New guidance on how to apply for FIRB exemption certificates for property developers

The Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) has released new guidance for property developers on how to apply for a new (or near-new) dwelling exemption certificate.

A foreign person may need to seek FIRB approval or an exemption prior to purchasing property in Australia.

However, if a property developer obtains a new or near-new dwelling exemption certificate, foreign purchasers don’t need to seek their own individual FIRB approval as the property is covered by the existing certificate.


Developers can apply for an exemption certificate if the development:

  • has development approval from the relevant government authority;
  • will consist of 50 or more dwellings; and
  • has FIRB approval (if applicable) for purchase of the land the development is on.


Approvals for an exemption certificate are subject to conditions, including the developer:

  • marketing the dwellings for sale in Australia;
  • selling no more than 50% of the total number of dwellings in the development to foreign persons under the certificate;
  • selling no more than $3 million worth of dwellings in the development to a single foreign person under the certificate;
  • providing a copy of the exemption certificate to each foreign purchaser; and
  • reporting to the Australian Government on the dwellings sold to foreign persons under the certificate.

More information

If you require any further information about exemption certificates or FIRB approvals generally, please contact:

Daniel Morgan
M: 0438 436 968

David Shelley
Managing Principal
M: 0427 183 217

Published: 25 August 2021

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