The Foreign Investment Review Board of Australia examines proposals by foreign interests to undertake direct investment in Australia and makes recommendations to the Government under its foreign investment policy. Foreign purchasers must notify the Government prior to acquiring the interest, unless they are exempt from notification.

Residential Real Estate

Persons that meet certain criteria do not need foreign investment approval before purchasing residential real estate in Australia. This includes:

  • an Australian citizen (regardless of whether they are ordinarily resident in Australia or not);
  • a New Zealand citizen;
  • the holder of an Australian permanent visa; or
  • foreign persons purchasing property as joint tenants with their Australian citizen spouse, New Zealand citizen spouse, or Australian permanent resident spouse.
    • This exemption does not include purchasing property as tenants in common.

Foreign persons, regardless of citizenship or residency, do not require foreign investment approval to acquire an interest in residential real estate that is:

  • a new or near-new dwelling purchased from a developer that holds a new or near-new dwelling exemption certificate that allows the developer to sell dwellings in the specified development to foreign persons.
  • an aged care facility, retirement village or certain student accommodation provided the interest is not above the relevant threshold. For more information, see Guidance Note 14.
  • a time share scheme where the foreign person’s total entitlement (including any associates) to access the land is no more than four weeks in any year;
  • acquired by will or devolution of law;
  • acquired directly from the Commonwealth, a State, a Territory, or local governing body, or an entity wholly owned by the Commonwealth, a State, a Territory or a local governing body; and
  • an interest in certain residential real estate in designated Integrated Tourism Resorts.

Further exemptions may apply. For more information, see Guidance Note 4 or contact us.

For further and up-to-date information you can visit www.firb.gov.au

  • This information is a guide only. Please contact the FIRB directly to find out your eligibility and approval.