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What Are The Mortgage Visa Requirements UK?

What Are The Mortgage Visa Requirements UK?

Jenni Hill
Last Updated 4 December 2023

If you have a visa to live and work in the UK, you might be thinking of leaving the renting world and getting on the property ladder. But is it possible to get a mortgage as a visa holder in the UK? Keep reading to find out.

In this guide

Can you get a mortgage in the UK with a visa?

Yes, it is possible to get a mortgage in the UK with a visa. The mortgage application process for foreign nationals can be very similar to that of UK citizens. However, you may need to meet tighter affordability criteria and provide additional paperwork before a lender is willing to approve your application. You may also have fewer lenders to choose from.

Each lender will have its own affordability checks and their requirements often differ depending on the type of visa you have. They won’t just take your visa status into account, though. They’ll also explore your financial situation, just like they would with any other mortgage applicant. 

What are the visa requirements for a mortgage in the UK?

1. Visa duration

You’ll usually need a minimum of 12 months remaining on your visa, though you may find it a little easier to get a mortgage if you have longer than 12 months left or confirmation from your employer that your work permit will be renewed. 

2. Credit score

You’ll also need to have built up a good credit score in the UK. Some lenders will accept a year’s credit history but others will want to see that you’ve been using credit responsibly for anywhere between 2 years to 5 years. This is because when you come to the UK, you have no credit history. 

To see if you can handle debt, you need to have been registered at a UK address for a number of years and have evidence of managing credit agreements responsibly during that time.

3. Affordability requirements

Affordability checks for applicants with a visa tend to be stricter than they are for UK residents. For example, some lenders may require you to have a higher salary, often over £100,000. 

An experienced mortgage broker like Tembo can help you navigate the mortgage process to ensure you are only applying to lenders whose criteria you are likely to pass.

4. Deposit size

You may need to put down a bigger house deposit when applying for a mortgage as a visa holder than you would if you were a UK resident. 

It’s not uncommon for you to put down a 15-25% deposit for a house as a foreign national. This can make it harder to access mortgages if you don’t have the required funds saved up. 

Some lenders will also want proof that your deposit has come from your own income rather than being gifted to you by a loved one. 

Can I get a mortgage with indefinite leave to remain?

Yes, it is possible for you to get a mortgage with indefinite leave to remain (IDLR). You will need to meet the mortgage lenders’ eligibility criteria, which often includes a larger deposit, excellent credit score and UK residency for a number of years.

As well as traditional mortgages, there are a number of specialist buying schemes which those with indefinite leave to remain can apply for. These include 100% mortgages, 5.5x Income Mortgages, Deposit Unlock, as well as Gradual Home Ownership, Rent to Own, Home Purchase Plans and Shared Ownership

At Tembo, we speciliase in all of these budget boosting schemes and more, and can help you work out which ones you could be eligible for.

See what mortgage schemes you’re eligible for

Our smart tech shows you all the buying schemes you’re eligible for in seconds. All you have to do is create a free Tembo plan on our homebuyer platform.

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Can I get a mortgage on a spousal visa?

Yes, you can get a joint mortgage with your partner, even if one of you is on a spousal visa. You may still have to meet stricter lender criteria to be considered for a mortgage, though. 

Can you get a mortgage without indefinite leave to remain?

Yes, you may be able to get a mortgage even if you don’t have indefinite leave to remain. But applicants with indefinite leave to remain or a spousal visa tend to have a broader choice of options than those without. 

Can you get a mortgage on a Tier 2 visa?

Yes, it is possible to get a mortgage with a Tier 2 visa. In fact, the process is very similar to any other type of mortgage application. Lenders will review your credit history, income and expenses to determine whether you’d be able to repay the loan without getting into financial difficulties. 

They’ll usually want to know how long you’ve been a resident in the UK and how long is left on your Tier 2 visa. The longer you’ve been in the UK and the more time left on your visa, the easier it’s likely to be to get the mortgage you want. This is because lenders like to see a solid record of employment. They also want reassurance that you’ll still be able to pay the mortgage in a few years’ time.


Important to know

Some lenders will only accept mortgage applications from people with Tier 2 visas if they already have a UK-based current account or savings account.

Can you get a mortgage if you have pre-settled status?

Yes, it is possible to get a mortgage if you have pre-settled status, but you will have to have established a good credit history in the UK and be able to prove your income. As pre-settled status is only temporary, lenders may also be concerned about your ability to pay your mortgage several years in the future.

Which lenders will approve loans for visa applicants?

We work with a large number of lenders who consider visa applicants, but they each have their own criteria. Some will lend to people with a Tier 2 visa or settled status but they won’t lend to those with pre-settled status, for example. Others will consider applicants with pre-settled status, providing they meet all other criteria.

Here are a few examples to show just how much lender criteria can vary:


Natwest usually has a maximum Loan to Value (LTV) of 75% for visa applications, meaning you’ll need to put down a 25% deposit. If you’re applying for a mortgage with your spouse and one of you has permanent right to remain, you may be able to access an LTV of up to 95%. 


Halifax will consider applications from people earning over £100,000 a year, but you’ll need to have been in the UK for at least 5 years and have a 25% deposit or more. 


Barclays will consider approving your application if you’ve spent 2 years in the UK and you have a deposit of at least 10%. 

Accord and Santander

Both Accord and Santander will consider lending to applicants with a limited address history in the UK - but you’ll need a 25% deposit.

There are plenty of other lenders who’ll consider your application. To see what you could afford with Tembo’s help, create your own Tembo plan for free

How to get a mortgage with a visa:

Here’s how to boost your chances of getting a mortgage with a visa:

Check your credit report

Having a stellar credit history can make it a lot easier to get a mortgage, so check your credit report is in good condition before you apply. You can use CheckMyFile to see your credit history from the three main credit referencing agencies used by mortgage lenders. 

If you notice any errors, get in touch with the credit referencing agency and ask for a correction. Make all payments on time in the months leading up to your application and try to pay off as much debt as possible.

Organise your documents

Lenders will usually want to see proof of your visa status, employment details, and affordability, so try to organise all these documents before you submit your application. This can help you minimise stress and avoid unnecessary delays. 

Use a mortgage broker

Now it’s time to speak to a mortgage broker. We recommend looking for a mortgage broker who understands the complexities of getting a mortgage with a visa. Brokers like us will help you weigh up your options and compare dozens of mortgages across the market to find the right one for you. 

Brokers also help you avoid lenders who are less likely to approve your application, saving you time, stress, and money. If you’re desperate to buy a house, you might be happy to settle for the first mortgage you can get your hands on. Your mortgage broker will ensure you’re making the right decision. The last thing you want is to be stuck on a higher interest rate than necessary!

Can I get a mortgage if I don’t have a visa?

Getting a mortgage in the UK without a visa can be a complicated process and it can be hard to find the right lender for your circumstances. 

Find out your options with Tembo

Whether you’ve got a Tier 2 visa, settled status, pre-settled status or indefinite leave to remain, the rules surrounding mortgages can be complex. By creating a free Tembo plan, you can see all the mortgage schemes you’re eligible for. You can then book in a free call with one of our mortgage experts for professional advice on which one is best for you.

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