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  • Residential real estate application instructions

    Foreign persons may need to apply for foreign investment approval before they purchase residential real estate in Australia. These instructions explain who needs to apply for foreign investment approval, and how to complete the residential real estate application form.

    Find out about:

    Exemptions

    Some people are exempt from applying for foreign investment approval before purchasing residential real estate in Australia.

    You don't need to apply for approval if you:

    • are an Australian or New Zealand citizen or a holder of an Australian permanent resident visa and you are the sole purchaser of the property
    • are a foreign person and are purchasing a property as joint tenants with your spouse (married or de facto) who is an Australian citizen, a New Zealand citizen or an Australian permanent resident visa holder. Note: if you are purchasing as tenants in common the exemption does not apply and you will need to apply for approval before you purchase the property
    • are buying a new dwelling from a developer who has given you a copy of an exemption certificate that allows developers to sell properties in the development to foreign people
    • inherited the property from a will
    • acquired the property through a court order (for example, a divorce settlement) under Australian law.

    If any of the above situations apply to you, you do not have to apply for approval before you purchase residential real estate in Australia.

    See also:

    When to use the application form

    Most foreign persons need to apply for approval before they purchase residential real estate in Australia.

    If you are a foreign person, you must complete a separate application for each property you intend to purchase.

    You can also use the application form to ask for approval to vary the conditions of an existing foreign investment approval.

    Find out about:

    Exemption certificates

    An exemption certificate allows a foreign person to purchase one unspecified property within a six-month period. You can apply for an exemption certificate so that you don't have to seek individual approval for each property you are interested in.

    Temporary residents can use an exemption certificate to purchase an established dwelling to live in, a new dwelling or a single block of vacant land.

    Foreign non-residents can use an exemption certificate to purchase a new dwelling or a single block of vacant land.

    See also:

    Property developers and new dwelling exemption certificates

    If you are a property developer proposing to sell new dwellings (or near-new dwellings) in your development to foreign persons, you can apply for an exemption certificate. If approved, you can provide foreign investors with a copy of the exemption certificate and in most cases the investors do not need to apply for their own foreign investment approval to purchase a new dwelling or near-new dwelling in that development.

    See also:

    Completing the application form

    You must complete the application form in full and submit it in one session. You cannot save an incomplete application and return to complete it at a later date.

    Mandatory fields are marked with an asterisk (*). Use the Help button at the top of the form to find extra information about each field in the application form.

    Find out about:

    Terms and conditions

    Read the terms and conditions carefully. They outline your obligations and how we use the information you provide on the application form.

    Check the I agree to the terms and conditions box, and then click on the Apply button to continue.

    Contact details

    Provide the contact details of the person we can ask for more information about your application.

    The contact person is usually the person who is submitting the application on behalf of the purchaser. If you are the purchaser and are submitting the form yourself, provide your own contact details here.

    Applicants

    Provide the details of all purchasers of the property.

    Individuals need to tell us whether they intend to purchase the property as a sole purchaser or with another party (as joint tenants or as tenants in common).

    If you are purchasing with another party as joint tenants you will need to provide the details of all purchasers (applicants) on the one application form.

    However, if you are purchasing as 'tenants in common', only one purchaser can be listed on each application form. If the other purchaser (or purchasers) you are buying the property with are also foreign people, they need to lodge their own application and pay a separate fee. If they are exempt, they don't need to lodge an application.

    If you are not sure whether you are purchasing as joint tenant or tenants in common, refer to the definitionsExternal Link.

    If you intend to purchase an established dwelling you need to provide your passport and visa details in this section.

    Do not provide a post office box in your address details.

    If you have been issued with an Australian tax file number (TFN), it must be provided in the application form.

    Previous applications

    Select 'Yes' and provide the FIRB approval number if you:

    • have previously applied for foreign investment approval, or
    • are applying for approval to vary the conditions of an existing foreign investment approval.

    See also:

    Application types

    Select the type of property you intend to purchase – vacant land, new dwelling or established dwelling. Or, select an exemption certificate to submit an unspecified application.

    If you select Established dwelling you must tell us how you intend to use the property, from the following options:

    • Use the property as your principal place of residence – this is only for holders of eligible temporary residency visas. If you select this option you will need to provide the visa and passport details for all applicants under the Applicants tab.
    • Redevelop the property.
    • Use the property for staff accommodation – this option is only for companies.

    If you select Exemption certificate you must tell us what type of property you intend to purchase. You can select one or more of the following:

    • Established dwelling to use the property as your principal place of residence – this is only for holders of eligible temporary residency visas. If you select this option you will need to provide the visa and passport details for all applicants under the Applicants tab.
    • New dwelling.
    • Vacant land.

    Variations

    You can also use the application form to request a variation to an existing FIRB approval – in this case choose Variation in this section.

    Property details

    If you are purchasing a specific property, provide the exact:

    • address details – including the lot or street number, street name and post code
    • title details.

    Vacant land

    If you intend to purchase vacant land, you need to provide information about the development of the land, such as how many dwellings will be built.

    If you answer 'Yes' to the question 'Has a contract been signed for the purchase of the property?' you need to attach a copy of the contract to the application in the Attachments section.

    New dwelling

    'Are you a developer applying for a New Dwelling Exemption Certificate (NDEC)?'

    Only answer 'Yes' if you are a developer applying for a New Dwelling Exemption Certificate.

    You must provide the following information about the development in the Attachments section:

    • Details of the
      • ownership of the company and its structure
      • marketing or advertising schedule
      • development schedule including individual unit/dwelling details
       
    • Copies of the
      • development application and approval
      • architectural plans and artist impressions of the development.
       

    We may ask you to send us other documents when we review your application.

    If you answer 'Yes' to the question 'Has a contract been signed for the purchase of the property?' you need to attach a copy of the contract to the application in the Attachments section.

    Second-hand dwellings

    If you are purchasing the property for the purpose of redevelopment, make sure you answer all questions regarding the development of the property.

    If you answer 'Yes' to the question 'Has a contract been signed for the purchase of the property?' you need to attach a copy of the contract to the application in the Attachments section.

    Purchase details

    This is where you provide details about the property you intend to purchase.

    The fee for your application is calculated on the expected purchase price of the property that you insert in this section.

    Tenants in common

    If you are purchasing the property as tenants in common, you need to pay a fee according to your share of the property's value.

    So that we can correctly calculate your application fee, you must show the full expected purchase price of the property and your ownership percentage in this field.

    Your fee will then be calculated according to your share of the property's purchase price. For example, if you are purchasing a property valued at $1,500,000 and your share is 10%, we will calculate your application fee based on your share of the property value ($150,000).

    Attachments

    You can attach documents to support your application.

    In some cases, you will need to add an attachment before you can submit the form.

    • Is your contract unconditional? If so, attach a full copy of your contract.
    • Are you seeking a variation to an existing approval? If so, attach a document describing in detail what you want to vary. For example, you want to ask for extra time to redevelop your property, or you want to seek approval to sell vacant land without building a dwelling on it.
    • Are you a property developer seeking approval for a new dwelling exemption certificate? If so, attach documents to support your application.
    • Are you an individual applying for approval to purchase a second-hand dwelling? If so, attach a copy of your passport showing your name and passport number.

    Note: You can attach up to six files to your FIRB application. Each file must be under 10MB. Use only English alphanumeric characters to name each file and keep file names as short as possible. File names in a different language or using special characters, such as # @ & $, may affect the submission of your application.

    Declaration and submitting the form

    Before you submit your form, ensure you have answered all relevant questions correctly and have read the declaration. An incomplete form may delay processing and you may be asked to complete and submit a new form.

    Once you have submitted the form, a confirmation message will appear on-screen.

    If you don’t see the confirmation message within a few minutes of submitting your application, we may not have received it. Do not submit another application – phone us on 1800 050 377 (within Australia) or +61 2 6216 1111 (from outside Australia) to confirm.

    We aim to process your application within 30 days of receiving the full amount of the application fee. We will send you an email with our decision within 10 days of making it.

    For some complex applications, we may ask you for extra time to make the decision.

    Print your application

    You can print your application at any time using the Print friendly version button at the end of each section.

    We recommend you print a copy of your application after you have submitted it, using the Print friendly version button.

    Navigating the form

    You can move back and forth between the sections in the form using the Back and Next buttons.

    You can close the application (without completing it) at any time, but you cannot save the incomplete application. You will need to submit a new application when you are ready to proceed.

    Paying your application fee

    We cannot consider your application until we receive full payment of your application fee. Residential land feesExternal Link apply for each application, based on the value of the property.

    Find out about:

    See also:

    Payment reference number

    You need a payment reference number (PRN) to pay your application fee. You will receive your PRN after you submit your application form.

    It's important to quote the correct PRN when paying your application fee. If you don't quote the correct payment reference number we may not be able to identify your payment and your application decision may be delayed.

    The PRN is a unique 18-digit number (with no alpha or special characters).

    How to pay for your application

    The easiest way to pay your application fee is with BPAY® or a credit card. You can also pay by direct credit or transfer from overseas bank account.

    BPAY

     BPAY image

    Biller code:

    75556

    Reference:

    Your payment reference number (PRN, for example:

    123456789789532609

    Registered to BPAY Pty Ltd ABN 69 079 137 518

    You can pay from your Australian cheque or savings account at your financial institution's local branch, or use their phone or internet banking service.

    Credit card

    You can pay by credit card:

    You will need:

    • your PRN (with no alphas or special characters)
    • a Visa, MasterCard or American Express card.

    A card payment fee may apply to card transactions.

    You can also pay by:

    Direct credit

    You can transfer your payment to us online from your Australian cheque or savings account.

    Bank:

    Reserve Bank of Australia

    BSB:

    093 003

    Account number:

    316385

    Account name:

    ATO direct credit account

    Reference:

    Your payment reference number (PRN, for example:

    123456789789532609

    It's important to provide an accurate payment reference number in the reference field.

    Transfer from an overseas bank account

    Contact your overseas financial institution for advice on how to make your payment through SWIFT. Your payment must be sent in Australian dollars.

    Bank

    Reserve Bank of Australia
    65 Martin Place
    SYDNEY NSW 2000
    Australia

    Bank identifier

    RSBKAU2S

    BSB

    093 003

    Account number

    316385

    Account name

    ATO direct credit account

    Field 70

    (usually called ‘details of payment’)

    Your payment reference number (PRN, for example:

    123456789789532609

    Bank handling and exchange fees are generally automatically deducted from the exchanged value of the payment. This is done at both the overseas bank and their companion bank in Australia, before being forwarded to us. Make sure that you increase your payment amount to allow for these fees when arranging your payment.

    Fee waivers

    In limited circumstances, we may grant a fee waiver. We consider all requests on a case-by-case basis. Generally, we do not waive fees if you:

    • are unsuccessful in purchasing a property, even if it is for reasons beyond your control
    • change your mind about purchasing the property
    • withdraw your application.

    You need to lodge your application before we can consider waiving the fee.

    See also:

    Where to get help

    To find out more about lodging your application you can:

    • phone us on 1800 050 377 within Australia
    • +61 2 6216 1111 outside Australia

    If you do not speak English well and want to talk to a tax officer, you can phone the Translating and Interpreting Service on

    • 13 14 50 within Australia
    • +61 3 9268 8332 outside Australia

    Start your application

    Use this form to apply for approval to purchase Australian residential real estate or to ask for approval to vary the conditions of an existing foreign investment approval.

    We collect data on purchases, sales and transfers of properties by foreign persons through the Land Register. The information you disclose on this form may be used for this purpose.

    This form can’t be completed in some older browsers, such as Internet Explorer 8. If the form does not appear, you may need to update your browser.

    Start your application
      Last modified: 03 Sep 2018QC 47396