Foreign Spouse Buying House with Australian Citizen

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Can a Foreign Spouse Buy a House with an Australian Citizen.

The Australian Foreign Investment Review Board requires all foreigners to apply for permission before buying Australian Property.

However, there are some exceptions from this requirement:

Persons that meet certain criteria do not need foreign investment approval before purchasing residential real estate in Australia. This includes:

Foreign persons purchasing property as joint tenants with their Australian citizen spouse, New Zealand citizen spouse, or Australian permanent resident spouse. This exemption DOES NOT include purchasing property as tenants in common. Most married couples will buy as Joint Tenants.

Joint Tenants

Joint tenants are treated as having equal shares in the asset. When one joint tenant dies, their interest in the asset is taken to have been acquired by the surviving joint tenants on the date of death.

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Tenants in Common

Individuals who own an asset as ‘tenants in common’ can hold a specific percentage share of the asset, and that share can be left in a will to whoever the owner wishes, not necessarily the other owner.

The following are not affected by any FIRB rules:

  • Australian citizen
  • New Zealand citizen
  • Australian permanent visa holder

Foreign non-residents will normally be allowed to purchase an established dwelling for redevelopment in Australia provided the redevelopment genuinely increases the housing stock.

Foreign persons, regardless of citizenship or residency, do not require foreign investment approval to acquire an interest in residential real estate that is a new dwelling purchased from a developer that holds a new dwelling exemption certificate that allows the developer to sell dwellings in the specified development to foreign persons.

Further exemptions may apply.


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The information we give is based on personal experiences, reading and formulation of available statistics.
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