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I am the author of this blog and also a top-producing Loan Officer and CEO of InstaMortgage Inc, the fastest-growing mortgage company in America. All the advice is based on my experience of helping thousands of homebuyers and homeowners. We are a mortgage company and will help you with all your mortgage needs. Unlike lead generation websites, we do not sell your information to multiple lenders or third-party companies.

Mortgage for H1B L or O visa holders!

If you are a non-permanent resident on a valid work permit like H1B, L1A, L1B, or O Visa or an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), you need to know a few mortgage guidelines to qualify for a Conventional or FHA loan.

The following base qualification is required:

  • Two years of employment history in the US (In some cases, employment history in a foreign country may be combined, especially if working for the same organization)
  • Some credit history in the US, typically for 1+ years

Fannie Mae Guideline for Qualifying for Conforming (Conventional Loan)

Taken from Fannie Mae Handbook

“Fannie Mae purchases and securitizes mortgages made to non-U.S. citizens who are lawful permanent or non-permanent residents of the United States under the same terms that are available to U.S. citizens. Fannie Mae does not specify the precise documentation the lender must obtain to verify that a non-U.S. citizen borrower is legally present in the United States. The lender must make a determination of the non-U.S. citizen’s status based on the circumstances of the individual case, using documentation it deems appropriate.”

Most lenders would require a valid copy of the work visa. If the visa is expiring within a one-year period, a letter from the employer may be required that they plan to apply for an extension of the visa. For some lenders, EAD is not a valid document for a conventional loan. So, if you plan on getting on an EAD and can still maintain your work visa – do so.

Qualifying for an FHA Loan:

Taken from FHA Handbook

“FHA insures mortgages made to non-permanent resident aliens provided that the borrower is eligible to work in the United States, as evidenced by an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) issued by the USCIS.

If the EAD will expire within one year and a prior history of residency status renewals exists, the lender may assume that continuation will be granted. If there are no prior renewals, the lender must determine the likelihood of renewal, based on information from the USCIS. Note: Borrowers residing in the U.S. by virtue of refugee or asylee status granted by the USCIS are automatically eligible to work in this country. An EAD is not required.”

A recent update also allows borrowers on H-1B Visa to qualify for an FHA loan.

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Do I have to pay higher rates?

For both FHA and Conforming Loans, if you qualify for a mortgage, you get the same rates as a US Citizen or a Permanent Resident.Ā 

Do I have to make a higher down payment?

Again, for most loans, you can make the same down payment as a US Citizen if you qualify for the mortgage. On some Jumbo loans, lenders do require a higher down payment for non-permanent resident borrowers.

Bottom line – 10%-20% of our loans are originated for borrowers on Work Visa and/or EAD. We understand your immigration status, the loans you will qualify for, and lenders who work best for you. Very few lenders have the same expertise with non-permanent resident borrowers as we do.

So call or email me today to schedule a consultation to startĀ your home-buying process.


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