Effective January 19, 2021, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is permitting DACA FHA mortgage applicants classified under the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program DACA FHA mortgage applicants with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) and are legally permitted to work in the U.S. are eligible to apply for mortgages backed by the FHA. Prior to today’s announcement, the FHA Single Family Housing Handbook (“Handbook 4000.1 Section II.A.1.b.ii(A)(9)(c) includes this statement: “Non-US citizens without lawful residency in the U.S. are not eligible for FHA-insured mortgages.” This language was incorporated into the FHA Handbook by the Obama Administration in
September 2015 although it was first incorporated into FHA DACA mortgage guidelines in 2003. The term “lawful residency” pre-dates DACA and thus did not anticipate a situation in which a DACA FHA mortgage lenders might not have entered the country legally, but nevertheless be considered lawfully present. To avoid confusion and provide needed clarity to HUD’s lending partners, FHA is waiving the above referenced FHA Handbook subsection in its entirety. In a subsequent update to the FHA Handbook the language will be removed. Other FHA requirements remain in effect for all potential borrowers including DACA FHA mortgage applicants status recipients:
• the property will be the DACA FHA mortgage applicants principal residence;
• the DACA FHA mortgage applicants has a valid Social Security Number (SSN), except for those employed
by the World Bank, a foreign embassy, or equivalent employer identified by HUD;
• the DACA FHA mortgage applicants is eligible to work in the U.S., as evidenced by the Employment
Authorization Document issued by the USCIS; and
• the DACA FHA mortgage applicants satisfies the same requirements, terms, and conditions as those for
The Employment Authorization Document is required to substantiate work status. If the
Employment Authorization Document will expire within one year and a prior history of
residency status renewals exists, the lender may assume that continuation will be granted.
If there are no prior renewals, the lender must determine the likelihood of renewal based on
information from the USCIS.
A DACA FHA mortgage applicants residing in the U.S. by virtue of refugee or asylee status granted by the USCIS is automatically eligible to work in this country.