If you’ve recently relocated to the UK as a foreign national, you might be interested in your eligibility for a mortgage, especially if you’re on a Tier 2 skilled worker visa or another type of visa. Understanding the nuances of a ‘foreign national mortgage’ is essential in navigating the complexities of obtaining a mortgage in the UK under these circumstances. 

Historically, mortgage lenders typically required at least two years of UK residency before considering applications from visa holders. However, this requirement is rapidly changing, with many lenders now reducing or eliminating it altogether. Now is an opportune time to consult with an experienced mortgage advisor who can provide tailored guidance and assistance regardless of your visa status.

Strive Mortgages are experts in arranging mortgages for foreign nationals of all Visa types., we possess significant expertise in securing mortgage solutions for international clients. Leveraging our deep understanding of the market, we tailor terms to suit your specific needs.

What are the Tiers of the UK Work Visa System

In the UK, work visas are granted based on a points-based system, where eligibility is evaluated through a scoring mechanism that takes into account factors like age, proficiency in English, and visa tier-specific criteria. This structured approach helps regulate entry into the country based on qualifications and skills.

Hear is a bit more detail:

Tier 1: Reserved for high-value migrants, including investors, entrepreneurs, and individuals with exceptional talent, allowing them to live and work in the UK without needing a job offer.

Tier 2: Designed for skilled workers with a job offer in the UK, covering various professions and industries.

Tier 3: Originally intended for low-skilled workers but remains unused as the UK government hasn’t allocated any visas under this tier.

Tier 4: Granted to international students enrolled in UK educational institutions, enabling them to study and work part-time during their studies.

Tier 5: Offers temporary work visas for specific purposes such as charity work, creative or sporting events, government-sponsored exchanges, and international agreements.

Is it possible to Get a Mortgage with a Biometric Residence Permit?

A Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) contains personal and biometric data, indicating the holder’s immigration status and stay conditions. Possessing a BRP doesn’t automatically ensure mortgage approval, as lenders require all criteria to be met. However, UK mortgages are typically accessible to BRP holders who meet lender requirements.

 Understanding mortgage eligibility within this visa system is crucial, impacting approval rates and available products. Navigating mortgage applications can be intricate, particularly for specific visa categories like Tier 4 students or Tier 5 temporary workers, often necessitating tailored financial guidance.

Is it possible to secure a mortgage in the UK without indefinite leave to remain

If you possess indefinite leave to remain, you’re entitled to reside, study, and work in the UK indefinitely. However, if you lack indefinite leave to remain, obtaining a mortgage is feasible but offers fewer options. Yet, with guidance from a knowledgeable mortgage broker, like Strive Mortgages, accessing an affordable mortgage remains attainable. Our skilled team specialises in various mortgages, including those for skilled worker visas, ensuring expert assistance tailored to your needs.

Are mortgage lending criteria different for visa holders? 

While all UK mortgage applicants must meet lender requirements, the criteria can be stricter for foreign nationals, posing potential challenges in securing a mortgage. Nonetheless, with expertise in foreign national mortgages, brokers like us can advise on actions necessary for approval.

Lending requirements:

– Typically, a minimum of 12 months remaining on your Tier 2 visa is required, unless your employer guarantees permit renewal.

– Many lenders stipulate a minimum two-year UK residency, though exceptions exist based on individual lender policies.

– Standard credit checks are conducted; however, a poor credit history may hinder approval or access to competitive deals. Some specialist lenders accommodate applicants with adverse credit, yet a favourable credit score enhances mortgage prospects.

– Most lenders expect a permanent employment contract and several months’ payslips to validate income.

– A higher deposit, sourced from personal funds, may be necessary.

– Affordability criteria may be stringent, with some lenders setting higher minimum income thresholds for foreign nationals, reaching up to £75,000 in some cases.

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Which visas are not compatible with mortgage lenders?

While lenders are increasingly accommodating foreign national mortgages, certain visas may still pose challenges for mortgage approval.

  • Tier 5 visas, designed for temporary workers with short-term stays in the UK, are unlikely to be approved for mortgages.
  •  Refugees may face difficulty obtaining a mortgage unless granted permanent residency rights.

Which lenders consider visa mortgage applications?

Numerous mortgage lenders, including major banks and building societies, accept applications from visa holders, typically requiring a minimum deposit of 25% or a 75% loan-to-value ratio.

Additionally, some lenders have adjusted their criteria in 2023/2024 to facilitate foreign national mortgages. Below is a table highlighting these lenders and their updated visa mortgage criteria.

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These represent only a fraction of the lenders open to foreign nationals seeking UK mortgages; numerous others exist. Whether you seek a Tier 2 visa mortgage or any other type, reach out to our team. We’ll guide you toward lenders tailored to your specific needs.

If you’re seeking a mortgage in the UK, whether on a skilled worker’s visa, Tier 1, Tier 2, or any other visa granting entry, our skilled mortgage brokers are here to assist you. Reach out today to explore your mortgage options and receive expert guidance.


Does your visa status affect chances of getting a mortgage? Yes, you may be required to have lived in the uk a minimum period of time or have a a minimum deposit. Each lender’s criteria will vary, some are more accommodating than others. 

See How long do you have to live in the UK to get a mortgage? While it’s possible to get a mortgage as soon as you arrive in the Uk, you will need to ensure you pass the residency criteria with the lenders and will need to allow time to build a good credit score. 

Can I get a mortgage if I’ve lived in the uk less than 3 years? Yes, some lenders have no minimum residency requirements, although this will vary amongst lenders. 

Is it possible to get a mortgage on a skilled worker visa? Yes, although some lenders may require larger deposits or minimum residency periods or incomes.

Contact us todayand we’ll work hard on your behalf to find you a competitive mortgage.

For more information on mortgages for contractors, please contact a member of the Strive team, by emailing [email protected] or call us on 01273 002697.