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Can you get approved for a credit card if you’re not an Australian citizen?
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Can you get approved for a credit card if you’re not an Australian citizen?

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Getting approved for a credit card in Australia when you’re not an Australian citizen can be tricky – but it’s not impossible. There are a number of banks that offer credit cards to non-citizens and non-permanent residents, it’s simply a matter of finding one that can help you.

The Commonwealth Bank for example, only requires a current student or working visa for credit card applications to go ahead, while BankWest, ANZ, Aussie, HSBC, American Express, NAB and Westpac all have options for non-permanent residents.

If you have a 457 visa

One of the most common visas for longer-term non-permanent residents in Australia is the 457 visa. The following banks all offer credit cards to temporary residents with a 457 visa – although you may need to meet certain requirements to be eligible.

Commonwealth Bank

Temporary residents can apply for a CommBank credit card through the standard credit card application process. If you want to apply, make sure your visa is valid for more than six months from the date of application, and that you meet application requirements. Visitors on 417 and 462 visas are not eligible to apply.

HSBC

HSBC allows non-permanent residents to apply for credit cards – with certain requirements. To be eligible, you must be contracted to work in Australia for at least two years, you must have a 457 visa (although check with the bank to see if other visas are accepted), and you must be earning over $50,000 p.a.

NAB

If you are a temporary resident with a 457 visa, you can apply for a NAB credit card – as long as you earn at least $50,000 a year and have at least three months banking history with NAB.

Westpac

Westpac offers credit cards for temporary residents in a number of formats, including Rewards, Low Annual Fee, Low Interest Rate and Platinum Card.

To apply you must have a 457 visa with at least two years on it, and the application must be made in-branch. There are no minimum income requirements on this card, but your credit limit will be dependent on your income.

To apply for the Student Visa Credit Card, you must have a student visa and be studying full-time at a recognised tertiary institution. You also need to be working part time, and again, your credit limit will be dependent on your income.

American Express

If you have a 457 visa, you can apply for an American Express credit card. Check with Amex for conditions that apply.

If you don’t have a 457 visa

If you have another type of visa, such as a partner visa or a different type of work visa, it still could be worth your while discussing your options with the above banks and other credit card providers.

For example, ANZ offers credit cards to temporary residents with a visa valid for four years or more, but not to 457 visa holders or tourist visa holders. To be eligible, you must earn over $50,000 per year.

Minimum Income Requirements

As you can see, many credit card providers offer credit cards to non-permanent residents, but to be eligible, minimum income requirements are usually involved. For example:

  • ANZ credit cards: $15,000 for permanent residents – $50,000 for non-permanent residents
  • HSBC Credit Card: $20,000 for permanent residents – $50,000 for non-permanent residents

The reason for this is the added risk credit card providers have to shoulder to offer non-permanent residents credit. A non-permanent resident could leave the country while still owing money on the credit card, leaving the issuing bank in the lurch.

Credit History Requirements

If you want to get approved for a credit card as a non-permanent resident, you will also need to have an excellent credit history. The credit card provider will usually check your credit history to decide whether or not to approve your application.

If you have a poor credit history, or no credit history at all, you may find it more difficult to get approved.

Tips for non-residents applying for a credit card

Go into a branch to discuss options and to make sure you are eligible. The provider may ask you to provide more information, and they may look into your application more thoroughly than they would with an online application.

Speak to your own bank. If you have a number of banking products with your bank, and you have banked with them for some time, you may be more likely to get approved than if you applied elsewhere.

When you apply for a credit card, be prepared to offer as much information as the provider needs. This could include tax information, pay slips and references.

Opt for a basic credit card first. You may be more likely to get approved for a cheaper, basic card with a lower credit limit. Treat that card correctly, and you should be able to step up the ladder in time, and get a credit card with more features in the future.

Founder - Roland B Bleyer

Roland Bleyer

Founder of Creditcard.com.au. Roland has extensive knowledge about credit cards in Australia. Known as a credit card expert, he has been featured on tv and in various publications. Some popular offers on our site right now include the ANZ Low Rate. This special offer has no annual fee first year, a low purchase rate and long 0% balance transfer. Have a look also at the huge 0% for 30 months balance transfer from Citi with no balance transfer fees.

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8 comments (showing the latest 10 Q&As)

Mark Davies

Mark Davies

4 May 2021
I'm Australian Citizen living overseas (left Australia 6 months ago). I have my house in Australia and also mortgage there (House value around 3M, mortgage around 800k). Can I apply for a credit card while living in overseas? I would like to close off my current australian credit cards due to high annual fee, but I need to do balance transfer to another card. My income is around 200k AUD
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    12 May 2021
    Hi Mark, thanks for your question! In your case most institutions require you to have an Australian address for residency purposes. If you can, it might be best to call the banks directly and discuss your options with them.
Deborah Crosby

Deborah Crosby

13 January 2021
We are retired and moving to Australia as soon as the border opens. We have our son and family that live in Melbourne. We have also submitted our application for a SC143 Contributory Parent Visa as well. I would like to get an Australian credit card now to build up credit there prior to our arrival. We will be leading an apartment and having credit established would be beneficial. Can I get one?
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    14 January 2021
    Hi Deborah, you cannot apply until you are residing in Australia for an Australian credit card. I do agree that establishing credit is a good thing. Though you will need to wait until you are here. Sounds like an exciting move. All the best with it.
Sereena sulaiman

Sereena sulaiman

12 January 2021
Subclass 010 can apply credit card ?
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    13 January 2021
    Hi Sereena, bridging visa? I think its tough to apply on this Visa. I suggest you wait until you have an outcome.
Arvinder singh

Arvinder singh

12 December 2020
Hie I work as an truck driver my owner pays me at ABN can I apply for a credit card.
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    14 December 2020
    Hi Arvinder, this is possible. As long as you have had the ABN for over 12 months and have done a tax return. Also that you have more than 9 months left on your visa. I would have a go with the ANZ Low Rate.

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