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    • tomduff
    • By tomduff 14th Sep 18, 6:55 AM
    • 5Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Buying a house - visa considerations
    • #1
    • 14th Sep 18, 6:55 AM
    Buying a house - visa considerations 14th Sep 18 at 6:55 AM
    Hi, my wife and I are first time buyers and have had an offer accepted on a property, which we are obviously very happy about! We were chosen over a competing (& slightly higher) bid as we can move quicker than the other people.

    However, my wife is a non-EU national and her further leave to remain visa extension application is still with the Home Office (together with her passport & biometric residency permit) - we'd expected to have it completed by now.

    This presents an issue as we need to do money laundering checks with the Estate Agent, but my wife doesn't have her passport/residency permit (& doesn't have a UK driving licence). Given our offer only got accepted because of our speed of moving, I don't think we can wait till the passport is returned by HO. Is there any other way of proving identity for ML purposes?

    Also, if we do manage to prove identity, are we going to have problems with our mortgage application if my wife's visa hasn't been renewed at that point?

    If these points are insurmountable problems, then we will have to resort to buying the house in my name only, but ideally would like to avoid doing that.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated, all getting a bit nerve-racking!


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    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 14th Sep 18, 7:23 AM
    • 10,916 Posts
    • 12,021 Thanks
    • #2
    • 14th Sep 18, 7:23 AM
    • #2
    • 14th Sep 18, 7:23 AM
    doesn't have a UK driving licence
    Originally posted by tomduff
    Is there anything stopping her from applying for one? I think they have a relatively quick turnaround.
    • gcoopermax
    • By gcoopermax 14th Sep 18, 8:16 AM
    • 57 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    • #3
    • 14th Sep 18, 8:16 AM
    • #3
    • 14th Sep 18, 8:16 AM
    It would have been better to go for premium appointment for her, decision within a day and BRP sent within a week. What visa extension has she applied for - FLR/PBS dependent/ILR? As long as you have scans of her passport, now-expired BRP and her application to remain, that could work for the lender. A provisional licence is out of the question now since she doesn't have her passport at hand.

    Many lenders have a criteria for minimum time remaining on visa, however the underwriters take into account the circumstances. If it is PBS dependent/FLR extension then her visa is linked to your status. If you are a UK citizen or have ILR, then she could keep renewing her visa indefinitely until she is eligible for ILR and subsequently UK citizenship (provided she satisfies other criteria etc), so this situation is less risky for underwriters compared to someone requiring a visa for work (Tier 1/Tier 2 visa), where their right to remain in the UK depends on strict immigration rules.

    Explain your mortgage broker this and hopefully the underwriters should be ok, however if they refuse then you have to either defer the house purchase or go alone on the mortgage.
    • elonii
    • By elonii 14th Sep 18, 8:16 AM
    • 60 Posts
    • 69 Thanks
    • #4
    • 14th Sep 18, 8:16 AM
    • #4
    • 14th Sep 18, 8:16 AM
    I think you should speak to a broker before you worry about your wife being able to identify herself. It sounds like you don't need her income to push your mortgage through, which is good. You may find that with your wife's visa situation that it would reduce the pool of lenders who would consider you very greatly. Some will, but often they want a much higher loan to value ratio. You may also find you don't get the best deals the market has to offer. From vague memory the longer the visa has to run, the better. In a situation where the visa was still being considered I would think mortgage companies wouldn't be keen (but as I say, speak to a brokerage).

    My husband's visa was up for FLR right at the time we completed on our house (Nothing like a bit of pressure at a stressful time is there!!). I didn't even bother trying to get him on the application, as being a business owner I had a narrow enough choice of mortgage products as it was.

    I hope it all goes well, and my sincere well wishes for the visa renewal coming through in a timely fashion and your new house purchase falling into place. We had a good turnaround on ours, about 8 weeks.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 14th Sep 18, 9:12 AM
    • 22,409 Posts
    • 18,425 Thanks
    • #5
    • 14th Sep 18, 9:12 AM
    • #5
    • 14th Sep 18, 9:12 AM
    This presents an issue as we need to do money laundering checks with the Estate Agent...
    Originally posted by tomduff

    Tell the EA that your solicitor will do all of the necessary AML checks and the seller's solicitor can go to your solicitor to request any information they feel they need (and that your solicitor is willing to give them). I doubt if there is any legal requirement for you to prove anything to someone in an entirely unregulated job.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 14th Sep 18, 9:41 AM
    • 7,675 Posts
    • 7,732 Thanks
    • #6
    • 14th Sep 18, 9:41 AM
    • #6
    • 14th Sep 18, 9:41 AM
    Pragmatically, I would think you could buy time, by telling the EA that you are the sole purchaser to pass their ID checks, then telling the solicitor that you've decided to purchase jointly.

    FWIW, I was recently involved in a similar situation - in this case a non-uk citizen passed the EA's ID checks, but it was taking a long time to gather documents to satisfy the solicitor's more thorough checks.

    However, the solicitor was prepared to get the ball rolling by doing searches, pre-contract enquiries etc before the ID/AML checks were passed - to avoid losing too much time.

    (No mortgage was involved, so I can't comment on that.)
    • tomduff
    • By tomduff 15th Sep 18, 10:33 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    • #7
    • 15th Sep 18, 10:33 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Sep 18, 10:33 PM
    Thank you all for your advice. I think edddy's idea is a really good one and is lowest risk in terms of spooking the EA / vendor.

    So will get the ball rolling (and do ML checks) with me as sole purchaser then switch to buying as a couple if my wife's FLR renewal comes in time.

    Going to speak to our broker on Monday to get some more advice.
    • UltraRevenge
    • By UltraRevenge 16th Sep 18, 3:12 AM
    • 10 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    • #8
    • 16th Sep 18, 3:12 AM
    • #8
    • 16th Sep 18, 3:12 AM
    Haha, had a similar discussion with our broker today. They seemed to think it was fine to have her on the application provided there was enough time on the visa, and ofcourse with the extension of ILR in the horizon
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