Purchasing real estate in another country can be a long-term investment. It will help you diversify your investment and provide you with a stable asset that you can live in, rent, or sell. If that wasn’t enough, you’ll get to learn about a new culture and try new things you’ve never tried before.

However, purchasing a property abroad necessitates careful consideration of numerous issues, and it can be intimidating because you may not know where to begin or how to begin. This article will teach you about the types of property you can acquire as a foreigner and how to go about doing so.

Terms to know

Before continuing with this article, acquaint yourself with the terms and definitions listed below. This will aid in a better understanding of the types of properties, professionals, and applications needed to acquire a property.


Dwellings refers to any building which is occupied or is designed for occupancy by a residence of families as well as any vacant land that is offered for sale or lease with the intention of constructing such buildings.

FIRB (Foreign Investment Review Board)

FIRB(Foreign Investment Review Board) is an Australian government department that examines applications from foreigners who want to invest or buy a property in Australia. Before purchasing any residential property, temporary residents or foreigners must apply for and acquire foreign investment approval.


A mortgage is a loan obtained from a mortgage lender or bank and used to purchase or maintain the property. Because the borrower commits assets as security, such as a home, it is also known as a secured loan. The money is repaid in a series of regular installments that can be separated into principal and interest.


A loan is a money given to a borrower by an individual or a bank. The borrower incurs a debt and is normally responsible for paying both interest and the principal amount borrowed until the debt is repaid.

Mortgage broker

A mortgage broker acts as a link between a bank that offers loans and those who want to obtain money in terms of a loan. Both partners will work with the mortgage broker to get the customer accepted for the loan. They also gather and verify all of the documentation that the bank requires from the buyer to finalize the transaction.


Conveyancers/Solicitors are certified professionals that specialize in the transfer of the real estate. These professionals can not only assist you with all of the documentation requirements associated with selling and purchasing a property, but they can also aid you with the property transfer procedure.

Buyer’s Agent

Buyer’s agents are licensed professionals that specialize in finding, analyzing, and negotiating the price of a property on the buyer’s behalf. A buyer’s agent will assist you throughout the property buying process and will be prepared to assist.

Annual Vacancy Charge

Foreigners who purchase a residential real estate in Australia but do not reside in it, lease it, or sell it for at least 6 months of each year will be charged an annual vacancy charge, which will be decided by the ATO (Australian Taxation Office).

Guideline for foreigner to buying property

Types of properties foreigners can purchase

Foreigners can only buy certain types of property under the FIRB laws however if you’re a permanent resident then you’re allowed to purchase any real estate property. The following are a few properties that have been classified as being suitable for foreigners to purchase:

New buildings

Foreigners are generally restricted from purchasing property on the resale market, however, they are permitted to purchase property in new or under-construction properties. You must be the property’s original owner. Normally, these are accepted without conditions.

Vacant Land

Foreigners are typically permitted to purchase vacant land, and this will be granted as long as the residence is scheduled to be built within four years. Within 30 days of the completion of the construction, proof of completion must be given to FIRB. You must also ensure that the unoccupied land has not been previously developed.

New Dwellings

Foreigners can only buy them if they demolish the present structure and replace it with a larger number of units. A new dwelling is something that has been constructed or is in the process of being built, has never been sold as a dwelling, and has never been occupied. Existing dwellings that have been remodeled or updated are not considered new dwellings.

Established Dwellings

Foreigners are only permitted to purchase existing dwellings if they redevelop them into a bigger number of homes according to FIRB guidelines. The existing residence must be vacated prior to demolition and redevelopment, and construction of the new dwelling must be finished within four years. Evidence of completed dwellings must be submitted within 30 days of obtaining it.

Home to live

The purchase of an existing residence by a non-resident foreigner is normally forbidden. A temporary resident can buy a house to live in for the term of their visa, but they must sell it within three months after departing Australia unless they become a citizen or permanent resident.

Guideline for a foreigner to buy a property

You’ve finally figured out what kinds of properties are available for foreigners to purchase, and you’ve decided which one you want. But you’re concerned about how you’ll go about purchasing a property? The following is a step-by-step guide for foreigners looking to buy a property.

Step 1: Hire a conveyancer or a solicitor

Hiring a conveyancer or a solicitor to handle the legal aspects of the transaction. They’ll help you find the property, handle the transfer of ownership, and go over the paperwork before you sign it. Keep in mind that the conveyancer you choose must be licensed in the same region as the property you’re purchasing.

Step 2: Hire a buyer’s agent

If you live abroad and can’t physically view the property you’re buying, you need to hire a buyer’s agent. They will assist you in locating the property and negotiating a favorable deal on your behalf. They’ll contact real estate brokers on your behalf and make sure the property you’re buying is a suitable investment.

Step 3: Get your loan pre-approved

Before you start looking for a house, you must first get your loan pre-approved. While other buyers are still putting up their mortgage applications, the buyer with a pre-approved loan frequently gets the greatest deals. What’s more, you know that you qualify for a loan.

Step 4: Making an application for a mortgage

As a non-resident, applying for a mortgage might be difficult due to the complexities of lending standards. There are only a few lenders who are willing to lend to foreigners. Make sure you have all of the essential loan documentation, such as pay stubs, tax returns, and a letter of employment, to establish your income.

Step 5: Verify your eligibility with the FIRB

If you are a non-resident or have a temporary visa, you must obtain authorization from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) before purchasing property in Australia. Obtaining FIRB approval is a straightforward process that might take up to fourteen days from the time the application is submitted.

Step 6: Look for a property

Now is the time to start looking for a home or hire a buyer’s agent to do so for you. If you don’t want to hire a buyer’s agent, it’s a good idea to examine comparable sales to determine the property’s value. Often, the property will be valued by the bank that your mortgage broker has chosen. Don’t make a purchase decision until this has occurred, as this may save you money.

Step 7: Negotiate the price of the property

If you hire a buyer’s agent, they will assist you in negotiating the price. Before signing, get a contract and allow your solicitor or conveyancer to review it and, if necessary, add any extra terms. A frequent condition is that the sale is “subject to FIRB authorization,” which allows you to terminate the deal in the unprecedented circumstance that the Australian government does not give you authorization.

Step 8: Get your mortgage approved officially

You can send the purchase agreement to your mortgage broker for official approval once you’ve chosen a property to buy. Remember, you shouldn’t commit to purchasing a property until your mortgage has been authorized officially.

Step 9: Contracts and deposit

After your loan has been properly authorized and your solicitor or conveyancer has given you the approval, you can exchange contracts. Normally, you’ll be asked to put down a 10percent deposit. The deposit amount is variable and customizable. You can’t back out of a property once you’ve agreed to it, so get legal counsel before signing any contracts or paying your deposit.

Step 10: Obtain FIRB authorization

It’s essential that the agreement you’re signing includes the phrase “subject to FIRB approval,” which gives the FIRB 1 month to make a decision. It’s important to double-check with your conveyancer or solicitor that the condition is written in a way that you won’t lose your deposit if your FIRB proposal is denied.

Step 11: Final preparations

Send a signed agreement to the FIRB for authorization once you’ve exchanged contracts. After official permission, your bank would have issued you the loan document. You can discuss it with your mortgage broker or seek assistance from your conveyancer or solicitor. Sign the required parts and deliver the loan documentation to the bank to approve the loan offer.

Step 12: Settlement

Settlement is the final step, and this is when the property is officially transferred to you and your loan is advanced. This will be handled by your conveyancer or solicitor in collaboration with your bank and mortgage broker, and you will not be required to be present.

Application for FIRB process

The Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) oversees non-resident property transactions in Australia (FIRB). Any non-resident who wishes to purchase a residential house, apartment, or plot of land in Australia must adhere to the FIRB’s requirements. Prior to obtaining an interest in a property, foreigners must obtain authorization from the FIRB. The following is the FIRB application process:

Step 1: On the Foreign Investment in Australia page of the Australian Tax Office (ATO) website, click ‘Start your application.’

Step 2: Complete the form with all of your personal information, as well as passport and visa information.

Step 3: Give specifics about the property you want to buy.

Step 4: Sign the application and pay the relevant fee before submitting it.

Step 5: Wait for a response to your application’s decision. The decision should be made within thirty days after the application, and the applicant must be notified within ten days of the result.

Application for FIRB process

Following the FIRB application process

After submitting the FIRB application within 14 days of the Contract Date, the buyer must follow the next few stages to supply further information and take all necessary actions to pursue the Application. The measures to take are outlined below.

Step 1: Within 30 days of the contract’s date, the buyer must inform the seller if the approval has been granted. The contract may be canceled if the seller does not receive this notice within the specified time.

Step 2: If the buyer does not receive authorization, the contract may be terminated. The deposit will be reimbursed in full if the Contract is terminated due to this specific condition.

Step 3: If the buyer notifies the seller that the approval is received by FIRB, either within thirty days of the contract date or seven days after the approval will be the date of settlement.

Before you consider purchasing a property, make sure you have inspected the area or have a set of criteria for how the area around the property should be. Schools, restaurants, hospitals, and public transportation are all in close proximity and are always in demand. Prior to purchasing a property, make a strategy and set a budget that you can stick to.

Although buying a house may appear to be a lot of effort, having a team of specialists or a real estate agent on your side will make the process go much more smoothly. Having your own safe and secure property would be one of the best purchases you could make.


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