Can I Get Permanent Residency if I Buy Any Property in Australia?
Australia’s strong economy has made it one of the most attractive property markets to invest in. However, it’s not easy to qualify for permanent residency if you’re a foreign national. Buying property in Oz might help your quest, but it won’t guarantee a permanent resident permit.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about buying property to secure permanent residency in Australia.
Can I Become an Australian Resident if I Buy Property?
Buying property in Australia does not automatically qualify you for permanent residency. However, most states in Australia use a points-based system to assess whether to grant you residency. In some states, purchasing a property and living in the country will help your case. You will need to prove you own the property.
The downside is that foreigners can only purchase certain types of property in Australia—typically, new buildings or vacant land. Plus, they might find it harder to get home loan approval from certain banks. It’s best to speak to a specialist mortgage broker about foreign income mortgage options.
Get a free Australian mortgage assessment today.
What Is a Permanent Resident in Australia?
A permanent resident is someone who holds a permanent permit or visa but was not born in Australia and is not a citizen. Permanent residents can live in Australia for an indeterminate amount of time and enjoy the same rights as citizens. After residing in Australia for four years, with at least 12 months as a permanent resident, foreigners can become Australian citizens.
While buying a property in Australia doesn’t guarantee you’ll become a permanent resident or citizen, it can help your application.
What Is a Temporary Resident in Australia?
A temporary resident has the right to reside in Australia for a set period of time. For example, someone with a working holiday visa is a temporary resident. Other reasons for temporary residency include studying or business. Typically, temporary residence only lasts up to 18 months.
Temporary residents must pay tax on Australian sourced income and can purchase property in the country. However, as soon as they leave the country, they must sell the property. If they wish to buy an investment property, they must abide by the same rules as foreign non-residents.
How Can I Become a Permanent Resident in Australia?
Firstly, you need to apply for an appropriate visa. Australia has many visas that allow foreigners to live and work in the country. Most permanent residents start with a family-based or work-based visa. New Zealanders do not have to apply for a visa to become permanent residents in Australia.
Once you have submitted your application, the Australian Department of Home Affairs (DHA) may take anywhere between a few weeks to a few months to approve you.
If you don’t qualify for one of Australia’s permanent visas straightaway, you can work your way closer with temporary visas. The investors’ visa, for example, grants you the right to maintain business or investment activities in the country.
Can I Invest Money in Australia to Get Permanent Residency?
If you want to obtain permanent residency through an investment visa, you must invest a minimum of $1.5 million. Although, in many instances, you’ll need to invest nearer $5 million. Plus, you will have to live in Australia for a number of years. Even then, this doesn’t guarantee you permanent residency.
Other visa options offer alternative ways to apply for permanent residency that don’t break the bank.
Can You Buy Australian Citizenship?
No, you can’t buy Australian citizenship. However, by investing in Australian real estate and committing to living in the country, you’ll get closer to permanent residency. From there, you can apply to become an Australian citizen.
Can I Buy Property in Australia as a Foreigner?
Yes, foreign investors can buy property in Australia. However, you must apply to the FIRB for approval as a foreigner. Plus, you may face restrictions. Generally speaking, foreigners can only buy new buildings or vacant land in Australia.
Also, you may face certain lending restrictions regarding foreign income. If you speak to a mortgage broker, they can help you find the right non-resident home loan for your situation.
Get a free Australian mortgage assessment today.
What Is FIRB?
The Foreign Investment Review Board is an Australian institution that assesses all foreign purchases of Aussie property and land. Australian permanent residents and citizens (including Aussie expats) don’t need to apply for FIRB approval. However, non-residents and temporary residents will need FIRB approval before purchasing a property or land on Aussie soil.
Foreign purchasers will need to pay an application fee and wait around 30 days to hear back. The more expensive the property is, the higher the application fee.
Can I Get an Australian Home Loan as a Foreigner?
Foreign residents can apply for Australian home loans with lenders willing to consider foreign currency. However, some foreign currencies are viewed less favourably than others. For example, if you earn SGD, the lender might only look at between 80 – 100% of your income. However, if you earn HKD, the lender might only assess 50 – 80% of your net earnings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Become an Australian Citizen by Buying Property?
Buying property doesn’t automatically guarantee you Australian citizenship or permanent residency. However, some investment visas can help your permanent resident application. Once you have permanent residence and live in Australia for a minimum of four years, you can apply for Australian citizenship.
What Property Can Foreigners Buy in Australia?
Foreigners can purchase new buildings and vacant land in Australia with approval from the FIRB. Temporary residents can buy established dwellings but must live in the property the entire time they own it. Once they move out, they must sell the house.