Can I obtain FIRB approval for a new dwelling?

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What are the approval conditions to purchase a new or near-new dwelling if I am a temporary resident?

If your FIRB application gets approved for the purchase of a new or near-new 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; and
  • 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.

This is very different to the requirements for buying an existing dwelling. After you settle, you don’t have any ongoing requirements apart from those above (and any other ones that the board may provide you with), so you may buy as many as you wish and rent them out or live in them.

What is the difference between a new or near-new dwelling?

A new and near-new dwelling both have one main thing in common, they were never owned by anyone other than the original developer of that dwelling.

Apart from that, below are the requirements for a dwelling to be considered ‘new’:

  • is built on residential land;
  • has never been previously sold as a dwelling to anyone by the original developer; and
  • has never been occupied by anyone.

For a dwelling to be considered ‘near-new’, it must:

  • be built on residential land;
  • be part of a residential development, which means a development which has one or more multi-story buildings and at least 50 independent self-contained dwellings;
  • have had a failed settlement when the original developer tried to sell it to another person; and
  • never occupied for more than twelve (12) months.

What sort of application do I need to make?

Same as for established dwellings, there are two types of applications that can be made for new or near-new 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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