TN Visa Mortgages: The Complete Guide

Updated on January 4, 2024

At a Glance

  • A TN visa is a temporary visa for nonimmigrant NAFTA Professionals, available to Canadian and Mexican citizens.
  • It allows these professionals to work in the United States, covering various eligible professions.
  • Canadian citizens can enter the U.S. with a TN visa, and holders can legally buy a house and obtain a mortgage, meeting specific qualification criteria.
  • Providing necessary documents and avoiding conflicting signs of immigrant intent are crucial for TN visa holders.

If you want to buy property in the U.S but you are a TN visa holder, all hope isn’t lost. TN visa holders are allowed to buy houses in the U.S and can even get a mortgage to help make this possible.

Below we set out guidelines for TN visa holders to get a mortgage in the U.S.

What is a TN Visa

A TN visa is a temporary visa for nonimmigrant NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) Professionals. NAFTA created special trade and economic relationships between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. These professionals include accountants, lawyers, engineers, scientists, pharmacists, and teachers.

The TN-1 visa refers to Canadian Citizens who obtain TN status and TN-2 visa refers to Mexican citizens with TN status.

TN Visa Holders and Mortgages

With immigration-related tensions in the U.S., many people might assume that it would be hard for a visa holder to get a mortgage in the U.S. Luckily, it’s very possible and quite legal. TN visa holders (or TN permit holders) may have to work a bit harder than the average American to get a mortgage loan, though.

Warning: Immigrant Intent

TN visa holders can buy a house in the U.S., but must avoid showing immigrant intent. Immigrant intent implies planning to stay permanently. For TN visas, one must prove the intent to return home. Buying a house could be seen as immigrant intent by immigration officials, especially with other factors like a pending green card application. While owning a U.S. house alone doesn’t prove immigrant intent, be cautious of other signs before purchasing under a TN visa.

TN Visa Mortgage: Overview

TN visa holders are allowed to buy a house in the U.S. No prohibition exist in U.S immigration laws preventing this. Similarly, TN visa holders can get mortgage loans to buy their house in the U.S, as long as they meet the qualification criteria and provide the necessary documents set out below.

Read More: US Mortgages for Non Residents

TN Visa Mortgage Types

For those holding a TN Visa, diving into the US real estate market might seem daunting due to the myriad of loan options available. This guide categorizes them based on immigration status to help you navigate and make an informed decision.

Quick View: TN Visa Mortgage Types

Mortgage TypeIdeal ForMain FeaturesDocumentation
ConventionalImmigrantsStandard loanBasic financial documents
FHAImmigrantsGovernment-insuredTax stubs, proof of income
DSCRNon-ImmigrantsProperty value & income-focusedMinimal, especially for those without US credit history
Foreign NationalNon-ImmigrantsDesigned for temporary visa holdersProof of assets, passport, visa

Mortgage Options for Immigrants

  • Conventional Mortgage: This mortgage is ideal for those with a robust credit score, consistent employment background, and adequate assets. As a standard loan type, it requires both a down payment and the associated closing costs.
  • FHA Mortgage: This is a government-insured loan that offers more flexible terms compared to conventional mortgages. To secure an FHA mortgage, borrowers need to provide comprehensive documentation, including tax stubs and proof of income.

Mortgage Options for Non-Immigrants

  • DSCR Loan (Debt Service Coverage Ratio): The DSCR loan assesses eligibility based on the property’s value and its income-generating potential. It’s a prime choice for individuals without a US credit history. Notably, HomeAbroad has a network of seasoned lenders experienced in this loan type, ensuring a smoother process for applicants.
  • Foreign National Loans: Crafted specifically for temporary visa holders or those aiming to purchase property in the US, these loans eliminate the need for a US credit history. However, borrowers are expected to present proof of assets and essential documents, including their passport and visa.

TN Visa Mortgage Loan Requirements

For Canadian and Mexican citizens desiring to purchase property in the U.S. using a TN Visa mortgage, certain requirements must be met.

Employment Criteria

  • Work History: Have at least 2 years of U.S. employment. Employment with the same company abroad can be beneficial.

Financial Credentials

  • Bank Account: Maintain a valid U.S. bank account with sufficient funds for down payment and closing costs. If your U.S. bank has a partner in your home country, it simplifies the approval process.
  • Proof of Assets: Demonstrate ownership of assets, whether in the U.S. or abroad. Ensure you can prove foreign funds are yours and can be transferred to a U.S. bank as needed.
  • Passport: Required for identification and visa verification by lenders.
  • Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN): Obtain an ITIN by filing a U.S. federal tax return and showcasing foreign identification. Lenders use this to assess your ability to repay.

Residency Considerations

  • Permanent Resident Alien: Hold a green card and social security number. The mortgage process will mirror that of U.S. citizens.
  • Non-Permanent Resident Alien: Possess a social security number but not necessarily a green card. A work or special employer-sponsored visa is acceptable. It’s beneficial if you can show a likely U.S. stay of at least three years.

Intent Evidence

  • Proof of Intent: Lenders want assurance that you won’t soon return to your home country. Provide evidence like rental leases, utility bills, or a pending green card application.

It should be noted that this is a general overview of the requirements. Lenders, such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or the Federal Housing Administration, might have extra requirements for non-U.S. residents. Refer to the USCIS website for details.

How to Apply for a TN Visa Mortgage in the U.S.

Embarking on the journey of acquiring a TN Visa mortgage? Here’s a streamlined guide to help you navigate the process seamlessly.

1. Document Collection

Start by gathering essential documents. The list typically includes a passport, employment verification letter, US bank statements, verification of foreign assets, your Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN), and proof of permanent residence or a valid work permit.

2. Property Hun

Determine the kind of property you’re interested in and the desired location. An early property search can be a real boon, not only in terms of saving time but also financially. You can explore online platforms, seek recommendations from acquaintances, or tap into HomeAbroad’s network to connect with specialized international real estate professionals (CIPS Agents).

3. Mortgage Lender Selection

It’s crucial to opt for lenders acquainted with TN visa mortgages. A knowledgeable lender can make the journey significantly smoother. Always compare rates to ensure you’re getting the most competitive deal. HomeAbroad’s vast lender network specializes in assisting international clients, even those without a US credit history.

4. Secure Pre-Approval

Before delving deep, it’s wise to get pre-approved. This gives you a clear picture of your loan eligibility, refining your property search to match your budget. It’s a proactive step that often ensures the subsequent mortgage process is hiccup-free.

5. Finalize Loan Documentation

Once the green light for the loan is given, you’ll be required to finalize certain paperwork. This is a crucial step that sets the stage for the closing of your loan.

6. Seal the Deal

With all ducks in a row, you’ll sign the mortgage agreement, making you legally obligated to repay the loan.

Now that you’re well-versed with the TN visa mortgage application procedure, it’s time to gear up for closing the deal and settling into your new abode. But the journey doesn’t end here; our next section delves into the intricacies of purchasing a home in the USA. Stay tuned!

Read More

Final Thoughts

If you are a TN visa holder you can get a mortgage to buy a home in the United States. Make sure you consider your situation and any factors that could possibly display immigrant intent, objectively. If you avoid immigrant intent and can provide the required documentation, you should be well on your way to buying your dream home in the U.S.

TN Visa Mortgage FAQ

Below, you will find some common questions about TN visa mortgages and their answers.

Can I get a mortgage in the US on a TN visa?

Yes, individuals on a TN visa can obtain a mortgage in the US. However, it’s essential to ensure you meet the specific requirements set by the lender, such as having a stable employment history and satisfactory credit score. Some lenders specialize in working with TN visa holders, making the process smoother.

Can I own a rental property on a TN visa?

Absolutely. Being on a TN visa does not prohibit you from owning a rental property in the US. However, it’s crucial to be aware of any tax implications and to ensure compliance with both US and your home country’s regulations concerning rental income.

Can I buy an apartment on a TN visa?

Yes, TN visa holders can purchase apartments in the US. The process is similar to buying any other type of property, although specific requirements might vary based on the lender or the homeowners’ association if the apartment is within a community.

Can I get an FHA loan with a TN visa?

TN visa holders can be eligible for FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loans, but the requirements might be more stringent compared to conventional mortgages. For example, they might need to showcase a more extended work and credit history in the US. Additionally, the FHA might have specific guidelines concerning visa expiry dates and the loan term.

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