Foreign Investor FAQ

  • February 14, 2019
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Q1 I am a foreign person, can I buy property in Australia?
Answer: Yes, you may purchase property in Australia subject to Foreign Investor Review Board’s (FIRB) approval.

Q2 What type of property can I buy in Australia?
Answer: You can purchase as many new properties, vacant land or established dwellings for redevelopment that you can receive an approval to buy.

Q3 How long does it normally take to get a decision granted?
Answer: FIRB states application can take up to 30 days.

Q4 If I buy a property, can I rent it out?
Answer: New dwellings, dwellings built on vacant land and dwellings built as part of a redevelopment can be rented out.

Q5 If I buy a property, will I need approval to sell it?
Answer: No, you do not need approval to sell it but you can only sell it to a person who is Australian permanent residence, Australian Citizen or an Australian registered company.

Q6 Do I need FIRB approval for every property I buy?
Answer: Yes. Approval is granted for specific person(s) and will not apply to any other person(s). Each person who wishes to purchase property in Australia must submit separate application for a specific property.

Q7 Can I buy existing or second hand property?
Answer: Yes, provided that you are a temporary residence of Australia, for example you are holding a student visa or work visa. People with visitor visa are here for a short visit and are not considered a temporary residence for FIRB purpose.

Q8 I am a foreign non-resident. Do I need approval if I buy property through an Australian company or trust entity?
Answer: Yes, if you are a foreign non-resident you require approval regardless of the way you buy the property.

Q9 I am a foreign non-resident. Do I need approval to buy real estate through an Australian incorporated company or unit trust which has at least one Australian director or shareholder/unit holder?
Answer: Australian incorporated companies or trusts where 20 per cent or more of the shares or units are beneficially held by a foreign person are themselves considered to be ‘foreign’ and require approval.

Q10 My relatives not living in Australia under any visa wish to buy a property in Australia. Can they get the approval to buy?
Answer: Yes, but only to buy a new property or vacant land. They cannot purchase an existing or second-hand property, unless for redevelopment.

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