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As A Foreign National Can I Get a Mortgage in the UK?

Navigating the mortgage landscape in any country can be daunting, and it can be particularly challenging for foreign nationals in the UK. This guide is designed to provide you with the knowledge and confidence needed to explore your mortgage options as a non-UK citizen. Whether you're a first-time buyer or an experienced investor, knowing the details of foreign national mortgages will help you make informed decisions.

Understanding Foreign National Mortgages

What is a Foreign National Mortgage?

A foreign national mortgage operates similarly to a standard UK mortgage but comes with stricter lending criteria. These mortgages are specifically tailored for non-UK citizens who do not have permanent rights to reside in the UK. While UK citizens can typically obtain mortgages from high street lenders, foreign nationals might find these traditional routes more challenging.

Why Are They Different?

High street lenders often see foreign nationals as higher-risk borrowers due to factors like visa status and short-term residence. As a result, the criteria for foreign national mortgages are stricter. However, this doesn't mean getting a mortgage is impossible. Many banks and building societies offer mortgage solutions specifically tailored for foreign nationals.

Types of Visas and Their Impact on Mortgage Applications

Which Visas Are Accepted?

Lenders are more likely to consider mortgage applications from foreign nationals holding specific types of visas. The most accepted visas include:

  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa: Designed for individuals looking to establish or run a business in the UK.

  • Tier 2 (Skilled Worker) Visa: For those employed by a UK-based company in a skilled occupation.

  • Family Visa: For family members of British citizens or settled persons.

  • Spouse Visa: For spouses or partners of British citizens or settled persons.

Which visas are unacceptable?

Most temporary visas, such as Tier 5 visas, will not be approved for mortgages.

Additionally, refugees are currently ineligible for UK mortgages.

The Impact of Brexit on EU Citizens

If you're an EU citizen, it's important to note that mortgage regulations have become stricter since Brexit. While it is still possible to obtain a mortgage, consulting with a mortgage broker who understands the current rules and regulations is highly recommended. This will help you navigate any new requirements that may apply to your specific situation.

Criteria for Obtaining a Foreign National Mortgage

Do I Need a UK Bank Account?

Yes, having a UK bank account is a crucial requirement when applying for a foreign national mortgage. You will also need:

  • Three Months' Payslips: From a permanent job, if employed.

  • Tax Calculations / Accounts: For self-employed individuals, including Limited Company Directors, most lenders will need to see a minimum of two years income evidence.

Can I Get a Mortgage Without Leave to Remain?

Yes, it is possible to secure a mortgage without having permanent residency or indefinite leave to remain. However, you will generally need to meet specific criteria, such as:

  • Holding an acceptable Visa.

  • Demonstrating a traceable credit history.

  • Maintaining a good credit score.

Similarities to Standard Mortgages

Foreign national mortgages operate much like standard UK mortgages. The primary difference lies in the eligibility criteria, which can include:

  • Larger Deposit Requirements: While a few lenders may accept a 5% deposit, many will require a minimum of 25%.

  • Additional Paperwork: This will involve proving your visa status and residency.

Income and Deposit Requirements

Many high street lenders are increasingly open to offering mortgages to foreign nationals who either earn between £75,000 and £100,000 annually or can provide a substantial deposit, usually 25%. The interest rates offered are typically comparable to those for standard mortgages, making this a viable option for financially stable foreign nationals.

Additionally, some lenders will accept a deposit as low as 5% in certain cases.

Steps to Apply for a Foreign National Mortgage

  1. Assess Your Eligibility: Determine if you meet the basic criteria for a foreign national mortgage, including visa type, income level, and deposit amount.

  2. Enhance Your Credit Score - A solid credit report is essential. Address any known issues or errors promptly. For more information & tips visit our article How to Improve Your Credit Score.

  3. Consult a Mortgage Broker: Seek advice from a professional who specialises in foreign national mortgages to understand your options and the best lenders to approach.

  4. Prepare Documentation: Gather all necessary documents, including proof of income, UK bank account details, and visa information.

  5. Secure an Agreement in Principle: to avoid any future disappointment you should consider putting in place a mortgage Agreement in Principle BEFORE venturing out to view properties.

Planning to apply for a mortgage soon? Check out our Learning Centre where you will find many other hints and tips, including:


Obtaining a mortgage as a foreign national in the UK can be challenging but it is entirely achievable with the right approach. By understanding the specific requirements and seeking professional advice, you can navigate the mortgage landscape confidently and secure the home of your dreams.

Are you ready to take the next step? Contact us today and speak with a member of our team to explore your options and start the process of securing a foreign national mortgage.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Not all Buy to Let Mortgages are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

Published by Beechwood Mortgages Ref: 219335 with review and approval from Stonebridge Mortgage Solutions Limited who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority Ref: 454811.

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