Selling Guide

Published June 02, 2021

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Non-Citizen Borrower Eligibility Fact Sheet (January 2021)

Non-Citizen Borrower Eligibility Fact Sheet

We have a longstanding policy on eligibility for non-U.S. citizen borrowers. Fannie Mae purchases and securitizes mortgages to non-citizens who are lawful permanent or non-permanent residents of the United States under the same terms available to U.S. citizens. 

Clarity & Certainty

  • In response to customer feedback, we’re providing examples of acceptable documentation to support that a borrower is “legally present.”
  • For loans that meet our documentation and eligibility requirements, we will not seek a loan repurchase solely based on a change in the borrower’s immigration status after closing.

Eligibility Guidelines

The purpose of this document is to provide additional guidance to help lenders determine eligibility for non-U.S. citizen borrowers.

Per the Selling Guide, Fannie Mae considers a borrower legally present in the United States if:

  • They have a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN); and
  • They have current, verified status, which may be documented by a valid employment authorization document (EAD), or other documentation showing immigration status is current (e.g., Green Card, work visa, etc.).

A borrower who is legally present per the Selling Guide must meet all other applicable underwriting and eligibility requirements for the loan to be eligible for sale to Fannie Mae. This includes the continuity of income requirements that apply to all borrowers:

  • Documentation of income continuity is not required for most employment-related income types (e.g., base, bonus, overtime, commission).
  • If a borrower is reliant on income for which documentation of continuity is required, the mere fact that a borrower has current, verified status does not impact the continuity of income analysis. For example, if a borrower can provide documentation of 3-year income continuity when required, the fact that their status is renewed only every 2 years is not a factor — the borrower is legally present and has met the continuity of income requirements.

Lenders retain discretion as individual borrower situations differ.

Lenders can continue to decide what type of documentation is appropriate and what can be retained as part of the loan file to show that a borrower is legally present.

As with all Fannie Mae policies, subsequent changes to the law and its application may cause us to reevaluate our policy on this matter prospectively.

Borrower Scenarios

The following scenarios are provided for informational purposes and do not cover all possible combinations.

For additional information, see the links below:

Non-Citizen Borrower Eligibility Fact Sheet (PDF)

B2-2-01, General Borrower Eligibility Requirements

B2-2-02, Non–U.S. Citizen Borrower Eligibility Requirements

B3-3.1-01, General Income Information

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