Canada amends foreign buyer ban regulations
At a glance (3 minute read)
- Canada has amended the regulations of the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act to enable work permit holders to purchase homes and exempt vacant land from the foreign buyer ban.
- The amendments also include an exception for non-Canadians to buy residential property for the purpose of development and increase the corporation foreign control threshold to 10% from 3%.
The federal government introduced amendments to the regulations of the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act on March 27, 2023.
Known as the foreign buyer ban, the goal of the legislation and regulations, passed by Parliament in 2022, and in force on January 1, 2023, was to help make housing more affordable by ensuring Canadians had more access to homes for sale by taxing underused foreign-owned homes.
In response to concerns about the ban's limitations, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion Ahmed Hussen said the new amendments would enhance the flexibility of newcomers and businesses looking to add to Canada's housing supply.
The following amendments are in force effective immediately.
Enable more work permit holders to purchase a home to live in while working in Canada
Amendments allow those holding a work permit or those authorized to work in Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations to buy residential property.
Work permit holders are eligible if they have 183 days or more of validity remaining on their work permit or work authorization and haven’t purchased more than one residential property.
Repealing existing provision so the prohibition doesn’t apply to vacant land
Section 3(2) of the regulations is repealed.
The prohibition doesn’t apply to lands zoned for residential and mixed use.
Vacant land zoned for residential and mixed use can now be bought by non-Canadians and used for any purpose by the buyer, including residential development.
Exception for development purposes
This exception allows non-Canadians to buy residential property for the purpose of development.
The amendments extend the exception currently applicable to publicly traded corporations to publicly traded entities formed under the laws of Canada or a province and controlled by a non-Canadian.
Increasing the corporation foreign control threshold to 10 per cent from three per cent
- Read the amendments to the foreign buyer ban regulations.
- Read the government’s news release about the amendments.
- Read about the amendments to the foreign buyer ban regulations.