Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB)

The Foreign Investment Review Board (the Board) is a non-statutory body which advises the Treasurer and the Government on Australia’s Foreign Investment Policy (the Policy) and its administration.

The Board’s functions are advisory only. Responsibility for making decisions on the Policy and proposals rests with the Treasurer. The Treasury’s Foreign Investment and Trade Policy Division (the Division) provides secretariat services to the Board and is responsible for the day to day administration of the arrangements.

What is the role of the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB)?

The role of the Foreign Investment Review Board, including through its secretariat, is to:

  • examine proposed investments in Australia that are subject to the Policy, the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (the Act) and supporting legislation, and to make recommendations to the Treasurer and other Treasury portfolio ministers on these proposals;
  • advise the Treasurer on the operation of the Policy and the Act;
  • foster an awareness and understanding, both in Australia and abroad, of the Policy and the Act;
  • provide guidance to foreign persons and their representatives or agents on the Policy and the Act;
  • monitor and ensure compliance with the Policy and the Act; and
  • provide advice to the Treasurer on the Policy and related matters.

Who requires approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board?

Foreign citizens living overseas will require FIRB approval before buying an investment property in Australia. Australian citizens, New Zealand citizens and permanent residents are not required to obtain FIRB approval to invest in real estate. For temporary residents (greater than 12 months), FIRB approval is not required for most types of real estate investment.

Are you wanting to apply to the FIRB?

Our specialised team of property lawyers, immigration lawyers and registered migration agents regularly act for clients to advise on or obtain FIRB approval for many different types of properties and investment ventures throughout Australia. We understand how the FIRB works and will guide you through the complex FIRB approval process and advise whether you require FIRB approval or whether an exemption might apply.

Contact our team today to speak with our team regarding the Foreign Investment Review Board application process or if you are considering investing in Australia.

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