Can I obtain FIRB approval for an existing dwelling?

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Can I buy an existing dwelling if I am a temporary resident?

If you plan on buying a property to live in while temporarily in Australia, you are able to apply for FIRB approval for an existing dwelling, however you are not able to:

  1. rent part or all of the property out;
  2. redevelop the property into one single dwelling only, even for you to live in yourself, it must be two or more dwellings; or
  3. use the dwelling as a holiday home.

What are the approval conditions for an existing dwelling?

If your FIRB application gets approved for the purchase of an existing dwelling, you must usually comply with the following conditions:

  • the purchase price must be within the fee bracket in the approval – for more information on fees, please click on our previous blog here;
  • the property must be vacant at settlement;
  • you must use the property as your principal place of residence;
  • the land purchase must be recorded on the Register of Foreign Ownership of Residential Land within 30 days from the date your settlement of the purchase of the land occurs;
  • you cannot rent out all or part of the dwelling; and
  • you must sell, transfer or dispose of the property within six months of it ceasing to be your principal place of residence or your temporary resident visa expires.

What sort of application do I need to make?

There are two types of applications that can be made for established dwellings:

  1. no objection notification; and
  2. an exemption certificate.

The no objection notification is used for when you already have a property in mind, whereas the exemption certificate allows you to get a pre-approval for a property while you are still looking to find one.

The exemption certificate lasts 12 months and will limit you to buy within the approved state or territory and at the value specified in the certificate.

Who can help me make my FIRB application?

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. It can often be a complex area of law so it’s important to get the right legal advice.

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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