Work Visa’s / Non-Canadians Can’t Buy Homes: 2023 New Rules
Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act.
Summary of New Rules, 2023:
Anyone with a work visa will have to have lived here for 3 of the past 4 years and have filed taxes during those years. Here are the RULES!
- Holds a valid work permit as defined in section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, or is otherwise authorized to work in Canada in accordance with section 186 of the Regulations;
- Has worked in Canada for a minimum continuous period of 3 years within the past 4 years, where the work meets the definition set out in s. 73(2) of the Regulations; and
- Has filed a Canadian income tax return for a minimum of 3 of the past 4 taxation years preceding the year in which the purchase is made.
Please also find below the Globe and Mail article that ran last week on December 1st.. I copied and pasted the whole article:
Ambiguity about Canada’s ban on foreign home buyers creating hiring headaches for businesses
Canada’s impending ban on foreigners purchasing residential real estate is complicating how businesses hire, promote and transfer immigrant workers because of an information vacuum about the final rules.
The Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act, passed by Parliament earlier this year, will restrict foreigners from buying homes in Canada starting next month. That ban will remain in place for two years – supposedly to curb investor speculation in the housing market.
Although the legislation will come into force on Jan. 1, 2023, the federal government still hasn’t released the final regulations outlining how the prohibition will work. Those details are essential because they will specify which non-Canadians, both individuals and corporations, will be exempt from the ban.
Our legislators, however, seem unaware that 2023 is less than 30 days away. But you can be damn sure the businesses and foreign workers who have to comply with the law are acutely aware of the problem.
“The regulations will be made available soon,” Claudie Chabot, a spokeswoman for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, wrote in an e-mail. (The national housing agency led the government’s consultation on the law.)
The sooner the better. Businesses and workers are being kept on hold.
The government’s consultation paper proposed that exemptions would only be given to temporary residents who hold a valid work permit and who’ve worked in Canada for a “minimum continuous period of three years within the past four years.” Additionally, those individuals would have to prove they filed Canadian income tax returns for at least three of the four years preceding their property purchase.
That potentially sets a high bar for skilled workers. Is Ottawa really planning to prohibit executives and other talent, who plan to move to Canada with their families, from buying a home until they’ve worked here for three years?
We don’t know because the government still hasn’t finalized the rules. It’s ridiculous.
“If I’m sitting in London, England, and I’m saying, ‘Well, gee, do I want to go to Canada? Do I really want to go through all of this aggravation?’ ” said Stephen Cryne, president and CEO of the Canadian Employee Relocation Council.
Known as CERC, the non-profit organization advocates for increased labour force mobility on behalf of companies in sectors including financial services, technology, natural resources and telecommunications.
As Mr. Cryne points out, top executives who work for companies such as banks, energy companies and manufacturers have plenty of choices about where they and their families choose to live in the world.
“I was speaking with one of our members,” he recounted. “They’re looking at bringing in several executives and their families from South Africa, and [because of the uncertainty around the new rules], they’re second-guessing saying, ‘We’re not sure.’ ”
That’s hardly a vote of confidence in Canada.
CERC is asking the federal government for a blanket exemption for any foreign national with a valid work permit who is living and residing in Canada. It’s a reasonable ask.
“Given Canada’s critical skills shortages, these requirements will place Canada in an uncompetitive position when compared to other countries where such restrictions on the purchase of residential property by foreign nationals may not exist,” CERC told the government in a submission.
The proposed rules are also creating headaches for U.S. relocation management companies that handle employee moves on behalf of Canadian corporations. Some of these American companies will purchase and resell an executive’s home to speed up a move. But as non-Canadians, they could be banned from conducting such property transactions for two years – further complicating the process of relocating employees.
Not only are businesses’ hiring and relocation plans getting gummed up, the regulatory uncertainty about the forthcoming ban also risks chasing away foreign direct investment. Our immigration backlog is already a frustration for foreign companies that want to hire more employees and expand their operations in Canada.
Worst of all, it’s not clear that a ban targeting foreign home buyers will actually prevent speculation in the real-estate market.
After all, non-residents only owned 3.1 per cent of residential property in British Columbia in 2020, according to Statistics Canada. In Ontario, that figure is only 2.2 per cent.
So why is the Liberal government pointing a finger at foreign buyers for pricing Canadians out of the housing market?
This is the problem with populist policies. They might make for good politics, but they often have undesirable consequences for businesses and consumers.
The government needs to clear up the confusion about its foreign-home-buyer ban – and fast.
If Ottawa’s goal is to admit nearly 1.5 million new immigrants to Canada by the end of 2025 to solve labour shortages, it shouldn’t be giving skilled workers reasons to think twice about moving here