Can I get a mortgage as a diplomat?
Are you an Australian diplomat working overseas or a foreign official working in Australia?
Getting a home loan can often be difficult, as some banks just don’t understand the employment and pay structures of diplomats. Read on to find out if you can get approval.
How much can I borrow?
Diplomats and consulate staff tend to have significantly different spending habits from the rest of the population.
This is because in some cases their living expenses are paid by their government, or in other cases they need to entertain guests and so have a much more extravagant lifestyle.
Australian banks assess your ability to repay debt based on a very low standard of living (The Henderson Poverty Index). You should make your own assessment to ensure that your higher or lower living expenses are taken into account.
Please read on to determine your borrowing capacity.
Are you a foreign government diplomat living in Australia?
If you are a foreign diplomat who is temporarily residing in Australia, your ability to borrow depends on your visa type:
- Spouse visa: If you are married to an Australian citizen or permanent resident then you may be entitled to borrow up to 95% of the purchase price.
- Temporary visa: You may get approval for a home loan for up to 90% of the purchase price. The banks will assess your asset position, visa class and income.
- Permanent resident: You may be considered by some banks as an Australian citizen and may be eligible to borrow up to 95% of the property value.
Guidelines will differ depending on your circumstances and visa type. If you are paid in a foreign currency then allowances may be made for exchange rate fluctuations. To find out if you can borrow the maximum loan to value ratio (LVR), please call us on 1300 889 743 or enquire online today.
Please note that there may be restrictions on the types of properties that you can buy. You may also be required to seek FIRB approval before qualifying for a home loan.
Are you a government diplomat living overseas
If you hold an Australian citizenship or birth certificate, the following is applicable to your situation:
- You are normally paid in Australian dollars.
- Some lenders can consider your Living Away From Home Allowance (LAFHA) when assessing your ability to repay the debt.
- You can purchase a home or investment property in Australia.
- You may be eligible to borrow up to 95% LVR.
Note that these policies apply for all Australian government employees that have been deployed overseas such as embassy staff, Austrade staff, consulate staff, Australian Federal Police (AFP), Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) staff and Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) employees or contractors.
Foreign citizens working in overseas embassies
If you are a foreign citizen, non-resident borrower who is working in a government department overseas:
- You will be treated as a foreign investor.
- You will only be entitled to purchase an investment property.
- The investment property must be a new dwelling or vacant land.
- You will only be eligible to borrow up to 80% LVR. However, if you are married to an Australian citizen, you may be able to borrow up to 95% of the purchase price.
What are the lending criteria?
Irrespective of the visa class or citizenship that you have, you must be able to prove to the lender that:
- You can afford the repayments.
- You have a constant source of income, in Australian dollars or another stable currency.
- Your work with the embassy or consulate is continuing and your employment situation is stable.
- Have been granted approval from the FIRB, if required.
Not sure if you qualify? Please call 1300 899 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 from outside of Australia) or enquire online and our team will contact you to discuss your situation.
We help government diplomats get approval for a home or investment loans both Australia wide and internationally. Contact us today!
Will I be considered as an Australian borrower?
Even if you are an Australian diplomat living overseas, or a temporary resident working in Australia, some banks may treat your application as if you an Australian borrower, in the following circumstances:
- You are an Australian citizen that is working in an overseas embassy.
- You are a foreign citizen that holds a temporary visa in Australia and is working for the Australian embassy. You must be buying the property with your Australian citizen partner.
How can I get approval?
If you are an Australian citizen working overseas, or have a partner who is, we can get some lenders to accept you as Australian borrowers! This increases the amount that you can borrow!
Our mortgage brokers are experts in lending to Australian diplomats living overseas and foreign government officials working in Australia.
Will I need Foreign Investment Review Board approval?
There are some types of borrowers that need Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval in order to buy property in Australia.
- Temporary visa holder diplomats: Buying a property to live in or an investment property.
- Non-resident diplomats: You will be restricted to investment property purchases and must be buying a new dwelling or vacant land.
Who does not need FIRB approval?
If you are an Australian citizen living and working overseas as an ambassador, you will not be required to get FIRB approval.
Temporary visa holders who have Australian citizen partners (whether married, de facto or same sex) will not be required to seek FIRB approval.
How do the lenders view Australian diplomats working overseas?
If you’re working as an Australian government official in an overseas embassy, it may be easier to get loan approval.
This is partly due to your status as an Australian citizen, as well as your income and job stability.
Most Australian government employees who have been deployed overseas are still Australian residents for tax purposes and are paid in Australian dollars.
This reduces exchange rate fluctuations, making it a lower risk to the lender.
Whilst the banks do not offer special rates or discounts for government officials, you will still be eligible for a competitive loan package.
Speak to us today on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 from outside of Australia) to find out more or enquire online and one of our mortgage brokers will contact you to discuss your situation.
How do the lenders view foreign diplomats working in Australia?
Most major banks and lenders have inflexible policy when it comes to loan applications that are a little ‘outside the box’. Unfortunately, temporary visa holders fall into this category.
Although you may be working at an embassy in Australia and earning a great income, your ability to borrow may be restricted.
If you are paid in Australian dollars this is seen favourably, however foreign incomes or payments in a foreign currency can be accepted by some major lenders.
Why is my borrowing capacity restricted as a visa holder?
This is mainly because of your status as a non-citizen. Most banks are concerned that your visa may expire, your visa conditions may result in your early removal from Australia or you may choose to leave.
If this occurs, you will probably still owe a large debt to the bank and they may encounter difficulty recovering this from you.
For this reason, the FIRB will only allow you to purchase one owner occupied property and you must sell this before you leave Australia.
Bank approval is subject to successful review by the FIRB. However, FIRB approval generally takes no longer than two weeks and most applications are often swiftly approved.
Call us today on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 from outside of Australia) or enquire online and we can help you get a great loan package with attractive discounts.
Can I get good interest rates?
Despite your status as an overseas resident or temporary visa holder, you may still be eligible to receive competitive interest rates on your loan.
Most banks offer standard interest rates, but we know major banks with great discounts that can offer the cheapest rates around!
What is a diplomat?
A diplomat or high ranking diplomat (ambassador), is an individual who is specifically employed to engage in diplomatic activity with another country. Most government officials of this kind commonly represent their countries interests on an international scale.
Diplomats are a very important part of foreign policy and help to foster good relations between countries.
The role of a diplomat
Generally, embassy diplomats consult with other countries, ministries and diplomatic entities, with an aim to improve both domestic and international policy.
They often work to align their nation’s interest with that of the international community. Diplomats report all findings to their government.
Ministers and other government departmental heads then decide on the allocation of resources based on these findings.
Australian diplomats working in overseas embassies serve as a form of foreign representation for Australia and aim to advance national interests.
Australia has embassies all over the world in countries such as, China, Turkey, Egypt and Brazil. Those that do not have an Australian ambassador in their country, can access other Australian embassies in neighbouring nations.
Our diplomats across the globe serve to advance Australia’s interests, both economically, socially and politically.
Foreign citizen diplomats
Foreign citizen diplomats represent their country in an overseas embassy. For example, you may be a citizen of India who is an ambassador for the Indian embassy in Russia.
Similar to an Australian diplomat, they aim to advocate peaceful international relations and improve areas of national concern.
Apply for a diplomat mortgage today!
Whilst a diplomat loan is available to a select few people, we also help all non-residents and temporary visa holders get home loans!
If you are unsure of whether you will qualify for a loan, please speak to us on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 from outside of Australia) or enquire online.
We can help you get fast approval and great interest rates. Call us for a diplomat loan today!