Who’s Exempt From Canada’s Foreign Buyer Ban

A foreign buyer ban Canada thinks could make homes more affordable has real estate and mortgage professionals skeptical.

But exemptions to the Canada foreign buyer ban brought in Dec. 21, 2022, days before they take effect, may soften the blow. (See if they apply to you.)

This is why.

Quick Read

Is Canada banning foreign buyers?

Is the foreign buyer ban in effect?

Are foreigners allowed to buy property in Canada?    

A filipino couple migrated to Canada

Critics Question Foreign Buyer Ban Canada Imposing

Critics are wary of the federal government’s two-year Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act. That’s because the foreign buyer ban Canada hopes will slow home prices has had mixed success elsewhere.

TD Bank has predicted a Canada foreign buyer ban will have a fleeting impact. New Zealand economists say a ban on cash-rich foreign housing speculators there had minimal effect. Foreign buyers owned 2.9% of New Zealand’s market right before the 2018 ban and 0.4% after. Home prices kept climbing.

The fear of missing out on housing deals is a more significant driver of real estate prices in Ontario, CMHC found. “FOMO” can plunge even cautious investors in over their heads.

Here’s what the Canada foreign buyer ban will and won’t do. See rules for foreign buyers Toronto real estate. 

Who Cannot Buy Residential Property in Canada

The Canada foreign buyer ban comes into effect New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, 2023.

It’s meant to calm overheated housing markets by preventing non-Canadians from buying legal interests or rights in residential property  between 2023 and 2025. The Act applies to foreign nationals who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents and foreign residents not registered under the Indian Act. See the Dec. 21, 2022 regulations

Foreign corporations, and foreign-controlled Canadian corporations (not listed on a Canadian stock exchange and designated under section 262 of the federal Income Tax Act) are targets of the Canada foreign buyer ban. Tax rules for foreign corporations

Foreign nationals who defy the ban or anyone assisting them can be fined up to $10,000 and the property sold by a court. Buyers who aren’t exempt are advised to check out our advice on who gets deposits when buyer backs out

Bought property before 2023? Watch foreign buyers tax Ontario collects. Subscribe for free to our Vimeo channel. 

What the Canada Foreign Ban Exempts

Exemptions to the Canada foreign buyer ban announced Dec. 21, 2022 include:

  • buyers whose spouse or common law partner is a Canadian, permanent resident, or otherwise not impacted
  • rental dwellings with four or more units
  • recreational property like cabins and some vacant land
  • owners who acquire property from pre-2023 trusts
  • foreign nationals affected by death, divorce, or separation
  • gifts of real property
  • secured creditors
  • temporary residents who work or study in Canada and plan to stay — see regulations 5(a) and (b)
  • foreign diplomats and consular officials living in Canada
  • or people fleeing conflict and refugees — read regulation 6(a).  

Will the Canada foreign buyer ban work? Only time will tell. Read the Act in full. 

Why You Need a Real Estate Lawyer

Concerned you may not meet new residency requirements after Jan. 1, 2023? Ensure you comply with foreign buyer ban Canada regulations by having an Axess Law real estate lawyer review your draft or signed agreement of purchase and sale. What’s in the  agreement of purchase and sale

Buying real property from afar can leave you feeling uncertain that you understand what you are purchasing. Your Axess Law real estate lawyer in Ontario explains all the legal nuances of being a foreign entity. We can go over federal and Ontario foreign buyers tax regimes with you or your real estate agent. Foreign owners, stay on top of Canada’s underused housing tax

Making an amendment to agreement of purchase and sale contracts is no big deal when you hire an Axess Law real estate lawyer. Our licenced, professional legal team negotiates with the sellers’ lawyer to revise terms and conditions in your offer to purchase. More on amendment to purchase and sale (Ontario). 

Your Axess Law mortgage lawyer liaises with private lenders, banks, credit unions, or trust companies to obtain and witness documents you need to discharge mortgage loans or take over an assumable mortgage

When to discharge your mortgage

When your real estate purchase is complete, your Axess Law real estate attorney searches title to property for outstanding claims. We register real property in your name and can change name on house title (Ontario) now or later. 

Sealing it with a handshake with the client

Affordable Legal Services, Anywhere in Ontario

Access lawyers for less in the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, or anywhere in Ontario when you buy, sell, or transfer property. Axess Law’s flat fee real estate lawyers are affordable, and our rates are all inclusive (excluding taxes, disbursements, and third-party charges). Axess Law offers you only the legal services you absolutely need. Your final invoice includes no surprises or hidden charges. Your itemized statement of adjustments is explained when we deliver it, and we answer any questions you have about it.

Use a virtual real estate lawyer near me. 

Book Online or By Phone for Timely Legal Advice

Make online virtual video conference calls anywhere in Ontario with an Axess Law virtual real estate lawyer. Book appointments at times that suit your schedule by calling toll-free to 1-877-552-9377 (647-479-0118 in Toronto), or use our easy web form. An Axess Law licensed Ontario real estate lawyer can meet with you in person at any of our Greater Toronto Area law offices

Axess Law has onsite parking and easy transit access. Look for a lawyer in Downtown Toronto.

Click here to learn more about Axess Law’s real estate law services.