Australia: Purchase of housing for 457 visa holders increased from 1st December

From 1 December 2015 there will be a fee for all foreign investment applications, including 457 visa holders who wish to purchase a house in Australia.

For a property where the value is up to AUD $1 million, the 457 visa holder will pay the Australian Government an extra AUD $5000 AUD.  This fee will increase according to the value of the property purchased and the relevant fees are tabled below.

 

Why is this happening?

Due to the recent increased scrutiny of overseas citizens purchasing property in Australia without seeking FIRB (Foreign Investment Review Board) approval, it has come to the attention that there has been abuse of the process.

The Australian Government needs money and 457 visa holders are not permitted to vote and so the Australian Government have provided $47.5 million over four years to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to improve compliance and strengthen the enforcement of these rules.

 

What does this mean for foreign national and employers?

A Fact Sheet provided by FIRB giving full details of the penalties can be found here.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK