Do I Need a Power of Attorney for an Expat Loan in Australia

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Are you looking to invest in an investment property as an expat living abroad? Do you need an Australian mortgage with a good interest rate, and are you choosing between various Australian lenders before making an application? Consider this: As an expat or Australian citizen living abroad, during the process, knowing whether the Australian lenders that you’re choosing between permit a Power of Attorney is important.

An experienced mortgage broker will help you consider your options but ensuring that you enquire about a Power of Attorney is crucial. Why? Because it can affect your application process as an Australian expat

So, discover how important a Power of Attorney is for your application to buy Australian property for expat loans below!

Do I Need a Power of Attorney for an Expat Loan in Australia

What is meant by Power of Attorney for an expat loan?

A Power of Attorney for an expat loan is a legal document giving an individual the responsibility for managing financial documents and legal documents for your home loan or expat mortgages. Essentially, the individual who you select to be your Power of Attorney can also sign the documents that relate to your home loan for you.

They can:

  • Help you pay expenses towards a property
  • Assist you with making investments
  • Support you when selling a property
  • Help you with documents for investment property

The person you elect can also help you achieve the identity authentication process that will need to be carried out at the Consulate or Australian embassy in your country of residence as an Australian expat.

When does a Power of Attorney expire?

Power of Attorney generally stays in place until you choose to revoke it or you are unable to handle your affairs yourself due to mental incapacity depending on the type of Power of Attorney.

There are two main types of Power of Attorney:

  • Enduring Power of Attorney
  • General Power of Attorney

Whereas the Enduring Power of Attorney stays in effect if you lose mental capacity, the General Power of Attorney can come to an end if you lose mental capacity.

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Do I need a Power of Attorney for an expat loan in Australia: Is it necessary?

Now, to answer the question of “Do I Need a Power of Attorney for an Expat Loan in Australia?” it’s important to recognise that the mortgage or loan provider you choose may expect or request that you have a Power of Attorney. 

It’s also the case that your country of residence might not have an Australian embassy or Consulate or that you might not be able to sign a particular legal loan contract or financial documents related to your home loan application. In each of these cases, a Power of Attorney will be required, and you should make the right preparations for this in this case.

However, in other situations, most Australian expats applying to most lenders might not need a Power of Attorney. 

Do I need a Power of Attorney for an expat loan in Australia: Do all lenders request this?

Although the majority of the banks will require you to establish a power of Attorney with a person in Australia, not all lenders will set out the same Power of Attorney requirements. 

If you’re thinking about the specific requirements, or whether a Power of Attorney is necessary concerning the question “Do I Need a Power of Attorney for an Expat Loan in Australia?” Other lenders will stipulate that a solicitor is required, others state a Power of Attorney is not accepted.

Do I Need a Power of Attorney for an Expat Loan in Australia

Who can I choose to be my Power of Attorney for an expat home loan?

You can select between several individuals to be your Power of Attorney for your expat home loan. They could be a member of your family or a close friend. They could be a solicitor or a legal expert. The person you choose will significantly reduce the complications and hassle of handling the documents, so it’s important to choose a person that you trust.

What if my lender doesn’t accept a Power of Attorney?

In the event your lender doesn’t accept a Power of Attorney you must take responsibility for mailing the required documents to the Australian embassy that is located in your country of residence. So, in response to the question “Do I need a Power of Attorney for an Expat Loan in Australia”, you will need to find out if your lender accepts a Power of Attorney.

What’s also required is that you must sign all required documents and have the signature witnessed by an official.

What are the benefits of arranging a Power of Attorney?

What’s also crucial when answering the question of “Do I Need a Power of Attorney for an Expat Loan in Australia?” is knowing the advantages of having a Power of Attorney, which can save you extra work. If your lender doesn’t permit you to need to have a Power of Attorney, as mentioned, sending documents via a courier will be required.

However, with a Power of Attorney, you will have no problems getting documents signed on your behalf. You can also avoid wasting time if you have a Power of Attorney set up because it can still be a challenge to get a transaction arranged promptly and arrange an available appointment slot at the Consulate.

To accomplish this, you should always check with a mortgage broker if you’re using one, or verify with your mortgage lender whether they require a Power of Attorney or not, or whether you are permitted a Power of Attorney.

How many times will I need to go to the Australian Consulate if I don’t have a Power of Attorney?

It’s also important to recognise that you may have to go to the Australian Consulate several times for identity authentication and certification. Your initial visit is part of your application, and you will need to get the identification certificate processed by the Consulate. 

Your following appointment requires the signature and official witnessing of documents for your home loan.

Do I Need a Power of Attorney for an Expat Loan in Australia

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Are fees included when signing documents at an Australian Consulate?

The short answer is that fees are included when you sign a home loan document and have it witnessed. The fees involved generally amount to $100 or upwards of this amount. Every country will have its fees, so contacting the Australian Consulate in your country is recommended.

What other factors do I need to think about when applying for expat loans?

As well as recognising your borrowing capacity or borrowing power for expat home loans, it’s important to take note of the specific foreign currency and lending criteria accepted by banks, the stamp duty surcharge and whether your Power of Attorney needs government approval.

How can my Power of Attorney find out which foreign currency is accepted by my Australian lender?

The documents signed by your Power of Attorney will stipulate which foreign currency is accepted by Australian lenders. Now, some of the particular foreign currency accepted by most lenders accepted and used to make investment property calculations or Australian property include:

  • Hong Kong Dollar
  • Canadian Dollar
  • New Zealand Dollar
  • Singapore Dollar
  • Japanese Yen
  • British Pound Sterling / Great Britain Pound Sterling
  • Euro 
  • United States Dollar

How does stamp duty and the surcharge compare between Australians and expats?

Normally, Australian nationals do not have to pay the surcharge for stamp duty. In the event you require the support of a foreign partner who is to declare a better financial position and get the loan approved, the stamp duty surcharge must be paid.

Stamp duty for Australians is a particular percentage of the property value—normally 4%. If you’re a foreigner, stamp duty is around 8% of the property value, in addition to the typical tax. 

Do I need the Australian government to approve when my Power of Attorney signs for an expat loan?

Regarding the question “is Australian government approval required” when applying for an Australian expat home loan from abroad, Australian government approval (and Foreign Investment Review Board approval) is NOT required.

Power of attorney, expat loans and property in Australia: Key points not to forget

To get a loan amount approved after consulting mortgage brokers, expat Australian borrowers can reap the benefits of the power of attorney, expat loans approval and start making a rental income by first checking if your lender permits you to appoint a power of attorney.

As an Australian citizen living abroad, Australian expat home loans are an option, but remember that if you’re in a de facto relationship with a foreign citizen, home loans can be declined if lenders view you as a high risk. 

One final thing to keep in mind is that you might have to pay higher interest rates with certain lenders, so make sure that you consider all your options and look at Odin Mortgage for more answers to your most pressing questions on mortgages and finance. Alternatively reach out to our experts for more facts!

Do I Need a Power of Attorney for an Expat Loan in Australia

Do I Need A Power Of Attorney For An Expat Loan In Australia FAQs

In which other situations can a Power of Attorney act on my behalf?

In scenarios where you are incapacitated in a legal sense, your Power of Attorney can act on your behalf when you permit them the power to purchase things (like a property) for you. 

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How can a person given a Power of Attorney know if I will be approved if my actual income is more than one currency?

Generally, if your lender accepts each currency or all currencies of your actual income, you should have no problems being approved for an Australian expat home loan. This is because the accepted currencies will not affect an application in a negative way. Your representative, given Power of Attorney, will sign the documentation that stipulates the acceptable currencies, so they will know which currencies are acceptable to the lender.

In answer to how is foreign income treated in Australia, then, most lenders have no problem approving your loan amount, even if  you have self employed income that is a foreign currency that matches their list.

Is there a cost for giving someone Power of Attorney in terms of property arrangements?

The short answer is, no, there generally aren’t any costs for appointing someone to Power of Attorney. In situations where legal advice is required, you might have to pay a fee, but normally there are no such costs for appointing a Power of Attorney to someone.

How can a person with a Power of Attorney tell if I have to pay stamp duty surcharges for expat loans in Australia?

This will also be outlined in the Australian expat home loan documentation or investment loans documentation that your Power of Attorney will be responsible for handling, so they will be aware if stamp duty surcharges are required. 

Generally speaking, as an Australian permanent resident who lives abroad, you may have to pay stamp duty surcharges, but as Australian expats who aren’t classed as an Australian permanent resident don’t pay this, investigate this with your state revenue authority that is situated in the same state as the location of your investment property or Australian property.

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