If you are thinking about applying for a Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188), or if you are a temporary resident in Australia, you need to be aware of Australia’s foreign investment policy when it comes to buying residential real-estate.
What is the foreign investment policy?
All temporary residents are required to notify Foreign Investment Review Board (‘FIRB’) of any proposed acquisition of residential real estate in Australia. Under this policy, if you are a temporary resident you can only purchase one established dwelling to live in. You may, however, be able to buy new dwellings or purchase vacant land to build a new dwelling, as these will increase available housing stock in Australia.
What is the difference between an established dwelling, a new dwelling and vacant land?
- An established, or second hand dwelling, must be used as your residential home in Australia (you cannot purchase this as an investment property). You will need to apply to the FIRB but these applications are generally approved without foreign investment objections. Please be aware however that you might be subject to some conditions on approval, such as, a condition to sell your house when it is no longer your residence.
- A new dwelling includes purchasing a house from a developer that has not been occupied for over 12 months in total. An application will need to be submitted to the FIRB but unlike an established dwelling, it is generally granted without conditions
- If you wish to purchase vacant land to build a dwelling you will also need to apply to the FIRB and approval will normally be subject to some conditions. A condition might include that construction work must begin within 24 months.
To review this policy on the FIRB website, click here.
What are the subclass 188 criteria?
To view a detailed explanation of this visa please see our blog article.
For more information about significant investor visas, click here.
If you would like further clarification on this policy or would like an assessment on your subclass 188 visa eligibility, please contact a member of our migration team.