Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act” came into effect on January 1st of this year. It is set to remain in force for a duration of two years and will be automatically repealed thereafter. This law stipulates that individuals who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents are prohibited from purchasing homes in Canada, while Canadian citizens and permanent residents are unaffected by this restriction.
The aim of this legislation is to discourage foreign investors from viewing Canadian real estate as a mere investment asset and to prioritize the needs of those seeking to establish a home in the country. It is applicable to both non-Canadian individuals and businesses and encompasses various types of housing, including detached homes and townhouses.
Many people are worried about not being able to own a home in Canada because of this law. However, there may still be some ways for non-Canadian citizens to buy a home. In this guide, we will explore the possibilities, exceptions, and legal requirements for a temporary resident to buy a house in Canada.
What Are The Exceptions?
- The new law may seem like a total ban on foreigners or non-Canadians buying property in Canada, but there are some exceptions. You can still buy vacation homes, cottages, and properties outside big cities. The regulation also excludes properties located outside of census metropolitan areas (cities with populations greater than 100,000).
- Also, there are exceptions if a non-resident is buying property in Canada with a Canadian husband or wife, but then their situation changes, for instance, if they get a divorce or their spouse passes away.
Can Temporary Residents Buy A House In Canada?
In brief, if you’re a temporary resident with a valid study or work permit, you may still buy a home during the ban if you meet specific requirements. Among other requirements for temporary residents, the Canadian government requires proof of intent to settle and reside in Canada permanently.
Study Permit Holders
Study permit holders in Canada must meet specific conditions to purchase a home. These conditions include:
- Filing all required income tax returns for the last five years.
- Being physically present in Canada for at least 244 days in each of the five previous calendar years.
- Purchasing a residential property under $500,000.
- Not owning more than one residential property.
However, it’s essential to understand that a $500,000 limit may not be sufficient to buy a home in certain expensive cities or provinces like Ontario and British Columbia, where average house prices are over $800,000.
Work Permit Holders
Can a work permit holder buy a house in Canada? If you possess a valid work permit in Canada and want to buy property, you must meet these conditions:
- Having a minimum of three years of full-time work within the four years preceding the year of purchase.
- Filing all required income tax returns for at least three of the four taxation years before the purchase.
- You don’t own more than one residential property.
- To buy a property as a temporary worker, you must demonstrate at least three years of full-time work within the last four years to qualify.
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Legal Requirements for Buying a Home in Canada
Whether you hold a study permit, work permit, or temporary resident status, buying a house in Canada necessitates meeting certain vital legal requirements:
Mortgage Financing: Temporary residents often need a larger down payment, usually 35% or more. You should also demonstrate a stable income and a good credit history.
Insurance: Mortgage insurance is compulsory if your down payment is below 20%, applicable to both permanent and temporary residents.
Legal Representation: It’s advisable to hire a qualified lawyer familiar with Canadian property laws to protect your interests during the transaction.
Taxation: Understand the tax implications of property ownership, including potential withholding taxes on rental income and capital gains for non-residents.
Legal Status: Ensure your permit status remains valid; changes or expirations can affect property ownership. Seek advice from an immigration lawyer to explore options.
Property Management: If you’re not in Canada year-round, you should consider hiring a property management company to oversee your property during your absence.
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