Getting a mortgage with a Tier 2 Visa

If you are a foreign national living in the UK on a Tier 2 Visa, you may want to buy a property. This could either be on a temporary basis until you return home, or as a permanent investment.

Many Tier 2 Visa holders wonder whether they will be able to get a mortgage in the UK. The basic answer to the question is yes.

Your Tier 2 status will not in itself prevent you from being able to get a mortgage. However, different lenders will consider different criteria when looking at a Tier 2 Visa mortgage application.

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Author: Carl Shave - CEO and co-founder
Last updated: 21 Jun 2024

What do lenders consider with Tier 2 Visa mortgage applications?

In addition to the normal assessments lenders apply to all applications, they will usually consider the following two:

  • How long you have been resident in the UK.
  • How long you have left on your Tier 2 Visa.

As a general rule of thumb, lenders will expect you to have been resident in the UK for at least two years, although some may look for three years’ UK residency.

This is often the case both as a general eligibility criteria for the mortgage, and to ensure that the applicant has been in the UK long enough to build up a credible record of employment and credit history. Some lenders may also expect Tier 2 mortgage applicants to have a UK bank or savings account.

Useful Information

Mortgage for Tier 2 Visa holders with bad credit

Being able to get a mortgage if you have a history of bad credit whilst on a Tier 2 Visa may be possible. However, it is very dependent on your overall circumstances, especially the degree of the credit issues.

A number of things can contribute to your credit report and your credit score. Negative marks can be caused by:

  • CCJs – A County Court Judgment in where someone is acting against you following a missed payment.
  • Defaults – The failure to meet the legal obligations (or conditions) of a loan, such as a homebuyer failing to make a mortgage payment.
  • IVA’s – An Individual Voluntary Arrangement for those attempting to avoid bankruptcy.

Due to the probable limited availability, it’s recommended you contact a specialist broker such as us here at Just Mortgage Brokers.

A broker’s experience can prove invaluable, meaning they’ll be able to paint your application in the best possible light, increasing your chances of obtaining a mortgage product.

Mortgage lenders’ criteria if I have a Tier 2 Visa

When lenders assess a mortgage application, there are essentially three groups of factors they consider:

  • The information you have provided about yourself and your personal circumstances. Many lenders use a score-based system to evaluate your situation. They’ll look at factors including your age, how long you’ve been in your current property, how long you’ve been in your current job, and so on. If you have an existing relationship with the lender, such as a current account, then this may also be considered.
  • An assessment of your ability to afford the mortgage repayments. This is perhaps the main determining factor of whether a lender will give you a mortgage. All lenders have an obligation to obtain proof that the borrower can afford to repay the mortgage. For people in employment, this is most often verified with payslips and bank statements.
  • Information obtained from external credit reference agencies. There are three UK credit reference agencies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Each hold records of any credit arrangements you have. This can include overdrafts, credit cards and personal loans, as well as other consumer credit agreements such as mobile or utility bills.

Can I get a Buy-to-Let mortgage with a Tier 2 Visa?

Yes, it’s possible to obtain a  Buy-to-Let mortgage whilst on a Tier 2 Visa. However, buying a property for investment is still one that requires certain strict criteria to be met, such as the amount of deposit required.

Getting the right information and advice can therefore be critical to ensure you know what is, or is not, possible.

Mortgage advice for Foreign Nationals

With a team of specialist advisors, we have plenty of experience in arranging mortgages in more complex cases. This includes where adverse credit ratings may be involved, or where a visa is due for renewal.

We have access to a leading network of specialist lenders and know who to approach to find the right deal to meet your needs.

For more information about Tier 2 Visa and foreign national mortgages, please get in touch with us today.

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Foreign National Mortgages

Mortgages for foreign nationals follow a similar pattern to those for with Tier 2 Visas. Lenders typically expect the applicant to have been resident in the UK for at least two years, with a permanent job in the UK and a UK-held bank account. They will also usually expect foreign applicants to have either permanent residence rights in the UK, or an appropriate work permit.

Like Tier 2 Visas, there’s nothing stopping individuals with a Tier 1 Visa applying for a mortgage. In fact, Tier 1 Visa holders typically have greater capital and may be looking to buy more expensive properties. This can potentially allow access to a wider range of lenders, including specialist lenders such as private banks. Tier 1 Visa types include:

For individuals who want to set up or run a business in the UK, with at least £50,000 investment funds to apply.

For individuals endorsed by the Home Office as an emerging or recognised leader in a particular field.

For graduates who have been officially endorsed, by the Department for International Trade or a UK higher education institution, as having a genuine and credible business idea.

For individuals with over £2,000,000 in investment funds to apply within the UK.

What if you’re on a Tier 5 Visa? This includes charity workers, religious workers, and government-authorised exchange workers. They would be considered temporary workers and therefore would not be likely to be accepted for a UK mortgage.

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Frequently asked questions

The best lender for your Tier 2 Visa mortgage will be defined by different factors.

The interest rate will be a major contributing element, but this alone should not influence your decision. Remember, everyone’s situation is different, so the lender that works for you might not work for the next person.

Criteria can change, but some recognised names include Halifax, Barclays, HSBC, Nationwide, Santander, NatWest and many more.

Your overall situation and status will still need to be considered, as criteria can be strict and at times confusing. So instead of searching through these yourself individually and taking up a lot of time, why not speak to us?

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