Can Foreigners Buy Property In Australia? 

One of the most common questions asked by expats is, “Can foreigners buy property in Australia?” The short answer is yes! If you want to live permanently in Australia, properties in Australia will be a great investment for you. Australian real estate has been a prime investment opportunity for many foreigners for several years.

Although it is entirely possible for foreigners to buy property in Australia, the purchase process is different for them than for Australian residents, and they must obtain the approval of the Foreign Investment Review Board. This means they have to follow certain rules to buy property.

If you are not an Australian resident I will show you in full how to buy property here.

How to Buy Property in Australia as a Non-Resident? 

As we mentioned earlier, as a foreigner, before you can legally acquire property in Australia you must obtain approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) which regulates the purchase of foreign property.

If you are approved for an investment property, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:

  • It must be a new property or vacant land to build a new property.
  • Vacant land. In case of buying vacant land, the main condition is that you must complete construction of a residence on the land within four years. You have to sell it if you don’t want to live there.

How Does the FIRB Application Process Work?

Before you apply for approval to buy an investment property, you need to understand all the legal requirements. Then you follow the steps below to apply for foreign investment approval:

  • Read the guidance from the FIRB website to find out if you need FIRB approval.
  • Visit the ATO website and click on “Start your application“.
  • Complete the application form, including your contact details, passport, visa documents, and reference number of previous FIRB applications.
  • Provide the address and title details of the property you wish to purchase.
  • Before the submission Read and sign the declaration.
  • Submit the application and pay the relevant fee.
  • A decision on your application is usually made within 30 days and you will be notified of the decision within 10 days.

Fees for foreigners buying property in Australia

The fee you will be charged while applying for approval at FIRB depends on the purchase price of your residence. Fees are in the table below:

Property ValueFee for single actionFee for single reviewable national security action
Below $75,000$4,000$1,000
75,000 to 1 million $13,200$3,300
$1-2 million$26,400$6,600
$2-3 million$52,800$13,200
$3-4 million$79,200$19,800
$4-5 million$105,600$26,400
Over $40 millionMaximum fee $1,045,000Maximum fee$261,250 

You must obtain approval from the FIRB before applying for a home loan from an Australian lender. Fees are payable at the time of submission of your application.

The maximum fee you will pay for a residential property valued at more than $40 million is $503,000.

What happens if foreigners purchase property in breach of FIRB rules?

Violating Australia’s rules on foreign investment carries serious potential penalties. Acquiring property without FIRB approval can result in a fine of up to $157,000 or up to 3 years in prison.

There are higher penalties for foreign companies violating these rules.

What types of property can temporary residents buy in Australia?

Temporary residents are allowed to buy established accommodation if they use it only for their own use (ie not as an investment property). To buy these properties, they must apply for approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board. Established dwellings cannot be rented out, bought as an investment or used as holiday homes by temporary residents.

However, unlike foreign investors, temporary residents are not given the freedom to purchase an established residence as an investment.

Can Foreigners Get a Mortgage in Australia?

Applying for a home loan in Australia can be a tedious process, especially if you are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident. Some lenders will not approve home loans for temporary residents who have no source of income in Australia. You will have to make higher monthly payments because the interest rates for foreign residents are higher than those paid by Australians.

To increase your chances of getting a home loan in Australia as a foreigner, speak to a mortgage broker or check the terms and conditions of international banks operating in the country.


Can temporary residents buy property in Australia?

Foreigners who are temporary residents generally need permission from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) to buy property in Australia. Also, you have to sell the house when you leave the country.

Can you buy property in Australia on a tourist visa?

Yes, If you are a short-term visa holder, you will be able to buy a house in Australia, but you will need permission from the Foreign Investment Review Board to buy a house or land.

Can a non-resident buy a house in Australia?

Yes, foreign residents, temporary residents and short-term visa holders are allowed to buy investment property in Australia but must obtain permission from the Foreign Investment Review Board.

Can I get PR if I buy property in Australia?

No, buying property in Australia does not guarantee one permanent residency. While doing this, you will only get a temporary visa, i.e. temporary residence. You will be eligible to apply for PR after three years. To do this, you need to meet the residency requirements of the investor stream.

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