Commencing January 1, 2023, the Canadian Government enacted legislation which severely restricts the purchase of residential real estate by “non-Canadians” for a period of two (2) years. This legislation is known as the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property By Non-Canadians. This law was designed to temper the rapidly increasing home prices, while also addressing the issue of housing supply since many homes purchased by foreign investors remain unoccupied.
The goal of the legislation is to ensure homes are affordable for Canadians and will be repealed at the end of two years.
A non-Canadian is anyone who is NOT:
The Act also applies to Corporations which are not listed on a Canadian stock exchange, are privately held or are controlled by someone defined as a non-Canadian.
The short answer is yes. Following is a sampling of who is exempt, however, we recommend you thoroughly review the legislation and consult an attorney for further clarification.
There are a number of requirements to meet these criteria such as the length of time the resident has been in Canada over the past five (5) years, the course of study being undertaken, whether or not they have filed income tax returns and the cost of the home being purchased.
Temporary residents who have a work permit or have been appropriately authorized to work in Canada may be exempt from the ban on purchasing real estate. Assuming all criteria are met, including having worked and filed income tax returns for three (3) out of four (4) preceding years, and they have not already purchased residential property while the prohibition is in effect, a temporary resident may be able to buy a home.
Refugees who have been given protection under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, 2001 are exempt from the ban on purchasing residential real estate. If a refugee claimant has been referred to the Refugee Protection Division, they may be exempt. Refugee claimants fleeing an international conflict may also receive an exemption under the humanitarian public policy of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
If the spouse or common-law partner of a Non-Canadian is a Canadian, they may qualify to buy residential real estate as long as the partner/spouse meets the definition of a Canadian. This means the spouse or partner is:
If any of the above categories apply to your situation, reach out to an experienced Realtor, or an attorney to ensure you meet the requirements of the Act before you make any purchases.
Again, the short answer is yes. If the home is located outside of a Census Metropolitan Area or Census Agglomeration, purchasing a home is still possible for foreign buyers. A Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) or Census Agglomeration (CA) is an area that includes more than one metropolitan area, with one being at the core. In a CMA, the population has to be more than 100,000, with half of that number living in the population centre, or core. For a CA, the core population must be a minimum of 10,000.
It means that while purchasing residential real estate by non-Canadians has become far more difficult, it is still possible. Speak with an experienced Real Estate Agent, and an attorney, if necessary, for clarification on your specific situation and what it means for you.