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Mortgage when on visa

Written By:
Myles Robinson - Expert Finance Advisor

Posted: Feb 13, 2023

Can I get a mortgage if I have a visa?

It can be hard to find a lender willing to accept visa holders in the UK and offer terms and interest rates that work for you.

I was talking to a broker familiar with the lenders accepting applicants for mortgages in the UK while on a visa is a good idea.

We will match you with a UK mortgage broker who is experienced in helping visa holders and foreign nationals, speak with us below:

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Can I apply for a mortgage in the UK if I have a valid visa?

This may be possible depending on what type of visa you hold.

Some lenders might require visa holders to obtain mortgages.

A visa that has been valid for more than 2.5 years would be preferable. Some lenders will prefer that you have lived and worked in the UK for many years before applying for a mortgage.

Each situation is different, and lenders have their criteria regarding visa type, loan-to-value ratio and income requirements for mortgages.

We recommend that you speak to an expert broker if you are visiting the UK with a spouse and wish to obtain a mortgage. We can help you find a lender and guide you through the process.

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What if my visa expires?

Yes, some lenders will lend to borrowers who haven’t been in the UK for a while or who have a short visa.

You may need to make a larger deposit of up to 25% for the mortgage to be approved. The interest rate may also be higher depending on the conditions.

There are many lenders on the market that offer competitive rates. Our brokers can help you find them and make comparisons to choose the most affordable rate.

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What visa types are acceptable for a mortgage application?

Many types of visas can be accepted for a mortgage request if you can prove you can pay the mortgage payments.

Every lender will look at different types of visas differently depending on their lending criteria.

Have your application approved by a mortgage broker. This will help you avoid disappointment and save money on application fees rather than finding a lender yourself. If you have a bad credit history, we will be sure to match you with a lender who deals with poor credit history.

Here are some examples of visas that might be accepted for a UK mortgage application:

  • Tier 1 Visa
  • Tier 2 Visa
  • Tier 5 Visa
  • Spousal Visa
  • Ancestry Visa
  • Work Visa
  • Student Visa
  • British National Overseas Visa

How is the assessment of mortgages for holders of tier 1 visas?

If they meet the standard eligibility requirements of the provider, Tier 1 visa holders are eligible to apply for a UK mortgage.

Tier 1 visa holders may be evaluated based on more than just meeting the lender’s general mortgage requirements.

  • The visa expiry date: Most lenders will require that you have at least 2.5 years remaining on your visa. However, this is not always necessary. It depends on the type and income of the visa holder.
  • The time they have lived in the UK.
    Lenders prefer that Tier 1 holders have lived and worked in the UK for at least five years before they will consider a mortgage application.
  • The amount they have in deposit:
    A minimum deposit for residential properties in the UK is usually 5-10%. Tier 1 visa holders might be required to pay more. However, around 25% is the standard. If you have been in the country for less than 2.5 years or are just entering, 25% is almost inevitable.

Don’t worry if you don’t meet the criteria.

Our expert brokers have access to mortgage lenders who can arrange mortgages for visa holders and tier 1 customers daily. This includes people with low deposits, visa holders just entering the country, and those who have been there less than 2.5 years.

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For holders of tier 2 visas, mortgages

When applying for a mortgage, Tier 2 visa holders will be assessed the same as tier 1. The following are the main points that a lender will be considering:

  • The length of time they have been living in the UK., 2-3 Years, is the minimum standard.
  • How long do they have to stay on their Tier 2 visa? Six months to one year is the standard.

Other eligibility factors such as their deposit amount may also be necessary. Most lenders prefer Tier 2 visa holders with a UK bank account, credit record, and employment track record.

Can I obtain a mortgage with a spouse visa in Britain?

Spousal visas are a type that allows people who are married to UK citizens to have the right to live permanently in the UK. The spousal visa also allows the visa holder to work in the UK.

Lenders see this as reducing the chance of a borrower losing their visa.

A mortgage should be possible if you are a UK spouse on a valid visa and meet the eligibility and affordability criteria for the lender you are applying to.

A mortgage broker who has experience with visa borrowers would be able to advise you on which lenders might consider your mortgage application. This will ensure that your application is successful.

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Is my spouse’s spousal visa preventing me from getting a joint mortgage?

A spouse visa allows the holder to work in the UK, so it is possible to apply for a joint mortgage.

This could allow you to get a bigger mortgage. Most lenders will consider loans that are higher if your income is higher.

You may need to submit your income only if you have difficulty getting a lender to approve your mortgage loan.

This means that the lender will only consider your income when determining affordability. However, this could also mean that the visa requirements of the second applicant might be overlooked.

This may allow you to get a better mortgage rate without applying for the mortgage under a single name.

Talk to a broker to find out which lenders are willing to lend to UK spousal visa holders to get the mortgage you want.

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Can I get a Buy to Let mortgage using a Visa?

Buy-to-Let Mortgages are more difficult to arrange because lenders consider this type of mortgage riskier since borrowers (and future landlords alike) rely on rental income to pay the mortgage.

Experienced landlords with a track record of finding tenants and paying their mortgage on time are less risky to mortgage lenders.

This can make it more difficult for someone who doesn’t have as much experience and may not be familiar with the UK rental market and property market.

Lender requirements for buy-to-let borrowers can be stricter because of this, mainly if you are also on a visa to the UK.

What are the requirements?

You may have to meet specific criteria depending on your lender for buy-to-let mortgages…

  • Tier 1 or Tier 2 visa
  • Minimum 3 years of residence in the UK
  • Your passport must be valid for at least one year
  • Deposit 25% or more
  • You have held the UK buy to-let mortgage for six months, or you live in a UK home that you own

Specialist lenders can help you with visa-holders who need mortgages. You may still be eligible for a loan even if you don’t meet the above requirements.

We can assist you with your application and connect you with the right lenders.

To speak with an expert mortgage broker, enquire here. This service is free of charge and you are not required to take any action.

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What is the maximum amount I can borrow for a UK visa holder to get a mortgage?

affordability checks will be made for mortgage applicants regardless of whether or not you are a visa holder. They will consider your income, credit history, and outgoings. Lenders will consider your financial situation to determine how much they can lend you to get a mortgage.

Each lender will lend at a different level of generosity.

This will be a significant difference if you have a more complicated financial situation.

Mortgages for people with poor credit could be considered a greater risk because it could indicate that the person has had problems managing their finances in the past.

Lenders will sometimes reduce the amount they are willing to lend. They will also ask for a higher down payment to ensure you have more equity and reduce their risk.

Do you have any suggestions on how to calculate my affordability?

Yes! Our brokers help borrowers to calculate their affordability every day.

They will be able to go through your finances together and look at your:

  • Income
  • Outgoings
  • Debts – Do you have outstanding credit cards, a loan, or are you applying for a mortgage?
  • Dependants
  • Credit history

These factors, together with your income source and age, give a more accurate estimate that reflects your circumstances.

Send an enquiry to speak to one of our advisors to learn more about the amount you could borrow. Also, please see our affordability section to get more information.

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Do I need professional advice?

Working with seasoned brokers who have successfully negotiated visa mortgages can be a time-saver. Many brokers claim they are whole-of-market but have limited experience in niche markets.

This can lead to misinformation, which could cause borrowers to be turned down for loans because they were given the wrong advice.

Talk to an expert today

We have several expert mortgage brokers available to answer any questions you may have about obtaining a mortgage using a visa. You can also make a quick online enquiry.

We will connect you to one of our brokers who is experienced in arranging mortgages for visa-holders in the UK.

Our service is entirely free and without obligation.

We work with brokers who are all whole-of-market and have access to all UK mortgage lenders. They are familiar with which lenders will accept mortgage applications from visa-holders, which saves you time, money, and a lot of hassle.

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