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Dustyb

How to get an apartment lease with foreign spouse?

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Hi everyone,

 

I arrived in the US 2 weeks ago on my K1 visa, and got married within the first week. My wife (US citizen) and I (foreign spouse) are now in the process of applying for a rental agreement here in New York City. We are planning to apply using her parent(s) as guarantor(s) to get around the fact that I have no income or credit, and won't until I get my work permit. However, many of the brokers with whom we have met have said that the landlord(s) will require background checks / credit checks / proof of income for all tenants, even with guarantors. My wife has steady income and I have a lot in my savings, so we know that we will be able to make rent, but we are not sure how to prove this, and are worried that if we reveal anything about my visa / citizenship status then our application will be denied. Has anyone else encountered a similar issue with renting an apartment before work permit / greencard approval? Would appreciate any insight on how to approach this process.

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Your wife doesn't have an apartment now? Most places don't care as long as one person can pay the rent and have proof of it. I don't understand why you would need parents as guarantors. If your wife has steady income that should be enough as long as her credit is good. 

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10 minutes ago, vivostu said:

NYC. The following link provides context for the real estate market in NYC: https://www.thrillist.com/lifestyle/new-york/how-to-rent-nyc-aparments-biggest-mistakes-to-avoid

And why would I read that? I don't live in New York. Get credit, have a job and pay rent. Not too hard. 

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2 minutes ago, Redheadguy03 said:

I don't live in New York.

OP lives in NYC. From the link:

Quote

There are other things to keep in mind, too, like the standard New York rule that renters should make at least 40 times the monthly rent. And renters will likely need to put down the first and last month’s rent, and a security deposit equal to at least one month’s rent. There will also be a broker fee (at least one month’s rent) and miscellaneous application processing fees, key fees, and more. Essentially, you need to have a lot of money available up front.

 

And if you don’t have the assets or the necessary income, “have other incentives ready,” says Compass agent Grant Braswell. Get a guarantor who makes at least 40 times the monthly rent, or enough cash to pay an extra month’s security deposit.

 

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9 hours ago, Dustyb said:

Would appreciate any insight on how to approach this process.

Look for places in large immigrant communities. This may not be your first choice, but there's more flexibility there. You can move once you can afford a better place.


ROC sent 7/20

ROC received at SCS 7/23

Check cashed 8/3

NOA1 8/1

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Hi,

 

I live outside of the NYC area, we're located on Long Island. Myself (the USC) and my husband (then, still in the NVC stage of GC process- 'visiting me' on his B1/B2), were looking for apartments last year. We settled on an apartment in a complex area (popular on Long Island).  All the leasing agency needed from me was proof of income (I have a decent job in NYC)- I provided pay stubs and my contract stating my salary base. They completed a background check and I was approved for the lease. I was told as long as I have sufficient income and no utility debts (which I didn't have),  the credit check should be fine. My husband was allowed to sign the lease (he was co-occupant). They knew his status- I provided copies of his NOA 1 and NOA 2 at the time. They weren't concerned or bothered by it at all. 

 

I second what others have said- as long as the USC has sufficient income and a decent credit score- there shouldn't be any issues. 

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Focus on small-time landlords. They are more likely to work with you. Lots of the huge property management companies have pretty strict cut-and-dry policies and no wiggle room to make exceptions.

 

My wife and I went to look at apartments a while back for fun while she was on a B2 visa. Even though I have great credit and decent income, one of the huge 300+ unit buildings near us was asking for an extra $1000 deposit + 2 months prepaid rent if we wanted to both go on the lease because she had a foreign passport. And they were acting like it was an enormous inconvenience for them and they were doing us a huge favor. 

 

The place we were living before (a one man operation) just wanted a scan of her passport and an extra $25/month to cover the increased utility costs.

Edited by FluffyBalls

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I had this same issue when I first arrived.  We’re in upstate NY and every place we looked at (prior to me moving here) advised they wouldn’t be able to put my name on the lease, but wouldn’t rent to my husband knowing I intended to be a full time tenant.  It was infuriating.  We ended up setting on a less than desirable accommodation through a private landlord, and lived there for 18 months until I was able to build up enough of a credit score and have a year work experience to pass the background check.  

 

Your best best will be a private lease until you’re in a better situation.  

 

Best of luck! 

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I have faced the same situation 

My wife US citizen and i have IR1 visa and travel for first time {Buffalo NY} , the short answer is ( it depends on the landlord and the avialabilty of apts in the place you search for) 

After searching for a week finally find company to rent us apt without guarantor althought we don't have proof of income but we submit my wife credit score and my foreign bank statment 

 

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Hello!  I remember running into weird situations when my husband first arrived on his K1.  I would just ask the different landlords/management companies what they require.  They all play by different rules.  Just ask a lot of questions ahead of time.  Before my husband arrived, I got a new apartment in my name and they knew he was coming in as a foreigner that would be living there.  This particular place required all tenants to be listed and have background and credit checks.  I figured everything would be good and saved money according to what the apartment place told me I would need.  Once my fiance arrived, we went in to do his paperwork and they slapped us with all the highest security deposits because he did not have credit history.  To them, that is the same as having a bad credit history.  I'm telling you this so you can be more thorough and prepared than we were.  It sounds like you guys are in a good place and won't have to worry about those barriers if they come up.  It was frustrating to me because they KNEW he was a citizen and that he'd have no credit report.... but they had me sign all the lease papers and then sprung a +$1000 surprise on us at the last minute.  Good luck!  It will all work out :)


I129F SENT: 12-24-2013

TEXAS SERVICE CENTER

NOA1: 01-02-2014

NOA2: 05-14-2014

NVC received and assigned case #: 5-29-2014

Left NVC: 06-04-2014

Interview Scheduled: 6-24-2014 SO EXCITED!!!!!!!! :dancing::star:

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Let us know the process and outcome.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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