January 13, 2023 by Carly Perryman, Jasmine Somal
The Foreign Buyer Ban is now in effect in Canada and the federal regulations have been released to further clarify the exemptions.
Associate Jasmine Somal and Carly Perryman, paralegal for the Immigration Team at FH&P, review those regulations and provide an update on those impacted by the new Ban.
What’s the Update?
On January 1, 2023, the Canadian government put into place a ban on all new foreign buyers.
In our previous article regarding the Foreign Buyer Ban, we mentioned as of January 1, 2023, there will be a new Foreign Buyer Ban implemented in Canada under the Act. The Act will be in force for a period of two years. The purpose of the Act will be to prohibit the direct and indirect purchase of residential property by non-Canadians to reduce the impact of inflation in Canada.
On December 21, 2022, The New Federal Regulations to the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act (the “Act”) were also released.
In this article, we will break down what the Act means for foreign buyers (both inside and outside Canada) who want to buy property in Canada.
What is a Non-Canadian?
The new federal regulations have provided clarification with respect to the following definitions:
1. Non-Canadian means to include the following:
(i) an entity not formed under the laws of Canada or a Canadian province; and
(ii) an entity not formed under the laws of Canada or a Canadian province controlled by an entity referred to in paragraph (a) or controlled by a person referred to in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of the definition non-Canadian in section 2 of the Act.
What Property is Included?
The Ban applied to detached houses or similar buildings, containing not more than three dwelling units, or a part of a building that is a semi-detached house, rowhouse unit, residential condominium unit or other similar premises.
Note that there is also a geographical component to this Ban. Property located in an area of Canada that is not within either a census agglomeration (that is defined as an area that must have a core population of at least 10,000 people) or a census metropolitan area (that is defined as an area that must have a total population of at least 100,000 people of which 50,000 or more must live in the core).
In addition, the Foreign Buyer Ban applies to vacant land, that is zoned for residential use or mixed use, that is located within a census agglomeration or a census metropolitan area.
Who is exempt from the new Foreign Buyer Ban?
There are some exemptions to the Ban, allowing the following temporary residents to buy property in Canada:
What does the Foreign Buyer Ban not apply to?
While the Foreign Buyer Ban prohibits a non-Canadian to purchase, directly or indirectly, any residential property, there are certain exceptions.
These exemptions include:
The Foreign Buyer Ban also does not apply to a foreign state purchasing residential property for diplomatic or consular services.
One of the biggest aspects of the new Act is inclusion of penalties for any non-Canadian that contravenes the Act, and anyone that knowingly assists the non-Canadian in directly or indirectly purchasing residential property in Canada. They are guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $10,000. In addition, the court may order sale of the property, in which case the Purchaser will only be entitled to the purchase price of the property.
How Can We Help?
If you are a non-Canadian looking to buy property in Canada, we can do an assessment of your situation to see if you are able to buy property in Canada in the next two years. We also offer a one-hour consultation to assess your ability to become a worker, student or permanent resident in Canada. Contact us today for a consultation!
You can also complete our free assessment here.
If you have any further questions or would like our assistance in navigating the Canadian immigration process or have questions regarding the new Foreign Buyer Ban and would like to speak to an immigration attorney, please contact our law firm to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer in Kelowna or Penticton.