I am a temporary resident. What types of property can I buy in Australia?

Purchasing property in Australia can be challenging for temporary residents due to the strict requirements and approval processes in place. 

What is a temporary resident?

A temporary resident is defined as:  

  • A person who holds a temporary visa that permits them to remain in Australia for a continuous period of more than 12 months (i.e. 482 Visa, 494 Visa, 485 Visa); or 
  • A person who resides in Australia, has applied for a permanent visa, and holds a bridging visa which allows them to stay in Australia until the application is finalised (i.e. 189 Visa, 190 Visa, 888 Visa).  

A person with a visa period of less than 12 months is considered a foreign non-resident.  

Foreign Investment Approval Board (FIRB)

A temporary resident must submit an application for FIRB approval to acquire an interest in land. 

Prior to applying, temporary residents should be aware of the FIRB application fees. The table below provides a brief outline of fees payable for each application.  

Residential Land Purchase PriceFees
$1mil or less$13,200
$2mil or less$26,400
$3mil or less$52,800
$4mil or less$79,200

These fees are subject to change, and we recommend referring to legislation for the latest updates  

Types of Properties

Established Residential Properties

Temporary residents may purchase one established property provided they live in it as their Principal Place of Residence (PPR). 

If purchasing an established property, temporary residents must not rent out the property. If you are no longer living in the property you must:

  • Inform FIRB that you are no longer occupying the property as your PPR
  • Sell the property within 3 months from the date the property no longer became your PPR, or from the date when you ceased to be a temporary resident (whichever comes first)  

Purchasing established properties are also permitted for redevelopment purposes. However, the redevelopment must increase housing stock in Australia. 

New Residential Properties

Temporary residents are also allowed to invest in property in Australia. Under this approach, temporary residents are restricted to new properties only. New properties are ones that: 

  • Will be, is being, or have been built on residential land; and 
  • Have not been previously occupied

This does not include an established property that has been renovated.  

How can we help?

The team at W Legal Group understand that this process may be complex and can assist in guiding you through the purchasing processes. Contact us at hello@wlegalgroup.com.au or call any of our Australian phone numbers if you are a temporary resident looking to purchase property in Australia.  

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Our response time is 2 business hours.

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