QLD Can Buyers on Work Visa Buy Our Property?

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14 September 2014
We own a property in Townsville, currently for sale, we have buyers they are from france on a working holiday visa can they legally buy our home as they are not Australian citizens and only here on a work visa?

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Melbourne, Victoria


Hi Trish,

Further to Sarah's comments above, generally acquisitions of all residential real estate must be notified to the foreign investment commission unless the purchasers fall into one of the below categories:
  • you are an Australian citizen or you are ordinarily resident in Australia;
  • your spouse is an Australian citizen (not a permanent resident) and you are purchasing residential real estate in both names as joint tenants (not tenants in common);
  • you are a New Zealand citizen and you are purchasing residential property;
  • you hold a permanent resident visa and you are purchasing residential property;
  • you are purchasing new dwelling(s) from the developer, where the developer has pre-approval to sell those dwellings to foreign persons;
  • you are acquiring an interest in a time share scheme which does not permit you (and any of your associates) more than 4 weeks entitlement per year;
  • you are purchasing certain residential real estate in an Integrated Tourism Resort (ITR);
  • you are acquiring an interest in developed commercial property valued below the relevant monetary thresholds;
  • you are acquiring an interest in developed commercial property where the property is to be used immediately and in its present state for industrial or non residential commercial purposes. The acquisition must be wholly incidental to the purchaser's proposed or existing business activities;
  • you are acquiring an interest by will or by operation of law (such as, a court order regarding the division of property in a divorce settlement, but not if both parties simply agree to transfer property without a court's intervention); or
  • you are purchasing property from the Government (Commonwealth, State or Territory, or local).
Other exemptions may apply if you are:
  • a company, trust or managed investment scheme (primarily) for the benefit of individuals ordinarily resident in Australia;
  • an Australian corporation that is owned by individuals who are exempt or an Australian trust for the benefit of such individuals;
  • a corporation that is providing custodian services; or
  • buying shares in certain Australian urban land corporations that are publicly listed on an Australian Stock Exchange, or units in certain Australian urban land trusts.

Under the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeover Act 1975, the Treasurer has 30 days to consider your application and make a decision. There is no time limit for applications made under the Policy only, however the government aims to consider these proposals within 30 days, where possible.