Helping You Build a Life Overseas

Buying land to build on in Australia

For many of us, building our own home or owning land is a dream. So what if you want to make this dream come true in Australia? Whilst foreign nationals are permitted to buy land, there must be an application made to the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). Your application will be reviewed by the FIRB to ensure that any investors to Australia have the country’s best interests at heart.

You should allow up to 30 days for the FIRB review to give an answer on your application, and it’s important to note that any application made needs to refer to a specific plot of land, there are no general applications. You will need to consider things such as planning permission, and other restrictions that could hinder your build. If you are planning on purchasing open land to build on, building needs to be started within 12 months or less from the time you purchase it.

Foreigners are permitted to purchase homes that are already built in order to redevelop them, however a condition of this is that the property must not be occupied as the work is taking place. It is really important that you do not sign any contracts or other legally binding documents until you have had approval from the Australian Government to purchase the specified address. It’s important that you don’t let anybody talk you in to signing anything, as if nothing else, this could seriously damage your chances of getting approved.

There have been recent changes made by the Government and this means it is pretty impossible for non-residents to purchase property in Australia for holiday home or investment purposes. You may purchase or rent a property for the duration of your stay in Australia, for example if you are studying there for a year, or working there, however once your temporary visa runs out and you return to the UK, the property must be disposed of. Do not assume that by purchasing a property in Australia, it will be easier to obtain a permanent visa. If anything, owning a property will mean your application is not looked upon favourably, as the authorities will believe there is a higher chance you will overstay your visa.

The only way to get a visa to live in Australia is to be a skilled migrant and undergo the required skills tests. This is the only way of obtaining a permanent visa - owning a property there will not favour you in any way. A specialist migration agent, such as London based Taylor Hampton Solicitors, will be able to assist you. Bear in mind too, if and when you do purchase land or property in Australia, there will be procedures and laws to adhere to, so be sure to find out how things must be done before you start any work.

Need help finding a home in Australia?
If you’re in the hunt for an Australian property, a good place to start is the Australia Buying Guide’s new property search facility. To start your search now visit