Corner house

As of June 25, 2018, we’ve made some changes to the way our mortgage approvals work. You can read more about our Power Buyer ProcessTM.

Whether you’ve come from thousands of miles away or just a few, you’ve made it to the United States. Putting down your roots is an important step of the process, and one way to do that is through owning a home, which is a huge part of the American dream for many people.

Preparation is one key to owning a home. Let’s talk about some of the documentation and requirements for immigrants who are applying for a home loan.

Mortgage Documentation Needed by Immigration Status

One of the key factors in determining the documentation needed for mortgage eligibility is your legal residency status within the U.S. Different lenders may have different policies regarding what’s required, but all will need you to prove residency status. The following sections are based on the policies of Quicken Loans.

Permanent Residency

If you immigrated as a permanent resident, you can apply for a mortgage under the same terms as a U.S. citizen, but you also need proof of residency status. This can be provided in any of the following forms:

  • A green card (permanent or conditional residency)
  • A valid foreign passport with a stamp that it’s been approved as temporary evidence for an I-551 (green card) with an unexpired date showing that employment is authorized

If your green card is expired or will expire in the next six months and you currently live in the U.S., please visit U.S. citizenship and immigration services in order to begin the process of renewing your green card.

Conditional Permanent Residency

If you’re considered a conditional permanent resident, you can apply for a mortgage under the same terms as a citizen, but you also need one of the following pieces of documentation:

  • An unexpired two-year green card that has its conditions/limits and an expiration date listed
  • An unexpired foreign passport with a valid stamp that reads “Upon endorsement serves as temporary I-551 evidencing permanent residence for 1 year”

If you’re still waiting for a decision regarding your permanent residency, make sure you have a copy of your I-797 or I-829.

Asylee and Refugee Status

If you’ve been granted refugee or asylum status within the U.S., you can also apply for a mortgage under the same terms as a citizen, with proof of your asylee or refugee status as well as one of the following documents:

  • Form I-94A stamped with valid employment authorization
  • A copy of your employment authorization document
  • Any other evidence of asylee or refugee status provided by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

If you’re a refugee, you can also apply with a foreign passport that’s been stamped “Admission for Permanent Residence” with an unexpired date.

Non-Permanent Residency

If you’re a non-permanent resident, the required paperwork you need with your mortgage application depends on the type of loan you’re applying for.

For conforming loans below jumbo levels (generally $453,100, but could be higher in high-cost areas), you must have a valid visa or employment authorization document. There are a lot of different types, but the key rule here is one involving your ability to remain employed in the U.S.

In order to get approved for a home loan, there’s an expectation that you’ll be able to continue working and reside in the U.S. for at least the next three years.

With a jumbo loan, you also need three years of established residency and work history in the U.S.

Restrictions

In terms of mortgage approvals, there are a couple of restrictions for all non-U.S. citizens.

  • If you have full diplomatic immunity, you can’t qualify for a mortgage because you’re not subject to U.S. law.
    • However, limited diplomatic immunity that only applies to work duties is OK.
  • Additionally, anyone applying for a mortgage must have a valid Social Security number.

Credit Considerations

The paperwork is just the first step. Moving from another 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 some cases, if you’re relocating through your company for employment in the U.S., it may be possible to do a nontraditional credit check – you provide documentation based on your credit history in any country in which you’ve established credit.

If you are using international credit, you also have to complete a homeownership education course. Your Home Loan Expert will be able to give you more information on courses that qualify.

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.

In order to make the process of converting your credit smooth, have your U.S. Social Security number as well as pay stubs for proof of income at the ready. Four credit references, each with a two-year history and contact information from your former country, are also necessary, as are bank account statements. One of the credit references must be your housing or rent.

Depending on which loan option you go with, there are different requirements regarding credit history. For now, just know you’ll have to meet standard credit requirements in order to qualify.

The fact that you’ve come to the U.S. shouldn’t be a roadblock for you to buy a home. You may have to gather some additional documentation, but after that, everything about the mortgage process is the same.

If you’re ready to apply, you can get started online or give one of our Home Loan Experts a call at (800) 785-4788. If you have any questions, you can leave them for us in the comments section below.

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This Post Has 97 Comments

  1. My girlfriend and I went to the entire process to obtain a loan with Quicken Loans to buy a house. I reside in USA since January 2010 and start working just a few months after. My biggest deception came right after we accept the offer when the agent told us that because of my immigration status (Temporary Protected Status – Category A12) I cannot be considered on the mortgage. My TPS is renewed every 18 months by the USCIS and I made numerous car loans/leases, always pay my credit cards and my rents on time. My credit is very good (almost excellent). My question is : Are you certain that Quicken Loans had NEVER allowed a mortgage loan to any costumer with the same status (TPS) as I am? Please make some research before answering.

    1. Hi Carl:

      I’m sorry you had this experience with us. I’m going to pass this along to someone that can take a look at your situation more thoroughly and see if we have any options for you.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  2. I have a loan of $170K with wells fargo with 5% APR (Condo value ~210K with a second mortgage (HELOC) with M&T Bank for $40K). I need to refinance $170K, but I don’t have residence in the US anymore. I was in the US for 10 years during which time I bought this property (in 2006 for 265K). I still file tax returns and have excellent credit in the US. Can I get my loan refinanced?

    1. Hi Shikha:

      We would probably need more information from you about your specific situation in order to give you an answer to that question. Probably the fastest and easiest way to get an answer is to call 888-855-1822 if you’re out of the country. Someone can go over your situation and see if you qualify.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  3. My husband is a green card holder with a CR1 (conditional resident) status since we were married for less than 3 years when he moved here. We received our pre-approval with a traditional mortgage lender and tried to purchase the home of our dreams only to find out a few weeks before closing that his visa was a reason for denial. We are devastated. He also has only been employed since August 1 of this year but makes over 100k was self-employed for his short 6 month employment gap in the same industry, and has a 740+ credit score. Do you have an option that would work for us? We may lose this house now if we don’t act quickly and would deeply appreciate your help!

    1. Hi Jessica:

      I’m sorry to hear you’re having this trouble. I’m going to recommend you reach out to one of our Home Loan Experts by filling out this form or calling (888) 728-4702. They’ll be able to go over your situation in depth and see if there are any options that we have that would work for you.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  4. Ok, i came to US w spouse visa 7 years ago, my husband had few (delayed/cancelled) payments that affected his credit in a bad way, now he works and does payments regularly, we are thinking of buying a house but he doesnt want to get a loan since we dont want those old payments affect the loan process, i worked in few places for short term due to maternal leaves. could i get a loan to buy a house as a stay at home mom?

    1. Hi Vafa:

      I’m going to recommend you talk to someone and one of our Home Loan Experts can go over your situation in more detail. However, I can tell you that if you personally don’t have a steady income stream, it’s probably not feasible to have just your name on the loan. If you and your husband give us a call at (888) 728-4702, we could take a look at your options to possibly qualify together. That’s what I would recommend.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  5. My wife has been in the country for almost 2 years as a permanent resident. She has credit score around 700 and has income of $84k annual. Can she qualify for a home loan on her own name? Even though my annual income is 300k+ my ex wife ruined my credit in the divorce by not paying the things she was given in the divorce decree. So I wanted to have my wife just buy the house in her name so that my credit does not become a factor.

    1. Hey Patrick:

      If she has the proper documentation, there would be no reason we couldn’t help her. One thing to keep in mind is that if you want to stay off the loan, in most cases only her income could be counted for qualification purposes. I really recommend the two of you talk to one of our Home Loan Experts to do a deep dive on your situation. You can get in touch with them by filling out this form or calling (888) 728-4702.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  6. I have dual citizenship (Canada) but have never lived in the US. My wife and I are considering moving to the US. We have excellent credit in Canada and a pretty good down payment. Is our Canadian credit rating and employment history recognized in the US and how long will we have to live there in order to prove residency to apply for a mortgage?

    1. Hi Dave:

      The credit part is a little more of a concern for me. If and when you move here, you’re probably going to want to establish some U.S. credit card accounts and rental history to start. It would be best to talk to one of our Home Loan Experts to go over your options. They may have some tips. They would also be able to give you more guidance in terms of residency. Since you’re a dual citizen, there would be less documentation needed on that front. You can get in touch with us by filling out this form or calling (888) 728-4702.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  7. Hi, I have a situation and I want to know what my chances are for mortgage.

    So, I am living in the states since 10 years with a good credit history 700+ and so is my wife with an excellent credit history of 750+.

    I was recently granted Asylum by the immigration court. Legally I am not a permanent resident yet but I can apply for it after one year of asylum grant. That would be in next 8 months. I cannot claim myself as a permanent resident anywhere but when I will eventually get my green card (8+5 month processing time=13 months), it will count my permanent residency since the day I was granted asylum.

    According to law of the book, Asylum status is not a guaranteed permanent status but in practice it is so different, they issue unrestricted social security cards as soon as it is granted allowing us to accept employment without having to show USCIS documents. All we would need is SSN and a form of ID to accept employment contract of any length. In other words, law says something else but their policy assumes me as a guaranteed to-be-permanent resident.

    How a person in my situation will be treated for loan purposes? I would wait another 13 months but our first baby is on its way and I feel apartment will be too inconvenient for us pre and post maternity.

    1. We can definitely help you look into your options. It’s a good sign that you have 10 years of credit history. My advice to you is to speak with one of our Home Loan Experts. You can do that by filling out this form or calling 888-728-4702.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  8. Hi,

    My husband and I were in the process of obtaining a mortgage loan through a local bank, we already had the house and everything but after the loan application was process we were denied the loan, because of our legal status. My husband and I have had DACA for four years and have been living here over 10 years. We would like to know what mortgage loans do we qualify for with DACA?
    Thank you
    Lizeth

    1. I’m not sure about your options, but the best thing for you to do would be to talk to one of our licensed mortgage bankers by filling out this form or calling 888-728-4702. They can go over your scenario and see if we have any options. I would make sure to explain about your legal status upfront.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

    2. Lizeth, were you able to get a loan? I’m also a DACA recipient and looking at options to buy my first home.
      Thanks in advance!

      1. Hi Ana:

        The situation is different for every client. I’m going to suggest you talk to one of our Home Loan Experts to get personalized advice. You can get in touch with them by filling out this form or calling (888) 728-4702.

        Thanks,
        Kevin Graham

    3. my husband and I went to a Morgatge company and we got approved for a FHA and the down paiment assistant, but when they were bout to give us the letter for make an offer she realize that my husband has a work permit, C33 she said thar her mortgage is not allow to make this type of loans anymore, but she said that there is more mortgage lenders that does… so we still looking for that.. we now we have the good credit score to approve already and that we can get te down payment assistant as well.. by any chanse do you make this kind of loans.. in our situation.

      1. Hi Sahyly:

        We offer one loan option with a 1% down payment and a 2% grant that functions as a sort of down payment assistance. Without looking at other information, I can’t tell you for certain whether you would qualify. Your husband’s work status is another issue we would have to take a look at. The best thing for you to do would be to talk to one of our Home Loan Experts. You can get in touch with them by filling out this form or calling (888) 728-4702.

        Thanks,
        Kevin Graham

  9. Hey, i am here in usa on green card for last 9 months and have started working since last 2-3 months on three jobs and making around 3-3500 every month. I have credit score over 680 due to new credit history. I want to get FHA loan and was told by one of mortgage lender to have two years pay history. who all lenders offer FHA loan without two years pay history restriction?

    1. Hi Shaw:

      There are certain issues around being a new resident and making sure you have established credit, but we can help you look into your options. Someone will be reaching out.

      Thanks,
      Kevin

  10. Hi I am Ann,
    I was pre-approved for mortgage a month ago, since I got the pre approval I worked with my realtor to look for a house, I found one but then when we we’re gonna start working with process of closing they just told me that they just found it that I cannot do FHA nor conventional loan coz I am only 1 year employed here I usa, I am a permanent resident alien and I am 2 yrs now here in usa and have a stable job its just frustrating after all do work we’ve done and found the house i want then only to find out that I’m not eligible to do fha or conventional just because of my employment history here in usa I even have money for downpayment. Is there anyway I can do? Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Ann:

      The requirements surrounding applying for a mortgage as a permanent resident alien get a bit too complicated to try and answer in the comments section. I’m going to have someone reach out to go over your specific situation with you. They’ll be in contact.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  11. Hi,

    I am a non-resident alien who will be working part time while attending school. I wonder if I will be able to qualify for mortgage?

    Take care,

    Ran

    1. Hi Ran:

      In your case, income may be an issue as much as residency. That said, I can have someone reach out and go over this with you so you know where you stand.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  12. Hello,

    My name is Jai. I am planning to apply for home loan. Currently I have H1 valid till end of July and my employer is in the process of extending it to next 3 year. Can you please let me know, will I be eligible for home loan and if yes what are the options.

    Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Jai:

      We can definitely help you look into any options you may have available to you. Someone will be reaching out to take a closer look at this!

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  13. Hi This is soumen here,we are husband wife and we have a baby, who born n go up here,we are here in asylum status here,I am working here, and have ssn and work authorisation card, can we get a homeloan here?

    1. Hi Soumen:

      Every situation is different. I’m going to have someone reach out to really look into your options and see if there’s anything you can do.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  14. My fiancee and i were buying our first home via an fha loan, i am a natural born us citizen and he is a palauan citizen living and working in the us. Our lender says that without a visa or green card he is not eligible for a fha loan, but as a palauan citizen he is not required to have either of those due to the compact of free association between the us and palau. He is a us local gov’t employee with a valid, unrestricted social security card. Can anyone please help us out of verifing his eligibility. Thanks!

    1. Hi Brandy:

      I’m not familiar with diplomatic law and the agreements between countries, but we would be happy to look into his situation and see if we can help you. Someone will be reaching out to go over this.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

    1. Hi Claudia:

      Every situation is different. I’m going to have someone reach out to you about this so we can look into it for you. They’ll be in touch.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  15. My fiance and I are trying to obtain a mortgage loan from a local bank that has Quicken Loans as an investor. I have had DACA for nearly four years and he has had TPS for four years as well. He and I have lived in the US for more than ten years. Would we be eligible to apply for a mortgage loan? If so, what type of mortgage loans do we qualify for; conventional, VA, jumbo?

    1. Hi Helen:

      It’s not possible to tell you what you might qualify for without knowing more information. I’m going to have someone reach out to you to look further into your situation. They’ll be in touch.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  16. Hello,

    My wife and I applied for our legal permanent residency and currently are on EAD. Can your agency help us obtain home loan?

    Regards,
    Amit Sengupta

    1. Hi Amit:

      We can definitely help you look into your options. Someone will be reaching out.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  17. Hi! I am a permanent resident my GC is good for 10 years. I want to get a home loan, but I have no credit established yet since I am new in the country. I have tried to applied credit cards to some banks here but I got declined because of no credits. I hope to hear from you soon.

    1. Hi Lourdes:

      Before you get your first credit card, you might have to apply for a secured card where the credit is backed with a deposit you make. Hughes more information on establishing credit. I’m also going to get you in touch with one of our Home Loan Experts may be able to give you more tips on getting your credit to the point where you’re ready to apply. Good luck and welcome to America!

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  18. Hello,

    Thank you for this post, it seems to be the clearest answer online.

    I’m a us citizen and recently married. My wife entered the US legally on an F1 visa but currently is expired and we have her green card application and work authorization pending.

    I recently got a mortgage approval but the bank was unsure about putting my wife on there stating that her status couldn’t be pending.

    We’re trying to figure out options. I want her on the loan and we don’t want to stall for a few months until her green card is no longer pending.

    Thank you,
    Jim

    1. Hi Jim:

      Residency issues tend to be a bit complicated, but I’m going to get your question to a Home Loan Expert and see what your options are.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  19. Hello. Me and my husband have Asylum Granted. So of course i94 and EAD. In october will apply for GCard. Can we get a USDA mirtgage?

    1. Hi Alina:

      You can get a mortgage assuming you have all your paperwork in order. The exact requirements for documentation may vary based on the lender. I can tell you that unfortunately, we don’t do USDA loans.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  20. My husband is Norwegian and has great credit in Norway and I am his American wife with a great credit score here yet my husband is the bread winner and since he has no credit here in the USA yet we are having a hard time getting a Morgage… Any other advice? Maybe a private lender or no credit loan we can apply for?

    1. Hey Steph:

      I’m going to have one of our Home Loan Experts reach out to you and talk about what you can do.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  21. I have moved here with work and have all the paperwork and a healthy deposit along with an amazing credit rating in the UK. I have found it impossible to get any kind of mortgage and am consistently denied as i haven’t got any credit history.

    I NEED HELP! i just want a place to live.

    1. Good morning, Nick. Yes, that’s an incredibly unfortunate situation. First of all, I would recommend speaking with a lender before applying. At the very least, you can talk through your options before applying. Next, I would begin building credit slowly. Take a look at this article from the Zing Blog; it’s actually about rebuilding your credit after being denied a mortgage, but many of the principles will apply to your situation. I’m also going to have a home loan expert reach out to you to get some more information.

      And while renting is probably not going to be a long-term solution, living in an apartment could give you some time to build credit in the U.S.

      Have a good day, Nick. We’re happy to have you on this side of the pond.

  22. I am having I 797 A approval for I129 which will expire on 1st September, 2016 and also have I797 approval for I140. But I don’t have my H1B stamping on my passport .. Will I be eligible for conventional or FHA loan ?

    1. Hi Ani! I’ve passed your comment on to our home loan experts. They’ll reach out to discuss your situation and see what your options are.

        1. Hi Shishir:

          We would be happy to help you look into your options. The best way to do that would be to talk to one of our licensed mortgage bankers. I’m going to recommend you fill out this form or call 888-728-4702. Hope this helps!

          Thanks,
          Kevin Graham

  23. I have a work permit for 3 years and I been working with the social they have me for three years now. Can I get a loan or not?

    1. Hey Johnsevastian! I’ve sent this over to our home loan experts who will reach out to get more information and see what your options are.

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