Foreign Nationals Living in the UK and wanting to Buy a Property in the UK

Mortgages For Foreign Nationals Buying In The UK

If you a foreign national living in the UK, you may well want to buy a property while you are here – whether it’s a new family home or just a temporary residence for you.

The choices available to you depend on two things:

  • Whether you are an EU National
  • How long you have lived and worked in the UK

EU Nationals

If you are an EU national, you should have a traceable credit history and you will potentially be able to get a regular UK residential mortgage, without any extra costs.

There are three requirements for this:

You have been resident in the EU for more than 3 years
You have a UK bank account
You have a permanent job in the UK

Additionally, of course, you will have to meet the same credit rating standards as UK borrowers, but you shouldn’t have any problems getting a competitive UK mortgage – or a buy-to-let mortgage either.


Non-EU Nationals

If you are not an EU national then you will have no traceable credit history within the UK, which causes complications when applying for a mortgage.

The solve this, the basic requirements you will have to meet are:

Resident in UK for more than 2 years
Have a permanent job in the UK
Have permanent residence rights in the UK, or a UK Work Permit
Have a UK bank account

Permanent residence is considered preferable to only having a work permit, but there are lenders who will provide a mortgage on the basis of a work permit only.

The requirement to have lived in the UK for two years is due to the necessity of building up a UK credit history before lenders can approve your mortgage application – read on to learn about one possible way around this problem.


Non-Status Lending (Self-Certification)

Whether you are an EU national or not, there is one other mortgage option that will enable you to bypass some of these requirements. If you are able to provide at least a 25% deposit for the property you wish to buy, you may be able to get a so-called non-status mortgage – better known as a self-certification mortgage.

This means that you are not required to provide proof of your income – instead you simply agree in writing that you can afford the mortgage repayments you require.

This is the reason a relatively large deposit is required – to balance out the risk of your defaulting for the lender.


How Do I Find A Lender Who Will Accept Foreign Nationals?

As always with non-standard mortgage requirements, by far the best way to find a suitable choice of mortgages is by going through an independent adviser.

Being independent, they will have access to the whole mortgage marketplace, including mortgages that are only offered through brokers (ie not directly to customers) where sometimes the best deals can be found.


Read on about Expat Mortgages