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As a non-U.S. citizen working on a work permit like H1B, L1A, L1B or O Visa or an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), one needs to follow a few mortgage guidelines along with the minimum base qualification requirement, to qualify for Conventional or FHA loan.
As per the Fannie Mae Handbook, “Fannie Mae purchases and securitizes mortgages made to non-U.S. citizens who are lawful permanent or non-permanent residents of the United States under the same terms that are available to U.S. citizens. Fannie Mae does not specify the precise documentation the lender must obtain to verify that a non-U.S. citizen borrower is legally present in the United States. The lender must make a determination of the non-U.S. citizen’s status based on the circumstances of the individual case, using documentation it deems appropriate.”
As per FHA Handbook, “FHA insures mortgages made to non-permanent resident aliens provided that the borrower is eligible to work in the United States, as evidenced by an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) issued by the USCIS.
If the EAD will expire within one year and a prior history of residency status renewals exists, the lender may assume that continuation will be granted. If there are no prior renewals, the lender must determine the likelihood of renewal, based on information from the USCIS. Note: Borrowers residing in the U.S. by virtue of refugee or asylee status granted by the USCIS are automatically eligible to work in this country. An EAD is not required.”
As per FHA, work visas are not enough for FHA loans by most lenders, they insist on an AED along with work visa. However, there are some exceptions to the rule.
In most cases, a non-U.S. citizen is required to make the same amount of down payment as a U.S. citizen. However, in the case of some jumbo loans, lenders may seek a higher down payment from non-permanent resident mortgages/borrowers.
A qualifying non-U.S. citizen is entitled to the same rate of interest for both Conventional and FHA Loans as any U.S. citizen or a permanent resident provided the lender is willing to offer a loan to a non-permanent citizen.
Qualifying for a mortgage on a work permit like H1B, L1A, L1B or O Visa or an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), is a challenge, considering the minimum basic requirement of two years of employment history and credit history in the U.S.
However, with modern fintech companies like Stilt, a non-U.S. citizen has a chance at loans and mortgages at an affordable rate of interest, without a cosigner.