Welcome to Strive Mortgages, specialist mortgage brokers for foreign nationals

The UK is an attractive place to purchase property for many foreign buyers, but securing a mortgage can sometimes be challenging for foreign nationals due to the stringent criteria imposed by traditional lenders.

That’s where Strive Mortgages comes in. As your trusted mortgage broker, we can help you to understand your mortgage options. approach the right mortgage lender and handle the mortgage application on your behalf. As a mortgage broker, we have access to many deals from both specialist and high-street lenders.

To discuss your foreign national mortgage requirements, contact our professional and experienced team today.

Are foreign nationals eligible for UK mortgages?

Yes, almost all UK lenders offer mortgages for foreign nationals. There are several factors that will determine the number of options available to you.

For example:

  • you may be required to provide a larger deposit than a UK citizen.
  • some mortgage lenders impose a minimum UK residency period before you can apply.
  • if you are a foreign national applying for a joint mortgage with a UK citizen, you may have a wider range of options available than buying alone.

What are ‘foreign national mortgages’?

When we refer to a ‘foreign national mortgage’, we mean mortgages for non-UK citizens. Or, quite simply, someone who has the right to reside and work in the UK but doesn’t have a UK passport (or the right to one).

Also, when we say ‘foreign national mortgage’, we are referring to the approval criteria, which can be more stringent for a standard mortgage. However, the interest rates and terms of the mortgage are generally the same as those offered to UK residents.

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What type of foreign nationals are eligible for a UK mortgage?

Typically, if you are a foreign national living in the UK with a visa or residency status that enables you to work, you are likely to be eligible for a mortgage in the UK.

However, meeting the eligibility requirements is not a guarantee of mortgage approval. Lenders will also assess factors such as your income, credit history, employment status, affordability, and the type of visa you hold. It’s advisable to consult with a mortgage advisor who can help assess your eligibility based on your personal circumstances.

  • Permanent Residency (Indefinite Leave to Remain – ILR): Generally eligible for a UK mortgage with access to a wider range of options. Most lenders will consider you in the same way as a UK resident when it comes to their criteria.
  • Temporary Residency (Limited Leave to Remain – LTR): Eligible for a mortgage, but the options may be more limited compared to permanent residents. Lenders may consider factors like the remaining duration of your leave and the stability of your income.
  • Visa holder: Eligibility varies based on the type of visa, income, and remaining visa duration. Tier 2 (General) visa holders, especially those with long-term work contracts, may have good eligibility.
  • Ancestry visa holder: Eligible for a mortgage, especially if you have a stable income and meet other lender criteria.
  • EU citizen: EU nationals with Settled Status or Pre-Settled Status are eligible to apply for a UK mortgage, subject to standard lender criteria and affordability assessments.
  • Partner/spousal visa and family visa holder: Eligible, especially if the sponsoring family member has a stable income and meets the lender’s criteria.
  • Non-UK Resident: Non-UK residents may face challenges in obtaining a mortgage, and lenders may have specific requirements or limitations.

How long do you need to have lived in the UK to get a mortgage?

Criteria for foreign national mortgages varies between lenders. Some require you to have lived in the UK longer than others.

How long they ask for depends on certain factors:

  • Your residency status
  • Nationality 
  • Deposit amount
  • Length of time remaining on your visa (if you have one)

While some foreign national mortgages are available as soon as you’ve arrived in the UK, you will have more options available the longer you reside here. Having lived in the UK for 5 years or more can enhance your chances of mortgage approval, as it demonstrates a stable residency history and potential financial stability.

You will also have more options once you have lived in the UK long enough to establish a good credit history. So it is a good idea to focus on building your credit score as soon as you enter the UK. Having your salary paid into a UK bank account and setting up direct debits is a good place to start.

How to apply for foreign national mortgages

  1. Speak to a mortgage broker: Consider speaking to a mortgage broker who specialises in working with non-UK nationals, like Strive Mortgages. We can help you understand your options based on your personal circumstances, compare deals from different high street and specialist lenders, and guide you through the application process.
  2. Check your eligibility: Your broker can help assess your eligibility based on factors such as the length of time you’ve spent in the UK, your visa type, income level, and credit score.
  3. Improve your chances: Your broker can give you advice on how to improve your chances of getting a mortgage. For example, saving a larger deposit, extending your visa, building a good credit score, and considering a joint mortgage application with a UK national.
  4. Mortgage application: You must submit the required documentation with your application, such as proof of income, visa status, and bank statements. Your mortgage broker can take care of all of this on your behalf.
  5. Credit check and approval: The lender will then assess your application and make a decision on whether to approve your mortgage.
  6. Property valuation: The lender may conduct a valuation of the property to ensure it meets the conditions of the loan.
  7. Offer: If you are successful, the lender will approve your application and issue a mortgage offer detailing the terms and conditions of the loan.
  8. Completion: You and the seller agree on a closing date and complete the necessary transactions. Your mortgage broker can assist you with this.
  9. Closing: The mortgage funds are transferred to the seller, and you become the legal owner of a UK property!

What deposit do I need for a foreign national mortgage? 

The deposit required can vary depending on several factors, such as the length of time you have spent in the UK, the type of visa you have, and your source of income.

Some lenders may require a higher deposit, such as 25%, while others may be more flexible and consider deposits as low as 5-10%, especially if you have been a resident for more than 5 years.

Can I use funds from outside the UK for my deposit? 

Some lenders may accept a deposit from outside the UK if it can be proven that the funds are from a legitimate source. This may be subject to stringent checks, especially if the funds are from outside the European Union.

What documents do I need to apply for a foreign national mortgage?

Here are some of the documents you need to provide when applying for a mortgage in the UK:

  • Proof of ID: Passport or other government-issued ID
  • Visa: Proof of your right to reside in the UK
  • Income: Payslips or other evidence of income, such as a letter from
    your employer or accountant, and possibly tax returns
  • Deposit: Evidence of the source of your deposit funds
  • Bank statements
  • Credit report

How can Strive Mortgages help?

Whilst it is certainly possible to secure a mortgage as a non-UK national, there are a few more hurdles. Working with a broker who has experience in dealing with foreign national mortgage applications will give you the best possible chance of success.

At Strive Mortgages, we’re here to help and make the foreign national mortgage application process as easy as possible. Contact us to find a good mortgage deal as a non-UK national by emailing info@strivemortgages.co.uk or call us on 01273 002697.

Frequently asked questions about foreign national mortgages

Can I get a buy-to-let mortgage as a foreign national?

Yes, it’s certainly possible to secure a Buy-to-Let mortgage as a foreign national, subject to similar criteria as for residential mortgages. Buy-to-let mortgages generally require a deposit of at least 25%, and you will have considerably more options available if you are a UK homeowner.

Do foreign nationals need a permanent job to get a mortgage?

No, like a UK resident, there is no need to have permanent employment to get a mortgage as a foreign national. However, you will be required to show evidence of a steady income in a UK bank account so that lenders can be confident that you can meet the mortgage payments. This could include self-employed income or rental income, for example.

Can I pay my mortgage from overseas income?

Yes, some lenders will allow you to make UK mortgage payments using overseas income, but ensure it’s in a stable currency and can be verified by the lender. Be prepared for potential currency conversion and associated fees, and maintain compliance with legal and tax regulations in both your home country and the UK.

Can foreign nationals get a UK mortgage with a poor credit score?

Foreign nationals with a poor credit score or no credit history will find it very challenging to be approved for a foreign national mortgage. However, it’s not entirely impossible. Certain lenders may be willing to consider your application, but you should expect a much higher interest rate and less desirable terms.

Can a foreign national get a UK bank account?

Yes, foreign nationals residing in the UK can typically open a UK bank account. However, the process and requirements may vary depending on the bank and your residency status. Providing proof of identity, residency status, and a UK address may be necessary to open an account.

How does the length of UK residency affect mortgage options?

The length of your residency in the UK can significantly impact your mortgage options. Generally, the longer you have lived in the UK, the more mortgage options become available to you. With an extended residency history, you are more likely to have a positive credit rating and be eligible for better mortgage terms and lower interest rates.

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