Can Immigrants on Green Card Buy Homes in the U.S.?

Oct 25, 2021 | Tips | 0 comments

Can Immigrants on Green Card Buy Homes in the U.S.? If your dream is to buy a home in the U.S. and you’re a green card holder, read on to learn how to get buy a home in the U.S.!

Can Immigrants on Green Card Buy Homes in the U.S.?

Can Immigrants on Green Card Buy Homes in the U.S.? The answer is YES, it is possible for a green card holder in the U.S. to buy a home. In fact, permanent residents’ ability to acquire home loans is even greater than the average visa holder because there’s no question of whether their status will get renewed.

What is a Green Card?

A green card, known officially as a Permanent Residence Card (PRC), is a document issued to immigrants under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), bestowing the rights, benefits, and privileges of permanently residing in the United States.

Green cards and permanent residency status are highly sought designations and are the long-term goal of most immigrants in the U.S., but only a handful ever reach this status.

Can Immigrants on Green Card Buy Homes in the U.S.?How to Buy a Home on Green Card in the U.S.

The home buying process for permanent residents is, more or less, the same as it is for U.S. citizens. This process is well-documented in many other places, but at a glance, these are the steps:

  1. Determine how much you can afford to spend on a house
  2. Get Pre-approved for credit for your Mortgage
  3. Find the right Real Estate Agent
  4. Shop for a Home
  5. Make an Offer
  6. Get a Home Inspection
  7. Secure the Mortgage
  8. Obtain insurance and establish utilities
  9. Close the deal

When permanent residents get the second step (getting a mortgage), they’ll need to provide a valid green card (Form I-551) and a Social Security card to the lender. Beyond supplying these documents, getting a U.S. mortgage will be very similar to the qualification process for citizens.

Is There Such a Thing as Green Card Mortgage?

Like with other immigrant statuses (visa holder, DACA recipient, asylum seeker), there aren’t mortgages designed specifically for green card holders. In lieu of a “green card mortgage”, there are several mortgage options for green card holders in the U.S., though.

Unlike immigrant statues, green card status makes it easier for you to get a mortgage, primarily because the question of how long you will reside in the U.S. is no longer important.

Mortgage Options for Green Card Holders

Can Immigrants on Green Card Buy Homes in the U.S.?

As a green card holder, you’ll have more and better access to home loans, but the two primary options available to non-U.S. citizens will still be your best bets.

As is the case with visa holders and other non-U.S. citizens, green card holders and other permanent residents in the U.S. can apply for mortgages from banks like Wells Fargo. But unlike visa holders, homebuyers with permanent resident status will have a better chance of getting approved. This is due, primarily, to fact that your status will not expire and there is no risk of you have to leave the U.S. after you take the loan.

Can Immigrants on Green Card Buy Homes in the U.S.?

FHA Home Loans for Green Card Holders

FHA rules allow lawful resident aliens to apply for FHA home loans. There are two types–permanent, and non-permanent resident aliens. Regardless of which status an applicant falls in, the FHA does have procedures to document and verify status so the loan application may proceed. For permanent resident aliens, FHA loans are provided under the same terms as those for U.S. citizens.

As is the case with mortgages from big banks, green card holders’ chances of approval are significantly higher than those resident aliens with non-permanent status.

Regardless of how a green card holder obtains their mortgage, they face the same pitfalls that American citizens face. And one of the biggest pitfalls facing all home loan borrowers is the down payment.

Can Immigrants on Green Card Buy Homes in the U.S.?

The average down payment on a mortgage

While it may be easier for a green card holder to obtain a mortgage over their visa-holding peers, coming up with an appropriate down payment will still be difficult.

The average down payment on a mortgage is approximately 20%, which regardless of the size of the mortgage, will run into the tens of thousands of dollars, if not more. Are the hard truth about the down payment is that most people simply do not have that kind of money just laying around.

Luckily, there are lenders out there who know and understand the struggle of the modern green card holder in the U.S. Stilt is an online lender that offers loans to immigrants who would otherwise be denied a loan to help with their down payment.

And while green card holders have greater access to lines of credit than the average green card holder, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll get a competitive rate.

Stilt offers competitive, low-interest loans without a credit history in the U.S. The Still loan process is very simple:


The begin, simply fill out the online application. You’ll be asked for some basic loan information, like name, employment, visa status, and so on. Once you’ve completed the application, you’ll submit it and the Stilt team will send you a decision within one business day.

Get Approved

If your application is approved, you’ll be asked to upload some additional information and documents. Once these documents are reviewed and verified, your loan will be disbursed.

The whole borrowing process with Stilt can take just a couple of days if documents are provided upon request.

Start Making Payments

Your loan will be disbursed directly to your bank account and can be immediately used to pay the down payment on your OPT mortgage loan! It’s that simple.

Repayment of your Stilt loan will begin one month after disbursal, by which time you might already be moved into your new home!

What’s Next?

If you’re a permanent resident in the U.S. on a green card, your chances of buying a home are some of the highest of any immigrants. Your access to lines of credit is increased by your residency status, though, the process of buying a home will still require you to just through a few additional hoops.

That said, your dreams of homeownership in the U.S. aren’t so far away as they might seem. So, what are you waiting for? Get started today!


Can Immigrants on Green Card Buy Homes in the U.S.?

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Ana Roque is a Brazilian Licensed Realtor at Re-Connect, LLC with 16+ years of experience in the Real Estate industry.

Ana speaks 3 languages (Portuguese, English, Spanish), Wife, Stepmom, Journalist, Event Director for the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) Central MA Chapter.