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Real Estate Licensing in Michigan: Residency & Citizenship Overview

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In the beautiful state of Michigan, pursuing a career in real estate can be an exciting and rewarding journey. However, if you’re a non-U.S. citizen, you may be wondering if you have the same opportunities as U.S. citizens. Rest assured, because in this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about residency and citizenship requirements for obtaining a real estate license in Michigan.While Michigan does not have specific restrictions on citizenship or residency for obtaining a real estate license, there are still certain requirements that non-U.S. citizens must meet to become real estate agents in the state. One crucial requirement is to have a valid work visa or employment authorization from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that allows you to work in the United States legally. This is essential as real estate agents in Michigan, like in many other states, are considered independent contractors and must be authorized to work in the country.Additionally, non-U.S. citizens looking to pursue a career in real estate in Michigan may also need to provide proof of their legal status in the U.S. This could include submitting documentation such as a valid passport, visa, or employment authorization card when applying for a real estate license. It’s important to ensure that all immigration and work authorization documents are up to date and in compliance with U.S. regulations to avoid any issues during the licensing process. By meeting these requirements, non-U.S. citizens can successfully navigate the process of becoming real estate agents in Michigan and contribute to the diverse landscape of the real estate industry in the state.

What Are The Requirements To Become A Real Estate Agent In Michigan?

When it comes to becoming a real estate agent in Michigan, there are a few key requirements that you must fulfill. Let’s take a closer look at what these entail:

Citizenship and Visa Requirements

In order to become a real estate agent in Michigan, you don’t need to be a U.S. citizen or have a specific visa. As long as you have legal authorization to work in the United States, you are eligible to apply for a real estate license.

Michigan is known for its diverse population, and the real estate industry welcomes individuals from various backgrounds. Whether you are a permanent resident, hold a work visa, or have another form of legal authorization to work in the U.S., you have the opportunity to pursue a career in real estate in the Great Lakes State.

Background Check and Legal Presence

Prior to obtaining your real estate license, Michigan requires all applicants to undergo a thorough background check. This includes submitting fingerprint impressions and completing a legal presence verification process to ensure your eligibility.

Michigan’s commitment to upholding ethical standards in the real estate industry is reflected in the rigorous background check process. By verifying the legal presence of applicants and conducting thorough screenings, the state aims to maintain a professional and trustworthy real estate market for both agents and clients alike.

Licensing Process

Now that we’ve covered the general requirements for becoming a real estate agent in Michigan, let’s dive deeper into the licensing process itself:

Embarking on the path to becoming a licensed real estate agent in Michigan involves a series of structured steps that aspiring individuals must diligently follow. Understanding the nuances of the licensing process is crucial for those looking to establish a successful career in the dynamic real estate industry.

Educational Courses

In order to qualify for a real estate license in Michigan, you must complete 40 hours of pre-licensure education. This education can be completed through approved real estate schools or online courses. The curriculum covers essential topics such as real estate principles, practices, contracts, and finance.

Delving into these educational courses not only equips future real estate agents with the necessary knowledge but also instills in them a solid foundation upon which to build their professional expertise. The comprehensive nature of the coursework ensures that individuals are well-prepared to navigate the complexities of the real estate market with confidence and competence.

Application and Examination

After completing the required educational courses, you’ll need to submit your application to LARA. This involves providing personal information, education details, and documentation supporting your legal presence in the United States. Once your application is approved, you’ll need to pass the Michigan Real Estate Salesperson Exam, which tests your knowledge of the real estate industry and laws.

The application and examination phase serves as a critical juncture in the licensing process, where individuals are assessed on their understanding of real estate practices and regulations. Successfully navigating this stage signifies a significant milestone towards achieving licensure and embarking on a fulfilling career in the real estate realm.

Broker Sponsorship

After passing the examination, you’ll need to find a sponsoring broker to work under. Michigan law requires all real estate agents to have a sponsoring broker who will oversee their activities and assist in the development of their career. Once you’ve secured a sponsoring broker, you can apply for your real estate salesperson license and officially begin your journey as a real estate agent in Michigan.

Securing a reputable sponsoring broker not only fulfills a legal requirement but also opens up a realm of opportunities for aspiring real estate agents. The guidance and mentorship provided by experienced brokers play a pivotal role in shaping the professional growth and success of individuals entering the real estate industry. Collaborating with a supportive broker can pave the way for a rewarding and prosperous career trajectory in the dynamic world of real estate.

Citizenship And Legal Residency: What’s The Difference?

It’s important to understand the distinction between citizenship and legal residency when it comes to pursuing a real estate license in Michigan.

Citizenship refers to your status as a member of a specific country, granting you the rights and privileges that come with it. It is a legal bond between an individual and a country, entitling the individual to participate fully in the civic life of that nation, including the right to vote, hold public office, and receive protection from the government. Citizenship is typically acquired either by birth within a country’s territory or through a legal process known as naturalization.

Legal residency, on the other hand, pertains to your authorized presence in a country where you are not a citizen. It allows individuals to reside in a country for an extended period, often for work, study, or family reasons, without being a citizen of that country. In Michigan, legal residency is sufficient for obtaining a real estate license, so you don’t necessarily have to be a U.S. citizen.

Legal residency status can be obtained through various means, such as employment sponsorship, family reunification, or humanitarian reasons. It grants individuals the right to live and work in a country for a specified period, usually with restrictions on certain privileges reserved for citizens. While legal residents may not have the right to vote in national elections or hold certain public offices, they are entitled to certain protections under the law and can engage in many aspects of civic life.

Legal Permanent Residents: Who Qualifies?

If you’re a legal permanent resident (LPR) of the United States, commonly referred to as a green card holder, you meet the requirements for obtaining a real estate license in Michigan. As an LPR, you have the same rights and privileges as a U.S. citizen when it comes to pursuing a career in real estate.

Legal permanent residents play a vital role in the U.S. economy and society. They contribute to the workforce, pay taxes, and enrich the cultural fabric of the nation. In the real estate industry, LPRs bring diverse perspectives and experiences that can benefit clients and colleagues alike. Their ability to navigate different cultures and languages can be a valuable asset in serving a wide range of clients in an increasingly global market.

Furthermore, becoming a licensed real estate agent can open up a world of opportunities for legal permanent residents. Not only can they help individuals and families find their dream homes, but they can also specialize in commercial real estate, property management, or real estate investment. The flexibility and potential for growth in the real estate sector make it an attractive career path for LPRs looking to establish themselves in the United States.

Do All States Have The Same Citizenship Requirements For Real Estate Agents?

It’s important to note that each state has its own set of regulations and requirements when it comes to real estate licensing for non-U.S. citizens. While Michigan doesn’t impose specific citizenship or residency restrictions, other states may have different policies in place. If you’re considering pursuing a real estate career outside of Michigan, it’s advisable to research and familiarize yourself with the requirements of your desired state.

For example, in California, non-U.S. citizens are eligible to apply for a real estate license as long as they provide proof of legal presence in the United States. This can be in the form of a valid visa or employment authorization document. On the other hand, states like Texas require all real estate license applicants, regardless of citizenship status, to have a valid Social Security number.


In conclusion, if you’re a non-U.S. citizen with dreams of becoming a real estate agent in Michigan, you’ll be pleased to know that the state offers equal opportunities for both citizens and non-citizens alike. By fulfilling the general requirements set by LARA, including completing educational courses, passing the examination, and securing a sponsoring broker, you can embark on a successful real estate career in the heart of the Great Lakes State. Remember, while citizenship is not a prerequisite, legal residency in the United States is a must. So, take the first step, set your sights on success, and start your journey towards obtaining your real estate license in Michigan today!

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.

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