Understanding Canada’s Foreign Buyers Ban with Saeideh Shabani & Robert Hall

Saeideh Shabani with the Tulip Team at RE/MAX Hallmark® interviewing one of the top real estate lawyers, Robert Hall with Ken Hoyt Law, who will be explaining the details of the federal foreign buyers ban.

2023, beside the snow, brought us lots of new rules.

One of the top real estate topics these days is the foreign buyer ban.

I think in order to understand understand the foreign buyer ban, we should start with what you can buy as a foreign citizen.

And what you can buy still is a rural property. You buy a cottage property, you can buy a residential property with more than three units. You can buy vacant land.

Other than that, you’ve got to fit yourself into one of the exemption categories for foreign buyers.

So the federal government has launched this initiative to enable Canadian citizens and permanent residents to buy properties for two years. Unless you can fit yourself into one of these exemption categories as a foreign national, you’re not going to be able to buy residential real Estate Canada.

So the exemption categories are quite narrow.

In fact, diplomats, of course, are going to be exempt from the law.

Refugees, people fleeing conflict, are not captured by this law.

If you’re a student or you’re on a work permit, there’s a possibility that you’re going to qualify still to buy a home without being a citizen or permanent resident.

Best advice I can give is to, of course, consult a lawyer, consult a real estate lawyer as to whether we can fit you in this exemption category in order to purchase.

If you’re a student, unfortunately, you’ll have to prove that you filed tax returns for five years, that you have lived in Canada for 244 days per year for the last five years. You can only buy a house that’s valued at less than $500,000, and you can’t own more than one property.

Very, very narrow set of conditions that most of the students that I know wouldn’t qualify for.

If you’re on a work permit, you’ve got to be able to show that you’ve worked full-time for three out of the last four years.

Full time for purposes of the law means 30 hours a week.

For three out of the last four years, you can’t have purchased more than one other property. You’ve got to have filed your tax returns as well for three out of the last four years.

So, again, of the folks that I know that are on a work permits, a pretty narrow list of folks that are going to fall into this exemption category, but would not have also commenced the permanent residency process.

So these exemptions, and exemption categories do exist. It’s not a full ban on foreign ownership, but there’s a very narrow set of criteria under which you’re going to be able to qualify.

Hopefully this helped explain the ban, if you have questions you can reach out tor Robert Hall at Ken Hoyt Law at (613) 231-2995 or KenHoytLaw.ca

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