FHA residency requirements: How to become eligible for a loan

Can foreign nationals purchase homes in the United States?

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.

Can a Permanent Resident Get an FHA Loan?

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").

Can Non Permanent Resident Get Mortgage?

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;
  • Except 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).
    • 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.
    • The Employment Consent File (USCIS Type I-766) showing current job authorization;

If the Mortgagee's Employment Authorization Document (USCIS Form I-766) or evidence of H-1B status is likely to expire within a year, and the lender has a history of renewing residence status, the Mortgagee should anticipate the mortgage to be extended.

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

USCIS Form I-797 notification declaring acceptance of a USCIS Form I-589, Withholding of Removal or Application for Asylum, substantiating refugee or asylee status, must be presented by a borrower who has been granted asylee or refugee status.

SOURCE: US Department of Housing and Urban Development


In conclusion, the Federal Housing Administration has residency requirements in order to be eligible for their mortgage insurance program. The main requirement is that the borrower must live in the home that they are purchasing with a FHA loan. Borrowers must also be legal U.S. residents in order to qualify. There are other requirements, such as credit score and debt-to-income ratio, that borrowers must meet in order to be approved for a FHA loan.