applying for firb approval?

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liverpool
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Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:44 pm

applying for firb approval?

Post by liverpool »

Hi

I am living in Japan but I want to buy property in Australia. I am currently employed as a Senior Marketing Manager at a hotel chain.

I have looked it up online and found out that I have to apply for something called “firb approval”.

How can I do this?


Thank you

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Otto Dargan
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Re: applying for firb approval?

Post by Otto Dargan »

Hi and welcome to the forums liverpool,

All foreigners have to apply for FIRB approval before buying property in Australia.

The FIRB or Foreign Investment Review Board is a body that reviews all purchase applications made by foreign nationals to buy property in Australia. They serve to regulate the market and ensure that any purchases by foreigner does not hurt the local economy or causes fluctuations in the real estate market. At the same time the FIRB also works to facilitate foreigner purchases of Australia real estate.

In any case you can apply for FIRB approval directly from the official FIRB website. They have a simple form that you can fill out and you should get a reply back in about two weeks.

Please also note that as a foreign buyer you will not be allowed to buy established dwellings, i.e. you can only buy a new property.

You can also buy a vacant land if you want to build a new property on it. Since you are not a valid resident you can only rent out your property although you can also rent it to your children if they are studying in Australia and are on a valid visa.

Cheers,
Otto
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liverpool
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Re: applying for firb approval?

Post by liverpool »

Thank you for telling how to apply for it and about the purchase restrictions as well.

When exactly should I start applying for the firb approval?

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Otto Dargan
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Re: applying for firb approval?

Post by Otto Dargan »

liverpool, you should only apply for FIRB approval once you have a found a property that you want to buy since FIRB approval can only be given for specific properties. FIRB approval cannot be given on principle.

Cheers,
Otto
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dickensfan
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Re: applying for firb approval?

Post by dickensfan »

Hi I am a bit confused about this FIRB approval part since I have been told that I do not need to get FIRB approval?

dickensfan
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Re: applying for firb approval?

Post by dickensfan »

Just to clarify, I am here on a 457 work visa – I have been working as a software programmer for 2 years now.

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Otto Dargan
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Re: applying for firb approval?

Post by Otto Dargan »

Hi dickensfan,

FIRB approval is required by all foreigners – both non-residents and temporary residents. However if you hold a 457 work visa then the only way you will not require FIRB approval is if you are buying a property along with a spouse or de facto partner who is an Australian citizen.

In this case you would have to buying as joint tenants. You would also not face any restrictions on your purchase and you can purchase both new and existing dwellings. You can also borrow up to 95% of the property value.

If you do not have an Australian spouse or partner then you will be require to apply for FIRB approval before making your purchase. You will also only be allowed to buy one established dwelling and it must be for living in – in case you leave Australia you must sell this property. You can also buy a newly built dwelling or vacant land and construct upon it if you intend to rent it out – these properties do not have to be sold back and you can still keep renting them out.

Cheers,
Otto
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dickensfan
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Re: applying for firb approval?

Post by dickensfan »

Okay maybe I made a mistake since I am still single.

BUT I am applying for a Permanent Residency soon, how are the rules like for PRs? Is it any different really?

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Otto Dargan
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Re: applying for firb approval?

Post by Otto Dargan »

dickensfan, it may be easier for Permanent Residents to get a loan to buy property in Australia since they do not have to apply for FIRB approval to buy property here. Permanent residents are also are allowed to borrow up to 95% of the property value by local lenders.

Furthermore, as a PR you will also be allowed to apply for FHOG or First Home Owner’s Grant. This is a grant given by the government to first home buyers as long as they can meet the eligibility criteria.

Although these criteria differ from state to state, you can use the following as a rough guide:
  • You must be a natural person and not a company or a trust
  • You must at least 18 years or older
  • You must be a Permanent Resident or an Australia citizen
  • You should not have owned a property before
  • You should not have applied for and received FHOG before
  • You should have entered into a contract to buy or build a home
  • The value of the property you are buying should not exceed the state-specified amount
  • You must live in the property for at least six months starting from one year from the loan settlement
You can apply for FHOG through your lender or mortgage broker for which there is usually no extra fee.

For the most up to date information regarding FHOG, you should speak to your respective state government office:
  • NSW Office Of State Revenue Ph: 1300 130 624
  • QLD Office Of State Revenue Ph: 1300 300 734
  • State Revenue Office Victoria Ph: 13 21 61
  • ACT Revenue Office Ph: (02) 6207 0028
  • WA Department Of Finance Ph: 1300 363 211
  • Revenue SA Ph: (08) 8226 3750
  • NT Revenue Office Ph: 1300 305 353
  • TAS Department Of Treasury & Finance Ph: (03) 6233 2927
I hope this clears up your confusion.

Cheers,
Otto
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ChrisZau
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Re: applying for firb approval?

Post by ChrisZau »

Is it still necessary to get FIRB approval to buy a house in Sydney? My agent say it is not necessary as the government doesn't know if I don't tell them.
What will happen if they find out? fine? or do they take my property?

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Kishore Bhatu
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Re: applying for firb approval?

Post by Kishore Bhatu »

Hi Chris, It is absolutely necessary to get FIRB approval as it can cause massive headache at the time of registration of the property. Land title office generally has compliance check in place to see if you are Australian Citizen or permanent resident or not & they notify FIRB accordingly. I am not sure what fine or penalty they have in place. I have enough experience of non-resident lending & will not recommend to proceed with purchase of the property without FIRB approval. If you have any further questions,please contact one of our specialist broker.
Kishore Bhatu
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