Can I get a Home Loan in Canada with a work permit? (Temporary Resident Edition)

By Remitbee - Jun 13, 2022

Renting a place can be costly, but owning a home is a completely different experience. Fortunately, even for immigrants, Canada has many mortgage options. If you're new to the country and want a loan to buy a home, all you need is your work permit!

Temporary Resident Mortgage Program

If you're considering moving to Canada, don't let the thought of purchasing a property overwhelm you. Thanks to temporary residence status, it's easy to turn your dream of owning a home into a reality.

With a work permit and three months of employment, you can qualify for a mortgage to purchase a home. To get a better view of your eligibility, below are the specific requirements:

1.) You must have a valid Canadian Employment Authorization Form (Work Permit) or a letter from your current Canadian employer stating that you are exempt from needing a work permit.

Remember that this work permit or exemption letter must have been issued for at least one year, with at least six months remaining as of the application date.

2.) The applicant may not own any other real estate in Canada; this includes additional applicants and spouses not listed on the application.

3.) A 5% down payment on the first $500,000, followed by a 10% down payment on the outstanding balance up to $999,999.99. The minimum down payment requirement for purchases of $1 million or more is 20%.

4.) The applicant's window of opportunity to qualify as a temporary resident is only five years from entry into Canada (to be confirmed with a copy of the passport showing the entry date to Canada).

After five (5) years as a temporary resident, an applicant is no longer eligible for the Temporary Resident mortgage program and must wait to be given a permanent residence.

5.) Alternative references or forms of credit verification must be available to the applicant. Until now, all mortgage qualification criteria have been nearly identical to those faced by Canadian citizens—except for a newcomer who may not yet have defined the minimum credit requirement standard to which all Canadian citizen applicants are held.

That is two credit facilities with $2,000 limits for a minimum of 2 years. If the newcomer is unable to meet the minimum credit requirement, the following alternative verifications are accepted:

  • A credit report from some other country showing a strong credit profile, or
  • Two (2) alternative sources of credit with a track record of timely payments (no arrears) over the last 12 months. The two required alternative sources are:

a. A letter from your landlord confirming your rental payment history and bank statements that show the amounts being deducted from your bank account.

b. Another alternative source (hydro/utilities, telephone, TV, cable, cell phone, vehicle insurance, etc.) must be verified via a letter from the service provider or 12-month billing statements.

Steps and Tips for Getting a Temporary Resident Mortgage

It's never too early or even too late to start looking into your new immigrant mortgage options, whether you haven't arrived in Canada yet or have already done so. Knowing the steps ahead of time can help you prepare for your home search and get mortgage approval. To get a temporary Resident mortgage in Canada, follow these steps:

Determine your financial limits

Begin the process by determining how much you can afford. It will help you when looking for a home. You also don't have to buy a home that exceeds your budget.

Knowing your mortgage affordability allows you to make an informed decision and prepare ahead of time. Online calculators can help you figure out your affordability. This provides you with a rough guideline to work with. Also, start putting money aside for a down payment as well.

Establish a credit history in Canada

Building your Canadian credit history before buying a home would be best. This can be as simple as paying your phone or cable bills. Many banks also provide no-fee credit cards to newcomers with no credit history.

Get a mortgage pre-approval

Newcomers may want to get a mortgage pre-approval from a bank or lender for a more definitive answer on how much mortgage they can borrow. You will know the maximum mortgage amount the lender is willing to lend you, the interest rate, and the monthly mortgage payment amount.

You will also be given a mortgage pre-approval letter, which you can use when home hunting. You'll also know how much of a down payment is required, allowing you to begin saving for it.

Look for a realtor

It's time to find a local real estate agent after you've sorted out your finances. Your realtor will help you in finding a home and making an offer. After your request has been accepted, you must get mortgage approval.

You are not required to get a mortgage with a bank or lender if you have received a pre-approval mortgage. You can compare rates from different lenders or hire a mortgage broker to assist you in searching for the best deal!

Conclusion

Many people believe that if they don't have permanent residency in Canada, they won't be able to get a home loan. This is not the case—even if you only have a work permit, many lenders will work with you.

So, if you're a foreign worker with a work permit in Canada, don't let that stop you from realizing your dream of owning a home. Many lenders are willing to work with you and assist you in purchasing the home of your dreams.

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