The Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) is a non-statutory body which advises the Treasurer and the Government on Australia’s Foreign Investment Policy (the Policy) and its administration.
FIRB’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 FIRB and is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the arrangements. For more information on FIRB, please visit this link.
What type of property can I purchase with FIRB approval?
You can buy residential land, agricultural land, and commercial land (as well as tenements, business and entities).
There are different rules and requirements for your intentions in the property you are buying that must be met, to comply with the FIRB rules.
For the purpose of this blog, we will focus on vacant residential land.
What is vacant residential land?
A vacant residential land must be:
- a block of land where no more than ten houses can be built on;
- the land cannot be used wholly and exclusively for a primary production business;
- the land did not previously have a house on it.
What are the approval conditions for vacant residential land?
If your FIRB application gets approved for the purchase of vacant residential land, 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;
- you must build at least one house on the land within four years from the date you receive the FIRB approval letter;
- once the house is constructed, you need to submit the evidence of completion to the Government within 30 days of receiving it;
- 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 sell, transfer, or dispose of the land before the construction has been fully completed; and
- you can buy as many vacant residential blocks of land as you like, but you will need a separate FIRB application each time.
Do you need to make an 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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