Posted about 7 years ago

Foreign investors and conventional financing in the U.S.

My team gets a lot of questions from foreign investors about conventional financing for their U.S. investments. Below is some information about the topic. A special thanks to Jerry Padilla, a preferred lender of mine who put all of this information together.

Normal 1437587543 Mortgage Application

Guidelines for Getting Approved for Financing. 


  • Social Security Number

In order to ensure that the borrower(s) is legally able to reside and work in the U.S., a valid Social Security Number (SSN) is required for all non-U.S. citizen borrowers whose income and/or assets are being used to qualify for a loan.

The documentation listed below is not acceptable in lieu of a valid Social Security Number as they do not evidence the borrower's right to earn income in the U.S.:

  • Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) which is issued to individuals who are ineligible for Social Security Numbers and is for tax purposes only. An ITIN is a 9-digit number, beginning with the number '9' and formatted like a SSN.
  • Matricula Consular Card which is an identification card issued by the Mexican Consulate to individuals who are otherwise undocumented (no green card or valid visa). Matricula Consular Cards do not support legal residency in the U.S.
  • Permanent Resident Aliens—Green Card

    A copy of the Green Card is required for all permanent resident aliens whose income and/or assets are being used to qualify for a loan. A copy of the front and back of the card is required and must be included in the loan file.

    While the green card itself states "Do Not Duplicate" for the purpose of replacing the original card, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allows photocopying of the green card. Making an enlarged copy or copying on colored paper may alleviate any concerns the borrower may have with photocopying.

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    Non-Permanent Resident Aliens—Required Visa

    All non-permanent resident aliens must provide evidence of a valid, acceptable visa. A copy of the unexpired visa must be included in the loan file evidencing one of the following visa classes:

    A Series (A-1, A-2, A-3): given to officials of foreign governments, immediate family members and support staff. Only those without diplomatic immunity, as verified on the visa, are allowed. E-1, Treaty Trader, and E2, Treat Investor, E-3: this visa is essentially the same as an H-1 or L-1; the title refers to the foreign country's status with the United States. G series (G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, G-5): these visas are given to employees of international organizations that are located in the United States. Some examples include the United Nations, Red Cross, World Bank, UNICEF and the International Monetary Fund. Verification that the applicant does not have diplomatic immunity must be obtained from the applicant's employer and or by viewing the applicants passport H-1, Temporary Worker: this is the most common visa given to foreign citizens who are temporarily working in the United States. L-1, Intra-Company Transferee: an L-1 visa is given to professional employees whose company's main office is in a foreign country. TN, NAFTA visa: used by Canadian or Mexican citizens for professional or business purposes.

  • TC, NAFTA visa: used by Canadian citizens for professional or business purposes.
  • A valid, unexpired Employment Authorization Document is acceptable evidence the borrower can work in the United States.

    All standards for determining stable monthly income, adequate credit history and sufficient liquid assets must be applied in the same manner to each borrower including borrowers who are non-permanent resident aliens.

    Foreign Nationals

    Foreign nationals who have no lawful residency status in the U.S. are not considered to be non-permanent resident aliens and are not eligible for financing.

    Diplomatic Immunity

    Due to the inability to compel payment or seek judgment, transactions with individuals who are not subject to United States jurisdiction are not eligible. This includes embassy personnel with diplomatic immunity. Verification the borrower does not have diplomatic immunity can be determined by reviewing the visa, passport or the U.S. Department of State's Diplomatic List at

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    About the author:

    James Wise is the Broker and Owner of The Holton Wise Property Group, a real estate brokerage and property management company operating in the greater Cleveland, Ohio area.

    Comments (4)

    1. @James Wise Thanks for sharing! Do you know if Canadians under a TN visa are qualified for FHA loans?


    2. Thanks James.Do you have other helpful information about how foreigners such as Canadians (like myself) can be eligible for financing, what the rates may be, other guidelines, etc?

    3. Great info!

    4. great info James. Thank you sir.