Can foreigners without permanent residency pass the mortgage loan screening?


Generally, only Japanese citizens or permanent residents can obtain a mortgage in Japan. Foreigners who are not permanent residents may also apply, but take note that the loan conditions will be stricter.

Mortgage products that you can apply for without permanent residence

Foreigners without permanent residence must apply for a renewal permit each time their status of residence expires. The renewal interval is up to 5 years. If you take out a loan with a longer repayment period, during the screening process, uncertainty may arise regarding your ability to repay the amount borrowed.

Since mortgages are subject to long-term repayment of approximately 10 to 30 years, the following conditions are also included for products that don`t require permanent residence.

  • The guarantor must have a relative who is a Japanese citizen or permanent resident
  • Have a certain period of employment in Japan (3 years or longer).
  • Income before the previous year must be above a certain amount (up to 3 years may be checked)

In addition, you need a bank account in Japan. In order for a foreigner to create a bank account, you must fulfill a few additional requirements, such as extending the period of stay (if the visa term expires within 3 months) and the confirmation of employment.

Basic mortgage requirements

Finally, you must also meet a few basic requirements that are the same as for Japanese citizens.

  • The age at the time of application is 20 to 65 years
  • The age at the time of full repayment is under 80 years (or even under 75 years) 
  • Being able to take out group credit life insurance※ 

※May be declined for health reasons, such as a history of cancer.

Requirements for permanent residence and naturalization

As long as you meet the following conditions, you can easily apply for a mortgage if you first obtain permanent residence or go through naturalization. If you plan to settle or start a business, this may be the better option for you.

  • Your length of stay in Japan is longer than 5 or 10 years
  • You have sufficient income to earn a living independently
  • You have never committed a crime or had other problems with the law
  • You don`t have overdue income taxes, residence taxes, etc.
  • You don`t have any relations with anti-social forces

Conclusion│It is difficult to apply for a mortgage without permanent residence

While there are mortgages that people without permanent residence can apply for, the requirements are much higher. If you are concerned about your Japanese language skills, you will need help understanding the content of the documents, and even if you have sufficient funds, you may be rejected at the discretion of the examiner.

If you are considering buying a house, it is advisable to consult with administrative scriveners and other support services in Japan and take another look at the procedures related to permanent residence first.