What changes in the latest Australian Federal Budget 2017-18 will affect foreign investors?

Announced last month in May, the Australian Federal Budget contains a number of changes that will affect foreign investors in the future.

The majority of changes in the latest Federal Budget focus on Capital Gains Tax (CGT), limitations on foreign investments and clarification of Australia’s foreign investment framework.


  1. Capital Gains Tax (CGT) changes for foreign investors

Effective immediately, the Government will no longer allow foreign and temporary tax residents an exemption on paying CGT on their main residence.

However, all existing properties purchased prior to 9 May 2017 will also have their CGT exemption removed by 30 June 2019.

Easing childcare pressure by bringing over migrant grandparents

In a dramatic new immigration strategy to ease the pressure on childcare while not burdening Australia’s existing crippling healthcare system, the Australian government has introduced a new migrants’ parents visa.

The new migrants’ parent visa will allow immigrant families to bring across grandparents for a maximum of 10 years with no pathway to citizenship or permanent residency. Applications for 3 years will cost $5,000 and 5 years for $10,000, with a single one-time-only renewal visa of 5 years for $10,000.

In an effort to reduce pressure on childcare facilities, migrants can bring across their retired parents to care for family members,

New changes affecting Home Buyers and Property Investors this year

The housing and property market is facing a radical shake-up as the Victorian Government implements changes to make property for buyers more affordable in the midst of a housing shortage.

The Good News

First home buyers are by far the winners in 2017 reaping great benefits from the government’s new property schemes. The two new schemes being introduced as of July are:

1. Stamp duty reduction for First Home Owners
The Victorian Government announced in March that first home buyers will be exempt from stamp duty tax if the property is valued at under $600,000.

Australians come first – radical changes to the 457 Temporary Work Visa

The Australian Prime Minister, Mr Malcolm Turnbull has announced that the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457 visa) will be abolished and replaced with a new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa to commence in March 2018.

Originally introduced by the Howard government in 1996, the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa 457 is being abolished and replaced in a bid to significantly address unemployment in Australia.

The Prime Minister said, “jobs must go to Australians first, before businesses consider hiring foreign workers to ensure that Australian jobs are filled by Australians wherever possible”. Mr Turnbull said while Australia was multicultural,

3 Special Conditions to Watch Out For in Land Contract Sales

Everyone knows the importance of having a solicitor look over your land sale contract when buying your dream home. However, apart from the standard s32 conditions you or your solicitor should be aware of any special conditions attached to your sale of land contract. While special conditions are quite common and subject to mutual agreement by both purchaser and vendor, the way they are drafted may have severe impact on the execution of the contract especially if not looked at carefully.

What are special conditions?

Special conditions are additional conditions apart from the standard conditions in a Contract for The Sale of Land.

New Australian Entrepreneurship Visa Requirements

The New Entrepreneurship Visa is being introduced from 10 September 2016 as part of the government’s Business Innovation and Investment Program. It will be a provisional visa with a pathway to permanent residency under the Business Innovation and Investment visas. (subclass 188).

Who is it for?

The new visa is is for entrepreneurs with $200,000 in funding from specified third parties to develop and commercialise their innovative ideas in Australia

What are the Australian Entrepreneurship Visa Requirements?

You must be

  • Under 55 years old,

Increased Processing Times For New Student Visas

The new student visa system introduced in July reduced the number of student visa subclasses and promised to streamline the process.

However, the new processing regime has cause massive delays and an increase in visa rejections.

What is happening?

It seems that the new simplified student visa framework has increased processing times from the previous 4-week waiting time to 8 weeks or more. This has caused students to miss course enrollment dates as visas are not approved on time.

Who is affected?

The biggest contingent of applicants being affected are those from China who make up a huge proportion of student visa applicants.

What happens if I can’t settle on my off-the-plan purchase?

Are you having trouble getting finance before your settlement date?

Is there a risk of failure to settle on your property?

The tightening of foreign lending by banks, the crack down on foreign investments by the federal government and the boom in apartment construction has resulted in the perfect storm of increased settlement risk.

While the demand for Australian property is still strong, it is prudent to be aware of the very real risk that it might be difficult to complete purchases in the current lending environment.

What will happen if you don’t settle?

What are your rights: Short Term Rentals

In a win for short-stay property operators and a disappointing outcome for Owner Corporations, the Victorian Supreme ruled recently that owner corporations could not prevent dwellings in a strata agreement from being used as short term rentals. We look at the impact of the case on your short term rental rights.

What are strata apartments?

Strata titles are a unique Australian innovation. It allows individual ownership of part of a property (usually the apartment/townhouse) and combined shared ownership of open areas (e.g. foyers, driveways) through a legal entity called the owners corporation.

Changes to Accredited Sponsorship Requirements

What is changing?

The required characteristics that you need to meet to become an accredited sponsor have changed from 1 July 2016.
There will also be additional benefits to be associated with sponsorship accreditation.

What is an accredited sponsor?

Under subclass 457 sponsors, a sponsor may apply for status as an accredited sponsor if they have “a long history of good dealing” with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). Accredited sponsors have sponsorship that is valid for 6 years and their visa and nomination applications receive priority processing.