Foreign Investor

Non Resident

What is the FIRB and why do I need FIRB approval?

The FIRB is a government body which governs the legislation surrounding foreign persons acquiring property in Australia.

The Foreign Investment Review Board has strict regulations which must be adhered to if a foreign person is to successfully acquire real estate in Australia.

The information below is intended to be a general guide on overseas loans and the FIRB. Detailed information is available on restrictions, legislation, application forms and statutory notices through

Non-resident home loans are specifically designed for people who are not Australian Citizens or do not hold Permanent Residency status.


What is a Non-resident Home Loan?

It is a type of home loan suiting those wishing to invest in Australian real estate or for those wishing to emigrate and do not have PR status.

The basic technicalities of a Non-residential home loan are similar to a standard residential home loan but are subject to parameters built around the product itself and governed by the FIRB (Foreign Investment Review Board).

  • Maximum home loan lend ratio of 80% of purchase price. FIRB approval required for all Non-residents. Contract of sale must state ‘subject to FIRB approval’. A property needs to be identified and placed on the FIRB application form for it to be assessed Some Non-resident home loan lenders apply a loading on the repayment which takes into account changes in currency exchange rates.


Who specifically requires a Non-residential Home Loan?

  • An applicant who does not hold Permanent Residency Status. A person who is not an Australian Citizen. In essence a someone who is classified as a ‘foreign’ person.


What types of property can a ‘foreign person’ acquire?


Vacant land upon which to construct a dwelling.

  • A new dwelling (not previously occupied or sold). A stand alone house (not previously occupied or sold). A second hand dwelling to be demolished and a new dwelling constructed.


How much can I borrow with a Non-residential Home Loan?

The main limitation to a Non-residential home loan governed by the FIRB is that the Non-residential home loan itself shall not exceed 80% LVR – that is not more than 80% of the valuation of the purchasing property.


Special conditions may apply for the following as far as purchasing second-hand developments:

An overseas resident who is purchasing with their Australian spouse as tenants in common. Certain categories of foreign nationals, who hold a visa that permits them to reside in Australia continuously for at least the next 12 months, including students may be given approval to purchase developed residential real estate (that is, second hand dwellings) for use as their principal place ofresidence (that is, not for rental purposes) while in Australia. A condition of such purchases is that the dwelling must be sold when the foreign nationals’temporary resident visas expire, they leave Australia, or the property is no longer used as their principal place of residence.

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