FHA Residency Requirements

Citizenship in the United States (US) is not necessary for FHA eligibility. Based on information submitted on the Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) and other relevant documentation, the lender must determine the borrower's resident status. A Social Security card is never enough to confirm immigration or employment status.

Permanent Residents

Borrowers with lawful permanent resident status may be eligible for FHA-insured financing if they meet the same standards, terms, and circumstances as citizens of the United States.

Evidence of permanent residency must be included in the mortgage file, and the borrower must be listed as a lawful permanent resident on the mortgage application.
The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offers documentation of lawful, permanent residency status (i.e., Permanent Residency Card/"Green Card").

Non-Permanent Residents

Non-permanent residents may be eligible for FHA-insured financing if they meet the following criteria:

  • The borrower must meet the same requirements, terms, and circumstances as citizens of the United States.
  • The borrower's primary residence will be the subject property;
  • With the exception of those used by the World Financial institution, an international embassy, or a similar employer approved by HUD, the Consumer has a valid Social Security Number (SSN).
    • Borrower is eligible to operate in the United States if he or she provides among the following:
    • the Employment Consent File (USCIS Type I-766) showing current job authorization;
    • a USCIS Form I-94 verifying H-1B standing, along with proof of one-year work with an eligible H-1B company;
    • proof of being provided evacuee or asylee status by the United States Citizenship and also Migration Provider (USCIS); or
    • proof of citizenship in the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands Republic, or the Republic of Palau; and
    • The borrower satisfies the exact same needs, terms, and also conditions as people of the United States.

If the Employment Authorization Document (USCIS Form I-766) or evidence of H-1B status is set to expire within a year and the lender has a track record of residency status renewals, the Mortgagee may expect that the mortgage will be renewed.

If there have been no previous renewals, the lender must rely on information from the employer or the USCIS to estimate the possibility of renewal.

A borrower who has been given refugee or asylee status by the USCIS must present documents or a USCIS Form I-797 notice stating approval of a USCIS Form I-589, Application for Asylum or Withholding of Removal, substantiating the refugee or asylee status.

SOURCE: US Department of Housing and Urban Development