Foreign home buyer ban has been amended.

After push back, the Canadian government pulls back the rules to help ease our housing crunch.

A ban enacted on Jan. 1, 2023, designed to make more homes available to Canadian buyers, gets tweaked to help newcomers settle and allow businesses to develop housing supply, effective immediately.

A welcome (home) change for newcomers to Canada.

On Mar. 27, 2023, the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion announced changes to the Foreign Buyers Ban, officially called the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residental Property by Non-Canadians Act, that was introduced as a two-year ban for foreign buyers and groups at the start of 2023.

Originally intended to open up more housing for the permanent residents of Canada, many detractors labelled the ban rules as too restrictive, with unintended consequences, such as preventing increases to our housing supply and deepening rental market woes — and essentially pulling the 'welcome mat' out from under newcomers actively participating in our economy (who aren't just buying a home from afar for it to sit vacant).

These amendments include repealing requirements on tax filings and previous work experience for Work Permit Holders, allowing them to buy a home with more reasonable engagement rules.

The following 4 amendments are hoped to ease the ban's criticism and improve newcomer and foreign company inclusion (as outlined in the Government of Canada news release of Mar. 27, 2023):

1. Fewer restrictions for Work Permit Holders to buy a primary home in Canada.

If you have permission to work in Canada and a valid work permit, you can buy your first primary property with at least 183 days or more left on your permit (i.e. if you don't own other properties in Canada). You no longer have to provide a long history of tax filings or work experience.

2. Ban no longer applies to vacant land.

Non-Canadians can now buy empty land that's zoned for homes, or a mix of homes and businesses, for the buyer to use for any purpose, including building a house.

3. Exception in buying for development purposes:

This amendment now allows non-Canadians to purchase residential property for the purpose of development (to allow for the building of more housing units).

4. Corporation foreign control threshold goes from 3% to 10%.

The original ban restricted companies from residential development or investment if more than 3% of owners were deemed non-Canadian. That threshold has increased to 10% to align with the definition of 'specified Canadian Corporation' in the Underused Housing Tax Act.

Have questions about buying a home in Canada?

If you're a newcomer, have permanent resident status, or are a non-resident with a dream of buying a home in Canada — we're here to help answer your eligibility questions and outline your specific details.

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