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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?

The great news is that some lenders now offer the same competitive professional packages and basic loan discounts that they offer to Australian citizens.

We can even negotiate with some lenders on your behalf to secure a better deal than their advertised interest rates.

Which currencies are preferred?

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

  • Australian Dollar (AUD)
  • Canadian Dollar (CAD)
  • Danish Kroner (DKK)
  • European Union Euro (EUR)
  • Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
  • Japanese Yen (JPY)
  • New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
  • Swedish Kroner (SEK)
  • Singaporean Dollar (SGD)
  • Swiss Franc (CHF)
  • UK Pounds (GBP)
  • US Dollar (USD)

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

  • Rental income from the property you are buying.
  • Somewhere between 60% and 80% 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.
  • Loaded repayments on your foreign loans to allow for interest rate movements.

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.

Which nationalities are allowed to borrow in Australia?

Some countries have tax legislation that makes investing in Australia infeasible. 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
  • 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 suddently 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.

Why do most banks ignore self-employed income?

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.

Some lenders will require foreign tax returns while others will accept an overseas accountant’s declaration.

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 https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

    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

    Hi,
    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?
    Thanks

  • 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 https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/free-quote/

  • 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.

    Leina

  • 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 https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/non-resident-mortgages/foreign-citizen-stamp-duty/ 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.

  • NORAH

    Hello,

    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.

    Cheers,

    Norah

  • Hi Norah
    I believe it is ok for a foreign citizen to buy commercial property however it is best you check http://firb.gov.au/investment/commercial/ 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

    Hi,
    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 ?
    Thanks
    Kris

  • 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