Purchase of a Residence in Australia by Bridging Visa Holders

As some may know already, the Australian Government through the Foreign Investment Review Board (or FIRB) places restrictions on the purchase of residential property in Australia by individuals who are not Australian citizens or permanent visa holders.

This can affect those who apply for a visa under subclass 804 – the Aged Parent visa category – where there is a waiting time of several years, applicants remain in Australia as the holder of a Bridging Visa pending a decision on their 804 visa application, and there is a wish to acquire a new home in Australia.

Such people should be aware of the restrictions that are policed by the Foreign Investment Review Board, or FIRB: approval from the FIRB is usually required when a temporary visa holder wishes to acquire residential property in Australia.

The same restrictions apply to the holder of a Bridging Visa that is granted to an individual following the submission of an onshore visa application.

An updated Guidance Note has been issued by the FIRB following the introduction of a fee schedule at the start of December 2015, whereby an application fee must now be paid when seeking approval for the purchase of a residential property in Australia.

The new fees payable to the FIRB when acquiring residential property in Australia are also discussed in the Guidance Note.