Preparations for the new foreign investment reforms – further information

Further to the update on Foreign Investment Review arrangements posted on 16 November 2020, Treasury is able to share the following information with foreign investors (subject to the passage of the Foreign Investment Reform (Protecting Australia’s National Security) Bill 2020).

Updates to the investor portal

  • In order to accommodate the reforms, the FIRB Application Portal, which is used for non-residential real estate applications, will need to be taken off line and updated. During this period, the Portal will not be able to accept foreign investment applications. 
  • The portal will be unavailable from 11.55pm (AEDT) on 31 December 2020 until the opening of business on 5 January 2021. In this period the portal will be updated to ensure it can accept the new application types.

The arrangements for accepting applications during the Portal outage

  • As has been the case with other Portal outages, urgent applications can be submitted to These emailed applications will now need to include a separate application form which will be available on the FIRB website during the Portal outage.

The treatment of applications commenced on the Portal but not yet submitted

  • The significant changes to the Portal required to facilitate the introduction of the foreign investment reforms means that incomplete applications are not able to be maintained following the reforms.
  • Given applicants may have spent significant time on these applications, the following will be implemented:
    • Proposals modified between 1 October and 31 December 2020 but not submitted will be saved in PDF format and made available to the applicant through the ‘Dashboard’ page on the Portal for 3 months.
    • All other proposals and variations will be deleted.

Issuing fee estimates post 1 January 2021

  • Currently, investors are provided with a fee estimate shortly after they submit their application. From 1 January 2021 until further notice, fee estimates for applications may take a number of business days to be generated. Please note each fee estimate will be provided in line with the application as submitted under the new legislative application types and fee structure.

Further updates regarding the reforms will be available on the FIRB website in due course. Should you have any queries, please contact the FIRB Enquiries team at