FIRB approval is mandatory when someone is a foreign acquirer and wishes to purchase or invest in residential land in Australia. It is critical that those who fall into categories requiring FIRB approval comply with all FIRB requirements.
There are standard terms in REIQ contracts (residential and commercial) which assume that a buyer warrants that FIRB approval does not apply to the Contract. In the event this warranty is breached, the Seller can terminate the Contract. A purchaser must provide notice if they are subject to FIRB approval and follow the procedure as per the standard terms of the Contract to obtain approval.
Who must apply for FIRB approval?
A buyer of residential land in Queensland may be a foreign acquirer if they fall into one of the following categories:
A person who is not a permanent resident of Australia or an Australian citizen; or
Exemptions to FIRB approval
There are certain persons who do not need FIRB approval prior to purchasing residential real estate in Australia. These include:
FIRB is also not required if acquired by a foreign person, regardless of citizenship or residency, if the real estate to be acquired is one of the following:
A new (or near-new) dwelling purchased from a developer that holds a new (or near-new) dwelling exemption certificate that allows the developer to sell dwellings in the specified development to foreign persons. The foreign person should ask, or have their legal representative ask for a copy of the exemption certificate for the development in which they are intending to purchase to determine if it covers their intended purchase.
It is imperative that “foreign purchasers” for the purposes of applicable legislation are aware of their obligations when purchasing land in Queensland and the relevant applicable fees for their circumstances.
If you require assistance with a conveyancing or property matter and require guidance around FIRB requirements, please contact us for further information.
The information in this blog is intended only to provide a general overview and has not been prepared with a view to any particular situation or set of circumstances. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. While we attempt to ensure the information is current and accurate we do not guarantee its currency and accuracy. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the information in this blog as it may not be appropriate for your individual circumstances.