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Foreign Investment

We are often asked about the possibility of non-Australian citizens buying Australian property. Here is a precis of the Foreign Investment guidelines.

Full details are contained in the Australian Government's website at www.firb.gov.au

The Australian Government seeks to encourage inward foreign investment, acknowledging that it is a positive contributor to economic growth. Australia operates a 'screening' process which is transparent and very liberal. Generally speaking, proposed investments are approved unless considered contrary to the national interest.

There are four areas of residential property which are covered under the guidelines:

Vacant land. No visa is required, but you must commence continuous development on the property within 12 months of receiving foreign investment approval.
Newly built residential real estate. No visa is required, but you must submit a letter from the developer indicating that the property has never been previously occupied or sold
Established residential real estate. You must hold a temporary residence visa that allows you to remain in Australia for a continuous period of longer than 12 months from the date of your application. You must state in your application that the property will be your principal place of residence, that you will not rent or lease the property and that you will sell the property immediately to an Australian citizen or permanent resident or other eligible person if your visa expires or you cease to reside in the property or in Australia.
Redevelopment. No visa is required, but you must commence continuous development on the property within 12 months of receiving foreign investment approval. The existing dwelling must remain unoccupied until such time as it is demolished.

Related links - www.ipcnsw.com