Let’s talk about the requirements for permanent or nonpermanent resident aliens who are applying for a home loan to help you take this step toward the American dream.
The documentation required to get a mortgage if you’ve recently moved to this country depends both on your residential status and the type of loan you’re applying for.
Permanent Resident Aliens
If you’re a permanent resident alien, you’re eligible to get a mortgage under the same terms as any U.S. citizen. You just need proof of residency status. This can be in any of the following forms:
- A Permanent or Conditional Resident Card or Green Card
- A valid passport with a stamp saying that it’s been approved as temporary evidence for I-551
- A valid I-94A form indicating grant of refuge/asylum or a foreign passport indicating permanent residence admission with an employment authorization document
- Any evidence you might have of permanent residency courtesy of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
Non-Permanent Resident Aliens
If you’re a non-permanent resident alien, the required paperwork that you have to present depends on the type of loan you’re applying for.
If your desired loan is conventional or VA, you must have a valid visa with work authorization.
In order to get a loan, there must be an expectation that you’ll be able to continue working in the U.S. for at least the first three years of the loan. If your residency is to expire within one year, there must be a likelihood that it will be renewed.
In terms of documentation, one of the following forms is necessary:
- An employment authorization document (Form I-766 or I-765) as evidence of work eligibility
- Form I-797A with an attached I-94 or other valid work authorization
If you’re applying for a regular jumbo loan, you must have three years of U.S. residency and three years of work history with authorization.
Applying for a nonconforming jumbo loan is a little trickier. You need to have been a resident of the United States for at least five years. You also have to have a likelihood of continued employment for at least the first three years of the loan. The property must be single-family or condo housing, and it must be owner occupied. A 30% down payment is required. You also need the following:
- A valid passport from your country of citizenship containing Form I-94 with an employment authorization stamp is required.
- You need an employment authorization card along with a Form I-140.
- Only H-1B and H-2B visas are accepted for this type of loan.
There are a couple of restrictions on the type of transaction a non-U.S. citizen may enter into.
- People who are in the U.S. for a limited amount of time can’t get a mortgage.
- If you have diplomatic immunity, you can’t qualify for a mortgage because you’re not subject to U.S. law.
The paperwork is just the first step. If you’re moving from your home country, you may have to convert your existing credit to U.S. credit in order to apply for any kind of loan or credit card.
In many cases, it may be possible to do a nontraditional credit check. In the case of a nontraditional check, you provide documentation based on your home country.
In order to make the process of getting credit smooth, have your U.S. Social Security number as well as pay stubs for proof of income. Four credit references with contact information from your country are also helpful, as are copies of bank account statements.
Whether a credit conversion is necessary may depend on your situation at the time of the loan and the policies of your lender. Not all lenders are set up for this process. At this time, Quicken Loans doesn’t offer international credit conversion.
The fact that you’ve recently come to the U.S. shouldn’t stop you from buying a home. You just have to make sure that your documentation is in order. After that, everything about the mortgage process is the same. Get ready to live the dream.
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