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Can Non-Citizens Apply For A Real Estate License In New York?

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Navigating the realm of real estate licensure in New York may present a unique set of challenges and opportunities for non-citizens looking to enter the field. The State of New York has specific requirements that must be met by all prospective real estate salespersons and brokers, regardless of citizenship. While U.S. citizens have straightforward criteria to fulfill, non-citizens may encounter different stipulations based on various factors, including their country of origin and immigration status. Yet, the door remains open for those who wish to facilitate real estate transactions in this diverse and bustling market.

A non-citizen fills out a real estate license application in New York

To embark on a career in New York real estate, individuals must first satisfy educational prerequisites, which includes completing a state-approved pre-licensing course at a recognized educational institution. Afterward, passing the New York state examination secures one’s eligibility to apply for a license. Importantly, the Department of State oversees the licensing process, ensuring that all real estate professionals adhere to established protocols and standards. Non-citizens should be aware that specific documentation might be required to prove their eligibility to work within the United States, thus enabling them to engage in real estate activities as licensed agents or brokers.

Key Takeaways

  • Non-citizens in New York can apply for a real estate license with specific eligibility requirements.
  • State-approved education and passing the state examination are prerequisites for licensure.
  • The Department of State is the authoritative body for real estate licensing in New York.

Do You Need A SSN To Get A Real Estate License In New York?

A person completing a real estate license application in New York, with a section for Social Security Number and citizenship status

To become a real estate agent in New York, one significant requirement you must be aware of is related to your Social Security Number (SSN). Without an SSN, the process may differ, but here’s what you need to know.

Can I Use ITIN?

If you do not have a Social Security Number but possess an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), you may be wondering whether it can serve as a substitute in the licensing process. New York State does require an SSN when applying for a real estate license; however, non-citizens authorized to work in the United States who may not have an SSN often have an ITIN.

As part of the licensing requirements, you must complete a pre-licensing course and obtain a certificate of completion. When enrolling in a real estate school like Corofy, which offers fully online courses tailored to New York’s real estate market, you’ll be asked to provide your SSN. This is a typical request, as your SSN is used to verify your identity and ensure your certificate reflects the correct information.

In summary, if you’re looking to acquire a New York real estate salesperson license and become a real estate agent without an SSN, you will need to consult the appropriate state departments to determine if an ITIN or another alternative identifier will be accepted. This step is vital, as it’s essential to ensure you are authorized to work and can be issued a real estate license in New York State.

Can A Non US Citizen Be A Real Estate Agent In New York?

Yes, non-citizens can become a real estate agent in New York, given they meet certain criteria. You don’t have to be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident to apply for a real estate license in the state. However, it is critical that you are authorized to work in the United States.

To begin the process, make sure you fulfill the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Have no felony convictions (some exceptions apply based on the nature and duration since the conviction).
  • Complete a 77-hour real estate license course from an approved provider like a state-certified real estate school, which now can be found online.
  • Pass the New York State real estate license examination.

Once you’ve cleared these hurdles, the next step is to find a sponsoring broker. This is a mandatory association as real estate agents in New York cannot operate independently; they must work under a broker‘s guidance.

Keep in mind, there is no specific work experience requirement for non-citizens different from that for citizens when applying for a real estate license. Your eligibility hinges on the same educational and examination criteria as everyone else.

As you navigate the process, be cognizant of each step and ensure your compliance with all New York State requirements for becoming a real estate agent. To start, leverage the convenience of online education tailored for aspiring real estate professionals to meet your pre-licensing course requirements.

Can A Non-U.S. Citizen Sell Real Estate?

If you are a non-citizen looking to engage in real estate transactions in New York, you may wonder about your eligibility to sell property. Non-citizens, including both permanent residents and nonpermanent residents, can indeed sell real estate in New York State.

As a permanent resident or green card holder, you have the same property rights as a U.S. citizen. You can buy, sell, and even act as a real estate broker, provided you meet all the necessary licensing requirements.

Nonpermanent residents, such as individuals on a work visa or those with refugee or asylee status, can also participate in the sale of real estate. However, you may face more complexities, especially regarding your stay duration and tax implications.

Foreign national individuals can sell property directly or through an entity such as an LLC (Limited Liability Company) or a corporation. This can provide additional layers of privacy and liability protection. But remember, just like U.S. citizens, non-citizens must comply with all IRS regulations related to the sale, including FIRPTA – the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act.

If you aim to act as a real estate broker, rather than just selling property you own, you’ll need to obtain a real estate license. This process involves satisfying education and examination requirements, which can also be completed through online programs like Corofy, a fully online real estate school in New York.

When engaging in the sale of real estate, always ensure compliance with state laws and consider seeking advice from real estate professionals knowledgeable in New York’s regulations to guide you through the process.

Can International Student Be A Real Estate Agent?

As an international student in New York, you may be exploring career paths that are compatible with your visa status. Becoming a real estate salesperson or agent may intrigue you due to its flexibility and potential for success. You’ll be glad to know that the state does not restrict licenses strictly to U.S. citizens.

Educational Requirements

To qualify, you’ll need to complete 77 hours of real estate education approved by the New York State Department of State. Many educational institutions, including some that offer their programs fully online, can provide you with this training. Upon completion, you must pass a school-administered exam.

Legal Eligibility

Having legal authorization to work in the U.S. is crucial. Your current visa status must not prohibit employment. If you hold an F1 visa, typically you would not have unrestricted work rights. However, Optional Practical Training (OPT) may permit temporary employment in a field related to your area of study.


After meeting the educational prerequisites, your next step is to pass the New York Real Estate Salesperson Examination. Be prepared with identification and proof of your education completion when you attend the exam.

Application Process

Once you’ve passed the exam, you can apply for your real estate salesperson license in New York. You will need to be sponsored by a licensed New York State real estate broker. Your immigration status will not be a barrier in this process; however, you must have a valid Social Security Number.

Remember, while an international student’s journey to becoming a real estate agent might involve additional considerations, higher education and practical training can pave the way for a flourishing career in New York’s dynamic real estate market.

What Do I Need To Get My Real Estate License In NY?

To obtain a real estate license in New York, there are specific criteria you must meet and steps you must follow. Here is a simplified guide:

  • Age and Background: You must be at least 18 years old.
  • Education: Complete a 77-hour pre-licensing course from an approved education provider. An online real estate school like Corofy offers flexibility to fulfill this requirement.
  • Examination: After your education, pass the New York real estate salesperson examination.
  • Sponsoring Broker: Find a licensed NY real estate broker to sponsor you.
  • Application: Submit your application and the required fee to the New York Department of State.


  • At least 18 years old
  • No felony or sex offense convictions
  • 77 hours of approved real estate education
  • Pass the NY real estate exam
  • Secure sponsorship from a NY real estate broker
  • Application and fee submission to the Department of State

Next Steps:

  1. Enroll in and complete your pre-licensing course.
  2. Schedule and pass the state’s real estate salesperson exam.
  3. Partner with a sponsoring real estate broker.
  4. Submit your application to the Department of State for your license.

Remember to check for any updates in the requirements on the official website of the New York Department of State or through your educational provider to ensure you have the most current information.


In New York, as a non-citizen, you have the opportunity to embark on a real estate career, so long as you fulfill certain education and licensing requirements. Your journey begins with an approved broker qualifying course, followed by a successful pass on the state exam.

The welcoming prospect of a career in real estate is not withheld from you even if you’re not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. You can apply for a Real Estate Salesperson license if you meet the criteria which primarily include being 18 years of age or older, having a high school diploma or its equivalent, and completing the required educational course from an approved institution.

Corofy offers a completely online pathway to achieve your mandatory educational requirements, ensuring accessibility and convenience. Once the educational components are cleared, an application accompanied by the necessary documents and fees will set the foundation for your new career.

Embarking on this pathway not only allows for partnerships with established brokers but also opens up a multitude of career opportunities in a dynamic and lucrative field. Should you have any inquiries or require further guidance, you are encouraged to contact the New York Department of State.

Your career in New York real estate awaits your action. With the necessary diligence and commitment, these opportunities are within your reach, setting the stage for a flourishing profession in an ever-growing industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Navigating the real estate licensing landscape in New York can be complex, particularly for non-citizens. Here’s what you need to know.

What are the eligibility requirements for non-citizens to obtain a real estate license in New York?

You must be at least 18 years old, hold the equivalent of a high school diploma, and have lawful presence in the United States. Non-citizens need to ensure their legal status allows them to engage legally in business activities like real estate sales.

Is residency in New York a prerequisite for acquiring a real estate license as a non-citizen?

No, you do not need to be a resident of New York State to receive your real estate license as a non-citizen, as long as you meet the other licensing requirements.

What legal statuses are acceptable for non-citizens to qualify for a New York real estate license?

Acceptable legal statuses include being a legal permanent resident, having a visa that permits work, or possessing an Employment Authorization Card. It is essential to maintain valid legal status throughout the duration of holding the license.

Are there any additional hurdles for non-citizens seeking a real estate license in New York compared to U.S. citizens?

Non-citizens may face additional steps such as proving legal status and eligibility for employment in the U.S. However, the licensing process itself does not differ fundamentally from that of U.S. citizens.

What documentation must non-citizens provide when applying for a real estate license in New York?

Documentation includes proof of age, proof of education equivalency, and documents confirming legal presence and eligibility to work in the U.S., such as a green card or visa with work authorization.

Can individuals with non-immigrant visas apply for a real estate license in New York?

Individuals with non-immigrant visas can apply for a real estate license if their visa status permits work in the United States. It is critical to verify that your specific visa category is not subject to restrictions that prevent carrying out real estate transactions.

Who is Corofy?

Before being a school, Corofy is a community. Our founder, Eddy Boccara, started his real estate career as a real estate salesperson looking for a side hustle.

Since then, he’s had a passion for New York real estate and specifically the talented individuals that take the leap to get their real estate license and help this industry progress.

Eddy created Corofy with one goal in mind: to provide people with quality real estate education that actually helps them build a career they can be proud of.

New York Online 77-hour Real Estate Pre-Licensing Course

Engaging Online Real Estate Course Content

Our New York online real estate course is designed to help you stay engaged and pass the New York real estate exam. With this in mind, our pre-licensing course includes:

Fun activities & quizzes

Chapter review summaries

Easy to follow content

Careers tips and advice

Memory cues to help you learn