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Real Estate for Temporary Residents

Whether to reside or invest, real estate ownership remains a hot topic for everyone. For a person on a temporary visa in Australia however, approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) is required before any purchases of real estates can be made.

Who does FIRB define as a “Temporary Resident”?

  • A person who holds a temporary visa that permits them to remain in Australia for a continuous period of more than 12 months


  • A person residing in Australia, who has submitted an application for a permanent visa and holds a bridging visa which permits them to stay in Australia until that application has been finalised.

Which types of real estate can a Temporary Resident purchase?

Temporary residents are allowed to purchase only one established dwelling as their residence (to live in), however the following conditions apply:

  • use the property as their principal place of residence in Australia;

  • do not rent any part of the property, including ensuring that it is vacant at settlement; and

  • sell the property within three months from when it ceases to be their principal place of residence.

Temporary residents are not allowed to purchase established dwellings as investment properties.

Temporary residents are allowed to purchase new dwellings in Australia condition free. There is no restrictions on the number of dwellings, however approval is required prior to purchases. New dwellings can also be purchased in addition to one established dwelling that is used as a primary residence.

What is a New Dwelling?

A new dwelling is a dwelling that will be, is being, or has been built on residential land, has not been previously sold as a dwelling, and has either:

  • not been previously occupied, OR

  • if the dwelling is part of a development (50 or more dwellings) and was sold by the developer of that development, has not been previously occupied for more than 12 months

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