Who does not need FIRB approval?

Australian Citizen

If you are an Australian expat living overseas, or an Australian citizen living in Australia:

  • You do not need approval from the FIRB.

  • You can buy a new property, existing property or vacant land.

  • You can live in the property or it can be an investment.

 

Permanent Resident

If you are a foreign national who has a permanent resident visa:

  • You do not need approval from the FIRB.

  • You can buy a new property, existing property or vacant land.

  • You can live in the property or it can be an investment.

New Zealand Citizen

If you are a New Zealand resident:

  • You do not need approval from the FIRB.

  • You can buy a new property, existing property or vacant land.

  • You can live in the property or it can be an investment.

 

Temporary Resident Buying With Australian Citizen Spouse

If you are on a temporary visa such as a spouse visa, 457 work visa or student visa and are buying the property with your Australian citizen spouse*:

  • You do not need FIRB approval if you are buying the property as ‘joint tenants’.

  • You will need FIRB approval if you are buying the property together as ‘tenants in common’.

  • You can buy a new property, existing property or vacant land.

  • You can live in the property or it can be an investment.

*Includes de facto partner (both same sex and different sex).

Who needs FIRB approval?

You will need FIRB approval if you fall into the following categories.

Temporary Resident

If you are on a temporary visa such as spouse visa, 457 work visa or student visa:

  • You need approval from the FIRB.

  • You can only buy one established dwelling and it must be to live in, however you will be required to sell it once you do not live there anymore.

  • You can buy an investment property, however it must be a new property or vacant land to build a new property.

  • You do not need FIRB approval if you are buying the property with an Australian citizen as ‘joint tenants’.

Foreign Investor

If you are a foreign investor:

  • You need approval from the FIRB.

  • The investment property must be a new property or vacant land to build a new property.

  • You cannot buy an established dwelling as an investment property.

  • You can buy a new property in your name and rent it out to your child if s/he is on a temporary visa.

Please refer to the FIRB website for the full details of eligibility.

Will it make a difference if you live in the property or not?

As a general rule, investment properties are accepted more readily. If you are on a temporary visa or work visa, you:

  • Can usually buy a new property or an established property.

  • Will usually be required to sell your home when you leave Australia.

If you obtain citizenship or permanent residency then you will not have to sell your property.

If you are a foreign citizen living overseas, you are unlikely to be allowed to buy a property to live in in Australia. This is because you do not have a valid visa allowing you to stay in Australia.

If you have been granted a temporary residency visa, you may be able to buy a home before you move.

If you are an Australian living overseas:

  • You can buy a property to live in in Australia if you can prove to your lender you will be able to afford the debt.

  • Either you will need to prove you will continue your employment in Australia, or that you have another income source.

Types of properties you can buy:

  • Investment properties: In most cases the Australian Government will approve applications to buy an investment property on the condition that it is a new property. You can often keep an investment property if you leave Australia.

  • Home (owner occupied) If you are buying a home you may be able to buy an established property (one that wasn’t recently built). You will be required to sell your property when your visa expires and you leave Australia.

  • Vacant land (investment)In most cases the Australian Government will approve applications to buy vacant land on the condition that you commence construction of a dwelling on the land within 24 months. You can often keep a property you have built as an investment property if you leave Australia.

 

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