Can an illegal immigrant buy a house in the United States?

Although there are legal and financial barriers to overcome, the fact is that illegal immigrants can buy a home in the United States. According to the Migration Policy Institute, more than 3.4 million undocumented immigrants owned a home in 2014. This represents 31 percent of all undocumented immigrants in the United States or nearly one-third.

They also pay taxes on these houses. Despite the rhetoric that undocumented immigrants receive social assistance but do not pay taxes, the data show that this is not the case. The Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy has analyzed the above data on property ownership of undocumented immigrants and estimated that undocumented immigrants contribute $3.6 billion to property taxes alone.

How do undocumented immigrants buy houses?

There is no law that states that non-U.S. residents cannot own property in the United States. In fact, foreign investors and business people often own homes and real estate in the United States, just as their fellow Americans may own property in other countries.

Buying a home in any country requires considerable resources, and while these resources are generally not available to undocumented immigrants, this does not mean that illegal immigrants cannot own property in the United States.

Some undocumented immigrants can simply buy houses in cash, but most use a less well-known investment vehicle called an ITIN mortgage. However, non-immigrants can also get an ITIN to open a bank account, pay their income taxes, and get a mortgage.

Below we detail the typical procedure for undocumented immigrants who wish to obtain a mortgage and start owning a house. Although there are legal and financial obstacles to overcome, the possibility of homeownership for undocumented immigrants exists.

How can illegal immigrants buy a house?

Below are some of the main steps that undocumented immigrants need to take in order to buy a home in the United States.

Apply for an ITIN number

An ITIN is similar to a social security number, including its format, but can only be used for tax purposes; ITIN numbers cannot be used for identification outside the tax system, as the holder cannot apply for a social security number.

To apply for an ITIN, you must download and complete form W-7 or “Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number”. This form can be easily downloaded from the IRS website and is also available in Spanish. You will need to provide the applicant’s name, address, country of citizenship, date, place of birth, and signature. Once all this is completed, it should be sent directly to the IRS ITIN Operations Center in Austin, Texas, along with a completed tax return. You should receive your 9-digit ITIN code within 6 weeks.

Save a deposit and prepare your documents

Once you have your ITIN number, you can apply for an ITIN loan. These loans are available to undocumented immigrants and can be obtained from businesses and banks throughout the United States.

Because of the added risk, most ITIN loans require an above-average cash-down payment. The down payment is usually between 15 and 20% and can be as high as 30%. Borrowers may also be required to provide additional documentation, such as

  • Proof of income from the previous month, such as payslips.
  • Work history in the same position within the last two years.
  • The same ITIN tax return for two years.

Applying for an ITIN home loan

ITIN mortgages are a lesser-known type of mortgage that many undocumented immigrants use to buy a home. In reality, an ITIN mortgage is very similar to a standard mortgage. You agree to take out the loan at a certain interest rate and make monthly payments. As the loan is secured by the value of your house, the lender has the possibility to repossess your house if you do not make the payments.

Several mortgage companies offer ITIN loans throughout the United States. You can easily find these companies by doing an Internet search.

Another good option might be a small local bank or credit union. Banks and credit unions


There are many benefits to homeownership – and undocumented migrants can enjoy them too. It is not always easy, and there are legal and financial barriers to overcome. However, owning a home helps to promote stability and long-term wealth creation. It is also one way in which illegal immigrants can contribute to local budgets and economies

Related Tags

can I sell my house to an illegal immigrant

can an illegal immigrant get a social security number

can an illegal immigrant buy a house in California

illegal immigrant buys a house

lead to more foreclosures

can immigrants buy a house in USA

can an illegal immigrant buy a house in texas

housing for undocumented immigrants

can undocumented immigrants get a home loan

can an illegal immigrant buy a house with cash

Leave a Comment