Note: This post has been completely rewritten as of 10 March 2017.

Do you know how many 457 visa holders are in Australia currently?

According to the data released by the Department of Immigration, at the end of March 2016, there were a total of 177,390 457 visa holders in Australia. This number comprised 97,766 primary 457 visa holders and 79,624 secondary (a family member or dependent) 457 visa holders. At the end of September 2016, there were 95,760 457 visa holders in the country.


Can 457 visa holders apply for a home loan in Australia?


If you are one of the thousands 457 visa holders in the country, ready to take the next step and join the ranks of property owners and investors in Australia, the good news is that knowing the criteria and getting in touch with the right mortgage broker can help you realise your dream, quickly and smoothly!

“As an immigrant, I always thought I will have to pay a higher interest rate if I borrow to buy my own home in Australia. While I have been planning to invest in property for a while now, it is only recently I realised that 457 visa holders can also get competitive home loan rates by simply contacting an experienced mortgage broker.” says Emmanuel, a temporary resident in Australia.

“What many temporary residents don’t know is that most mortgage brokers in Australia don’t charge property buyers any fee. They also have access to great home loan options from several banks. HashChing helped me get a super home loan deal and my broker explained everything to me from taking a pre-approval before I started short-listing properties to FIRB approval and guided me until I signed the dotted line,” quips Sarah, who arrived in Australia a year ago on a skilled migrant visa.

Most lenders provide loans for 457 visa holders up to 80% of the value of the property they wish to buy. Are you wondering how much you can borrow?

  •  Most loan providers are willing to lend up to 80% of your property’s value if you are a temporary resident in Australia. This means you typically need a 20% home loan deposit and another 5% to cover the extras such as stamp duty and other fees.

  •  While the 20% mark may be difficult to attain, we know few lenders out there who will lend up to 90-95% of the property value if you are ready to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI).

  •  Purchasing with your Australian, Kiwi or permanent resident spouse or partner can also make you eligible for up to 95% home loans. Buying with an Australian citizen or permanent citizen also make you eligible for the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG).

While the lending criteria for banks varies, having at least one year remaining on your visa will help your case. A stable job and genuine savings in Australia will further increase your chances of home loan approval.

What about government approval?

Temporary visa holders may buy an established dwelling as their residence subject to approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). It may be easier to apply for an established dwelling exemption certificate that allows temporary residents to purchase one unspecified established dwelling up to a specified value within a specified state or territory to be used as their principle place of residence.

A fee of $5,000 is applicable for buying land up to $1 million and higher fee is applicable, thereafter.

Temporary visa holders are not permitted to buy an established dwelling as an investment property. Further, if you are buying an established property, you are required to sell it within 3 months of it ceasing to be your principle place of residence.

However, if you decide to buy a new dwelling, while FIRB approval is mandatory, none of the other restrictions mentioned above apply. Thus, you can start building your property portfolio by investing in new dwellings instead of established ones.

FIRB approval isn’t required if you are buying with your spouse who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

Seeking expert help?

At HashChing, we receive several applications from 457 visa holders and have been successfully helping them finance their homes. Our home loan brokers are experts who will not only guide you in the right direction but also bring to you competitive home loan deals at the lowest home loan rates in the market.

Compare interest rates on home loans to see the difference for yourself. We understand it can be tiresome to put your head around the confusing lending criteria. Contact a mortgage broker instead for expert help and let us do the legwork for your home loan!

By Vidhu Bajaj



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