overseas.

As a result of this most banks stopped lending to both temporary residents of Australia, foreign investors and in some cases Australians living overseas as well.

CBA was the first bank to leave the foreign investor market, citing that it was not business that they were interested in.

Westpac in particular was a bank of choice for foreign investors until it pulled out of the market suddenly in 2016.

ANZ were forced to change their policies after they were inundated with applications after Westpac withdrew from the market.

NAB have have changed their policies to be much more restrictive, forcing many foreign investors to look elsewhere.

Can a business owner buy property in Australia?

Unfortunately borrowing money in Australia it’s much more difficult if you are self-employed. The main reason for this is that under Australian law both your mortgage broker and lender are required to verify your income and in many cases that isn’t possible.

We can consider your application using a specialist lender, however this will depend on the country that you are from, currency of your income and also the income evidence that you can provide.

What can we do for self-employed borrowers?

  • Borrow up to 70% of the property value.
  • Prove your income with tax returns, six bank statements or an accountants letter.
  • 70% of your net income can be assessed.
  • Your living expenses can be assessed based on the country you live in.
  • If greater than 25% of your income is from a business you are classified as self-employed.

Please call us on +61 2 9194 1700 or complete our free assessment form and one of our brokers will contact you to discuss your options.

Can I buy a commercial farm?

Foreigners can purchase commercial property in Australia with FIRB approval but there are particular rules that apply to owning commercial farmland.

As of 1 December 2015, foreigners who own, or have an interest in, Australian agricultural land are required to notify the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) of their interest. This is via the register of Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Land Act 2015.

You’ll require FIRB approval on the sale of a commercial farm worth $10 million or more and be required to pay a non-refundable application fee of $100,000.

You can find out more information about this on the Farm Loan page.

Can I avoid the FIRB application fee?

Investors in the non-agricultural commercial sector will only face the maximum $100,000 fee if their prospective investment is worth more than $1 billion.

If you’re considering buying anything from a petrol station to a restaurant, check out the commercial property loans page on getting approved.

Alternatively, complete our free assessment form and let us know what you’re planning to do.

How do I apply for a mortgage in Australia?

We are mortgage brokers who specialise in non-resident home loans! We can help make the entire process of applying for a home loan to buy Australian property as simple as possible.

If you’d like to buy an investment property in Australia and are looking for foreign national lenders in Australia, please call us on +61 2 9194 1700 or complete our free assessment form and one of our brokers will contact you to futher discuss your options.

If you’re from Australia then call us on 1300 889 743 to speak to our expert team of brokers.

  • Richardson

    Hi, as a foreigner do I have to disclose all my liabilities when I apply for a loan with the bank?

  • Hi Richardson,

    Yes, you will have to disclose all your liabilities in order to stay compliant under the NCCP (National Consumer Credit Protection) Act, which has been designed to protect the consumers and establish ethical and professional standards in the finance industry.

  • Jonathan Nesbitt

    hi there, as a foreign national married to a non working Australian living overseas is there a particular type of visa I can apply for that would better my standing with the banks

  • Hi Jonathan

    If your wife is Australian and you are a citizen of another country then you can qualify to get a loan to buy a property in Australia. It’s a grey area as to if we can assess your loan as an expat citizen or as a foreign investor as you have mentioned the income is in your name. We’d need to also know which country you are in and if you are self employed or employed.. The main difference would be the interest rate and expats are allowed to borrow more.

  • Jonathan Nesbitt

    In Japan and I already own property in Australia, but at most the banks will finance is 60% LVR. I was wondering if there are any visa’s I could apply for that would help my standing, but unlikely given I’m offshore but thought I would ask.

  • Hi Jonathan
    If you are earning JPY It is possible we could consider 70% to 80% LVR on a case by case basis as your wife is Australian.

  • Jonathan Nesbitt

    Yup am earning in JPY, and would consider 80% on further purchases, how do I get in contact?

  • Best to call us on +61 2 9194 1700 from overseas or complete this form

    There should be someone available on the phone now. Ask for them to send you a short application form and then return this with your supporting documents. Ask them to refer it to Otto for assessment and he’ll do a full assessment and ensure you get the best LVR possible.

    We do quite a lot of expat and foreign investor loans so we’re quite used to the intricacies of them. Thanks for working with us.

  • Kleeberg

    I want to buy a house in Australia and I’m currently overseas. I have two options in mind. Be a foreign investor and get things done from here itself or advance my trip there (I’ll be on a 461 visa) and try to get finance. The latter is more likely to happen at the moment so I’d like to know if I can borrow 90% even if I’m on a 461 visa.

  • Hey Kleeberg, as long as you can meet standard bank lending criteria and prove that you’re able to service the mortgage, you may be able to borrow up to 95% of the property value on a 461 visa home loan. If you want to discuss this with an expert 461 visa mortgage broker, you can call on our overseas number +61 2 9194 1700 or 1300 889 743 if you’re here in Australia.

  • Chi-Kuan Hung

    I own a property in Dockaland Melbourne Vic. Can i get refinance for this? I work in singapore and i am from china.

  • Hi Chi-Kuan,
    Unfortunately you would only qualify for a private loan (11% approx) or you would qualify for a normal loan if you own the property with your partner and they are an Australian citizen or PR holder.
    The main problem is that your citizenship and country of residency do not match. Lenders are quite strict on this unfortunately. If you were a Singapore citizen living in Singapore then we could get you approved at a great rate.

  • Chi-Kuan Hung

    My wife is from signapore. can this work.

  • If she is the sole owner of the property and the sole person on the loan then we can work with this. Her income must be sufficient to afford the loan. If you are both on the loan and on the property then this is an exception to policy, we’d have to check with the lender. They would ignore your income so your wife would still need a good income.

  • Justin 天宝 Yang

    Hi, im from china work in indonesia, paid the downpayment for an apartment in melbourne. Gonna hand over end of 2017. Can i get a loan? Whats the requirment?

  • Hi Justin,
    Unfortunately based on today’s lending policy you wouldn’t qualify with any Australian banks. We have some private lenders who charge approx 11% p.a. who may be able to help. Your options are:
    1. Private finance
    2. Sell the apartment to someone else
    3. Hope that alternative finance is available before settlement in one years time.

  • Anna Kwan

    Hi, my sister in law lives in Malaysia (Malaysian resident), bought an apartment in Melbourne and hand over is sometime in early 2017. Does she qualify for a loan in Australia ?
    What are the requirements ?

  • Hi Anna,
    Great news, as of yesterday we managed to obtain new funding for people who earn a variety of currencies that were not accepted previously. MYR was a currency that wasn’t accepted before that is now accepted.
    We can now help with loans for up to 70% of the property value at 8% p.a. with a three year term. Potentially there will be new loans available in the next three years which will be cheaper and we will be able to refinance, of course there are no guarantees.
    Up until yesterday there were only private lenders at 11.99% p.a. for property investors in Malaysia.
    Foreign investors with their income in other currency types are able to obtain finance in the 4% to 5% p.a. range if they meet strict criteria.
    It’s best that she contact us so that we can commence the process now ready for settlement next year

  • Hi Justin,
    There is new funding available now that may allow you to borrow up to 70% of the property value at 8% p.a.. This is a significantly better option than what was available before. Hopefully before the end of 2017 there will be more options for property investors living in Indonesia.

  • Leina

    Hi there,

    I’m on a student visa, plus on my way to apply for PR after 2 years. My parents who would like to purchase a home for us in Melbourne under my name, so like they will pay for it. Will we able to get a home loan?
    Oh, we’re vietnamese by the way.
    Thank you so much, and looking forward to hearing from your team.


  • Hi Leina,
    If you’re working up to 20 hours per week then we can use your income to get approved.
    If not then we can buy the property in your parents names. We have some lenders that will accept Vietnamese citizens living in Vietnam earning an income in VND, which I assume is your parent’s situation. Note that this is very recent! You’re lucky as the policy just changes, two weeks ago we wouldn’t have been able to help.
    If you buy in your parents name then it must be a new property. If you buy in your name then it can be an existing property if you live in it however your income will likely mean that you cannot qualify for a loan.
    FYI VIC has an additional tax for foreign citizens buying a property which would apply regardless of if it was you or your parents who were buying.
    We have several brokers who speak fluent Vietnamese if you need someone that can work with your parents.



    I have question regarding to Vietnamese foreigners buying a commercial property in Melbourne.

    To be more specific, my mother would like to obtain a PR here, through investing/buying a commercial property (retail store) in South Yarra, Melbourne,VIC.

    I am not so sure whether is it possible for her to do that yet or she is only allow to buy properties or commercial properties that are brand new, considering that this is her first investment.

    Please help and provide me some guidance on this one.



  • Hi Norah
    I believe it is ok for a foreign citizen to buy commercial property however it is best you check or call FIRB on +61 2 6263 3795 (commercial hotline).
    We’re not sure how it would affect her ability to get PR, I’d recommend talking to a migration agent or the department of immigration about that before proceeding.

  • kri

    I am an Australian living overseas in UK. I work through a limited company arrangement (self employed contractor). I have a property in Australia I’d like to re-mortgage however I can’t seem to find any lenders who would accept a self employed applicant living overseas. Can you help ?

  • Hi Kris,

    Yes we can assist with this. It isn’t standard so when you have sent your documents to our mortgage broker then please ask them to ‘refer to Otto’. You must be contracting to one company and have no other employees.

    If you have a business that has several employees and contracts to many companies then we have some additional options but the rate may or may not be competitive depending on the amount that you’re borrowing

  • anthony

    I am an Vietnamese Overseas student that married to a non working Australia citizen. My parent want to buy a property for us in Sydney. For sure they will pay for it. If they want to buy the property, how many percent of the property do they need to pay? Is that impossible for them to buy and put under they nam? Can you give us some advise. Looking forward to hear from you.
    Thank you

  • Hi Anthony
    If they buy in their name or your name and the property is in VIC, NSW or QLD then you’ll pay an additional stamp duty
    If your parents buy in just their name then they must buy a new property to meet FIRB approval criteria.
    If they buy just in your name then as a student it is unlikely that you can get a mortgage.
    The best courses of action are:
    1. Buy in their name (buy new & pay the additional duty). They can borrow 60% or 70% of the property value.
    2. Wait for you to be a PR then buy in your name

  • Yat Yu Wong

    Hi I m an investment banker from Hong Kong. No relatives from Australia. Which banks is/ are still offering mortgage to foreign investors? What’s the average monthly interest rate? I m not considering to move to Australia yet and m planning to rent the apartment out for the coming 5 years.

  • Hi Yat,
    A few banks and several non-bank lenders will approve loans in the range 4.8% to 8.2% for foreign investors.
    As a HK citizen earning HKD it is likely that you’d be eligble for a loan in the lower end of that interest rate range.
    If you’d like our help then please contact us

  • xxxnanaxxx

    Hi, we are from Viet Nam and would like to purchase a property in Australia. Which bank is still offering mortgage to Vietnamese investors? what’s the monthly interest rate? what is the total stamp duty that we’d have to pay?

  • Hi
    Australian banks will not consider foreign investors from Viet Nam however we have some non-bank and specialist lenders that will consider your application.
    You would be able to borrow a maximum of 60% – 70% of the property value and the interest rate would be around 6.95% to 8%. It is possible that in a couple of years time there will be more options available and you can refinance to a lower rate, however there are no guarantees that this will be possible.
    The stamp duty would depend on where in Australia you buy. The normal costs can be calculated here and the details of the additional duty are here


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  • YanYee Lee

    Hi! I’m a Malaysian and would like to know which bank still offer mortgage to Malaysian investor. What is the monthly interest rate and other charges?

  • Hi YanYee,
    You are likely to be able to borrow up to 70% of the property value at a rate of approx 6.95% to 8%. Please contact us if you’d like to know more info and see if you qualify

  • Christina Yu

    Hi, I am a Hong Kong citizen studied and currently working full time in Australia. I am not holding a PR and I have been considering to take a job offer in mainland China. I have paid 10% deposit for a new apartment which is going to settle end of this year. I am wondering if I will be eligible to apply for a mortgage if I am not working in Australia and what is the interest rate?

  • Hi Christina
    As a HK citizen living in mainland China it will be difficult to get a loan. It’s likely you could borrow 60% to 70% of the property value and at a rate of approx 8%.

  • Henu Nogia

    Hi, I am an Australian Permanent Resident. Me and my brother in law(who is an Indian citizen and living in India) are planning to buy an Investment Property. I’m based in Sydney and working for NSW government. What are our options ? How much will be the interest rate etc? Can we even buy a Property in partnership? How much could we borrow?

  • Hi Henu
    I’d strongly recommend that you buy the property on your own in your name only. The rate on the loan would double and you’d pay additional taxes if your brother in law is an owner of the property.
    You could potentially buy in your name and then make an agreement with him to share the profits later. You’d need to talk to a solicitor to create an agreement between you.
    If you’d like our help to get approved then please contact us

  • Jit Tong

    Hi I am a Singaporean 35 this year, living in Singapore planning to buy a property for investment and/or own stay in Melbourne Victoria with a budget of $300-$350k. May i know the estimated downpayment plus stamp & land transfer duty required / 2.interest rates / 3.min loan amount / 4.max repayment periods available? Would it also be possible to put the property under both my own plus my wife’s name? Both of us are self employed, and currently each own a property here in Singapore. Thanks!

  • Hi Jit,
    I’d recommend that you do not buy at the moment. Currently our lenders are only accepting PAYG (employed) borrowers so you would be unlikely to get approved at a reasonable interest rate. Potentially this will change in a year or two so feel free to check back with us later.

  • Jit Tong

    Thanks guys, and could I get a ballpark of the interest rates for employed vs self employed currently?

  • As of today approx 8% for employed and 11% for self employed.

    Just two weeks ago it was around 4.8% and six months before that there were no options at all. It’s changing regularly.

  • Quincy T.

    Hello, my uncle is recently retired in Hong Kong and has purchased a 2nd investment property in Australia settling in Q1 2018
    The first one settled in 2015 at 70% LVR as a normal housing loan but that lender is no longer helping non-residents and now as he is retired his income situation is a lot different, even though would be considered high net worth.
    Previously we were told about a policy where the lender will use the rental yield on the purchase property and base the maximum loan amout is based on what kind of loan repayments the rent would cover, with all sorts of risk margins applied so it worked out to be between/around 30% to 50% LVR as the maximum. Is this kind of policy still available anywhere at all.
    Rgds, Q.

  • Hi Quincy
    There was a product that just relied on rental income and would allow you to borrow 40% however now this is not available. We’d need to use his investment income (dividends, rent, annuities, superannuation etc) to prove he can afford the debt. Note that at present there are no lenders that would accept this income on it’s own so we would have to seek a private lender which typically cost 11% p.a.
    Obviously that’s not a good option so he may consider:
    – Someone else buying the property (stamp duty may be payable again)
    – Returning to work so we can use his income

  • Chan Steve

    Hi, I am an Australian and currently working in Hong Kong and it is a full time employment. I’d like to purchase a property in Melbourne. I want to know if I can get a 80% mortgage. Also, am I eligible for the first home allowance if I don’t own a property before. Thanks

  • Hi Steve
    Yes you can borrow 80% as of today. It’s possible that this may change as several lenders are reviewing their policy now and we don’t know what they’ll change it to.
    We expect borrowing 80% will still be possible but we can’t be sure.
    FYI we specialise in lending to Australian citizens in HK and there’s more info here

  • Chan Steve

    Thanks. How about the rate?
    Would it be higher than normal bank like nab or nz

  • Hi Steve
    Yes you’d pay normal investment loan rates. Whereas a foreign citizen buying a property in Australia would usually pay 3% above the bank standard variable rate.

  • sam

    Hi, I am an Indian citizen working in India. I want to buy a house in Australia. Is it possible to get a home loan in Australia?

  • Hi Sam
    Yes you can borrow 70% of the property value at approx 8% p.a.
    The property you buy must be new and there are additional taxes for foreign buyers

  • Seema


    I have a two part question:

    STATUS 1: New Zealand permanent resident having job and properties in New Zealand. Can I borrow for a property in Australia?

    STATUS 2: New Zealand Citizen having job and properties in New Zealand. Can I borrow for a property in Australia?


  • Hi Seema
    1: This is possible but only with a few lenders at higher rates.
    2. Yes this is possible and we have several lenders with low rates available.
    You can find more info here

  • Seema

    Thank you so much for your quick response. Appreciate it.


  • Sen Amaiti

    Hi. I am a business owner in India. I am interested in investing/purchasing a small business in regional Australia, e.g. a restaurant or a service station. Would there be loans available for this matter for a non-resident foreign national like me?

  • Hi Sen
    Unfortunately no. For very large foreign businesses (> $20 million) there is funding available.

  • Sen Amaiti

    Thank you very much.