In the United States (U.S.), minimal restrictions on foreign national property ownership exist. Still, as a foreign buyer, navigating the loan application process is more complicated and often requires more documentation. To further complicate things, your status in the country significantly affects the documentation you need to provide. If you are a foreign real estate investor who wants to carve out their piece of the American Dream, understanding the necessary documentation is essential.
Working with a foreign national mortgage lender like mbanc is imperative to streamlining the process and eliminating stress. Learn the documents foreign nationals need to purchase U.S. real estate:
Residence Documents that Impact a Foreign Buyer
While the U.S. imposes minimal restrictions on foreign real estate investors, residency is still a key consideration. For foreign buyers, their residence status impacts the documents they need and financing eligibility.
There are three general categories for non-citizens residing in the country. If you are an international buyer and fall under one of these categories, review the implications:
Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR)
A lawful permanent resident is, essentially, someone with a green card. This document enables an individual to work and live in the U.S. permanently.
With a green card, international investors can secure a mortgage with a significantly lower down payment. Moreover, if you are a foreign buyer with a green card, you will face minimal limitations on the financing you can apply for.
This document enables you to pursue all the same financing options as a U.S. citizen, which means less paperwork when applying for a mortgage.
Non-permanent Resident Alien
The second category non-citizens living in the country fall under is that of a non-permanent resident alien.
People with this residence status can legally live and work in the country on a “temporary basis,” though this is a negotiable term. A foreign buyer with a valid Social Security number and work permit or visa in their passport has more financing options.
However, non-permanent resident aliens should anticipate providing supplemental documentation verifying how long they can legally work and live in the country.
Refugees and Asylees
The Department of Homeland Security defines refugees and asylees as those who are “unable or unwilling to return to their country of nationality because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution.”
After one year of residency, refugees and asylees may apply for a green card, but a foreign buyer with this status can also apply for a mortgage with a Form I-94A or another type of official residence or employment document.
Foreign National Mortgage Documents A Foreign Buyer Needs
Ultimately, the documents you need as a foreign buyer hinge on your circumstances. Still, there are some documents every foreign real estate investor should anticipate furnishing when applying for financing:
- A foreign passport, U.S. visa, or driver’s license
- A Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
- Financial statements from the applicant’s foreign bank
- Wire transfer records
- Proof of income (bank statements, tax returns from the applicant’s home country)
- Asset statements
- Proof of property insurance
- Proof of reserves
- Proof of funds for a downpayment
- A credit report from the applicant’s home country
Still, if you have established credit in the U.S. or have filed U.S. tax returns, these can facilitate and streamline the process. Moreover, for international buyers, depending on the state, you may need to obtain a Foreign Investment Permit (FIP).
If you are an international investor applying while under a temporary non-resident alien status, you may need to prove your work contract spans three years. Lenders may also conduct an extensive background check with your employer and immigration.
Ultimately, only a premier lender like mbanc can guide international buyers through this process to experience a seamless mortgage experience.
Learn How mbanc Finances Foreign Buyers Like You
Innumerable opportunities are available to international buyers in the U.S. market, but capitalizing on them requires maneuvering through a morass of paperwork. While there are no legal restrictions on foreign buyers, gathering the necessary documentation and navigating the complex financing process can seem like an insurmountable obstacle.
Fortunately, when you partner with an unparalleled lender like mbanc, we clear these obstacles and provide a clear path to U.S. real estate ownership. To learn more about how we can help, talk with our team and apply today.