Race and Company Blog

Recent Changes to the Temporary Ban on Foreign Investment in Canadian Housing Makes it Easier for Work Permit Holders to Purchase a Residential Property

Read Part One here.
Read Part Two here.

On January 1, 2023, a law that prohibits “non-Canadians” from buying residential property in Canada came into effect for a period of two years until December 31, 2024. The law, known as the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act (‘Act’), was introduced by the federal government of Canada in Budget 2022. On December 21, 2022, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion, announced the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Regulations (‘Regulations’) which would implement the Act.

On March 27, 2023, the Minister announced amendments to the Act which primarily impact work permit holders and public and private corporations partially owned by foreign nationals. The Minister stated that the amendments seek “To provide greater flexibility to newcomers and businesses seeking to contribute to Canada, the Government of Canada is making important amendments to the Act’s Regulations. These amendments will allow newcomers to put down roots in Canada through home ownership and businesses to create jobs and build homes by adding to the housing supply in Canadian cities. These amendments strike the right balance in ensuring that housing is used to house those living in Canada, rather than a speculative investment by foreign investors.”

The following amendments took effect on March 27, 2023:

  • Work permit holders or those authorized to work in Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, are allowed to purchase residential property. Work permit holders are eligible if they have 183 days or more validity remaining on their work permit or work authorization at the time of purchase and have not purchased more than one residential property. The current provisions on tax filings and previous work experience in Canada are being repealed.
  • The prohibition on the purchase of vacant land by a non-Canadian is being repealed.
  • A new exception allows non-Canadians to purchase residential property for the purpose
    of development.
  • For the purposes of the prohibition, the threshold of control by a non-Canadian in a
    corporation has increased from 3% to 10%.

If you are interested in moving to Canada and/or purchasing a property in B.C., the legal team at Race & Company LLP is available to assist you with your immigration, real estate and business law needs. Contact one of our knowledgeable lawyers today.