FIRB lawyers Melbourne and Ballarat

If you’re on a temporary or short-term visa or are a foreign corporation or trust you may need to get the approval of the Foreign Investment Review Board before purchasing a property in Victoria. The process can be quite confusing and there are specific rules about who can apply and the type of property you can purchase.

Our experienced lawyers can help you get approval from FIRB so you can focus on moving in with confidence.

Who is the Foreign Investment Review Board

The Foreign Investment Review Board or FIRB, is a government body. FIRB can give people who are not citizens or don’t have permanent residency in Australia approval to purchase property in Victoria.

FIRB looks at a range of factors when considering an application to purchase a property, including whether your investment will help increase available housing in Australia.

Who needs FIRB approval

If you want to purchase property in Australia you may need FIRB approval if you’re not:

  • An Australian citizen;
  • A permanent resident of Australia; or
  • An eligible New Zealand citizen.

If the purchaser is not a person, they may also require FIRB if it’s:

  • A company where one or more of the following hold a substantial interest:
    • An individual who isn’t ordinarily resident in Australia;
    • A foreign corporation; or
    • A foreign government.
  • A trust who has a trustee who is a foreign entity.

FIRB approval is required before you purchase a property otherwise you risk a hefty fine.

What type of property requires FIRB approval

If you need FIRB approval, it will decide whether you can purchase the following:

  • Investments in companies, including a purchase of their shares;
  • High value land;
  • Agricultural businesses;
  • Land to be developed into residential property;
  • Property off the plan;
  • A new home; and
  • Vacant land.

Generally, FIRB will not give approval for someone to purchase an established home unless you’re going to live in it or you’re planning on developing the property. If you live in the property you may need to sell it when you move out.

Why MNG Lawyers

Our lawyers know what information FIRB requires and can explain the process to you in plain English. They will listen to your issues and help you negotiate your agreement and make sure all the paperwork is in order so you can enjoy your property.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. When negotiating your purchase contract you can include a clause saying that it’s subject to your receiving approval from FIRB. This will protect you if FIRB doesn’t approve the purchase. 

Get in touch today, always in confidence.

We’re here to help. It’s our top priority to ensure your needs and concerns are met every step of the way.
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