Can You Get a Mortgage While Living in the UK on a Skilled Worker Visa as an IT Professional? | WIS Mortgages
Can You Get a Mortgage While Living in the UK on a Skilled Worker Visa as an IT Professional? image

28th June 2024

Can You Get a Mortgage While Living in the UK on a Skilled Worker Visa as an IT Professional?

Living in the UK on a skilled worker visa gives you the chance to live and work in the UK for an extended period. It's a working arrangement found in many industries but has become incredibly popular for international IT professionals due to the high demand for their specialist skills. Although living in the UK on a visa is a temporary arrangement at first, over time you may feel like you want to put down roots in the UK. For many, this means purchasing property in the UK - and that typically means securing a mortgage. So, in this article, we'll find out if you can get a mortgage while living in the UK on a skilled worker visa as an IT professional.

Understanding the Skilled Worker Visa

Before we discuss how the mortgage application process works for those of us on skilled worker visas, let's talk about this type of visa first. The skilled worker visa is a specific visa category designed for individuals outside of the European Economic Area (EEA). It allows visa holders to live and work in the UK for a specific type of job, such as an IT professional. Your UK employer will sponsor your visa, which means your visa status is tied to your employment.

Visa Requirements and Duration

The skilled worker visa is usually granted for up to five years before needing renewal. One key aspect that lenders consider is the remaining duration of your visa at the time of your mortgage application. Most lenders require that your visa extend beyond the mortgage offer by a certain period, often at least two to three years. Provided you still meet all of the eligibility requirements for this type of visa, you can apply to extend it as many times as you like. This is all based on the current UK law, which may be subject to change in the future.

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Financial Considerations for Skilled Workers

When applying for a mortgage for the first time, the fundamental criteria lenders evaluate are your income stability, credit history, and how big your deposit is. However, additional layers of complexity arise for non-permanent residents that you should be aware of.

Credit History

Establishing a solid credit history is a big part of securing a mortgage in the UK. Lenders will scrutinise your credit score to assess risk. Building a credit history can take time for those new to the UK. It involves managing bank accounts, credit cards, and other finances carefully to build a strong credit score.

Income Stability and Employment

As an IT professional, the likelihood of having a stable and high income is favourable. However, lenders will look for sustained employment and the possibility of continued employment as evidenced by your visa status and employment contract.

Deposit Requirements

Higher deposit requirements are common for those on a Skilled Worker visa. While the typical deposit for UK residents might range from 5 to 20% of the property's value, visa holders might be asked to provide more depending on the lender's policies.

Mortgage Application Process for Visa Holderss

The process of applying for a mortgage as a skilled worker visa holder isn't vastly different from that of a permanent resident, but there are some nuances. All of the processes and steps will be the same as applying for a mortgage as a UK national but expect things to be more strict. Lenders will likely ask for more information supporting the application which they will scrutinise in detail when making their decision.

Choosing the Right Lender

Not all lenders in the UK are willing to provide mortgages to individuals on a skilled worker visa. It's important to shop around or use a mortgage advisor like one of our team at WIS Mortgages who can provide guidance and connect you with specialist lenders.

Documentation and Proof of Residency

You will need to provide additional documentation compared to UK citizens. This includes your passport, visa, proof of UK residence, and often a letter from your employer confirming your employment status and the likelihood of contract renewal. Having these prepared before you start the mortgage application process can be useful as it will speed things up.

Challenges and Solutions

As applying for a mortgage while living in the UK on a skilled worker visa is quite a unique situation, it's unsurprising that unique challenges will present themselves. Being aware of these potential hurdles can help you prepare for them ahead of time and find a workable solution. Some of the main challenges you might encounter include:

Short Visa Duration

If your visa is due to expire soon, you might face challenges securing a mortgage. Extending your visa before applying or choosing shorter mortgage terms, if affordable, may increase your eligibility. Speaking with a mortgage advisor is a good idea at this point, as they can guide you towards the best possible solution.

Higher Interest Rates and Fees

Banks might offer higher interest rates or require additional insurance to mitigate the risk of lending to someone who might not reside in the UK long-term. Comparing different offers is key to ensuring you get the best deal for your mortgage.

Build a Future in the UK by Securing a Mortgage on a Skilled Worker Visa

While there are additional hurdles to clear when applying for a mortgage on a Skilled Worker visa in the UK, being well-prepared, understanding the requirements, and seeking the right financial advice can greatly increase your chances of success. IT professionals, with their typically stable and higher incomes, are well-placed to navigate these challenges. With the right approach, owning a home in the UK is an achievable goal for those living and working on a Skilled Worker visa.

If you have any questions about the mortgage application process while living in the UK on a skilled worker visa, let our team at WIS Mortgages help. Our team are always happy to provide advice, guidance and support for these types of situations. So please contact us today if you have any questions.

As a mortgage is secured against your home it may be repossessed if you do not keep up the mortgage repayments.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can I secure a mortgage while living in the UK on a skilled worker visa?

A. Potentially, yes, you can apply for and secure a mortgage in the UK while staying here on a skilled worker visa. Lenders will typically perform extra checks to verify that you will be in the UK for an extended period and that you can afford the mortgage payments.

Q. Can I get a mortgage if I'm not a UK national?

A. Potentially, yes, there is a specific type of mortgage for this situation known as a foreign national mortgage. If you're a non-UK citizen - or don't have permanent UK residency status - then this type of mortgage will allow you to secure a mortgage to purchase property. Of course, this is subject to the lender's decision.

Q. What is the minimum salary I need to get a mortgage in the UK?

A. There isn't a defined salary amount that you need to have before you can successfully apply for a mortgage in the UK. Instead, lenders will look at your financial and personal circumstances to determine whether or not you can successfully keep up with mortgage payments.