Demystifying Canada’s Foreign Buyer Ban: What You Need to Know

In the ever-evolving landscape of Ontario’s real estate market, the Foreign Buyer Ban has emerged as a pivotal regulation, shaping the dynamics of property ownership. As a trusted legal advisor in Ontario, I aim to shed light on the specifics of this ban, offering clarity to consumers seeking to understand its implications.

Understanding the Foreign Buyer Ban

The Basics

Canada’s Foreign Buyer Ban is a legislative measure designed to restrict non-residents from purchasing residential real estate properties within Canada. The underlying rationale is to ensure that local residents have fair and equitable access to the housing market.

Who Is Excluded?

Non-Resident Individuals

The ban explicitly targets non-resident individuals, encompassing those who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Foreigners, irrespective of their intentions – whether as investors or potential homeowners – are subject to these restrictions.

Expanding the Scope: Corporations in the Crosshairs

Beyond individual buyers, the Foreign Buyer Ban extends its reach to corporations. This inclusion reflects the government’s objective to curbing speculative investments and ensuring that residential properties are accessible to those who contribute to the local community. Whether this strategy will work is a different story and remains to be seen.

Restrictions on Corporations

  1. Non-Resident Controlled Corporations

The Foreign Buyer Ban imposes restrictions on corporations that are not only non-resident entities but are also controlled by non-residents. This careful delineation aims to prevent foreign entities from circumventing the regulations through corporate structures. Control is defined to be direct or indirect ownership of the shares or ownership interests of the corporation or entity representing 10% or more of the value of the equity.

  1. Limited Exceptions

Unlike individuals, corporations have limited exceptions under the Foreign Buyer Ban. While permanent residents and certain protected individuals are exempt so long as they meet certain qualifications, corporations must navigate a more stringent framework. Understanding these exceptions is crucial for corporate entities looking to invest in Ontario’s real estate market.

Exceptions to the Rule

While the Foreign Buyer Ban is comprehensive, there are specific exceptions that consumers should be aware of:

  1. Permanent Residents

Permanent residents of Canada are exempt from the ban. This exception recognizes their commitment to the country and acknowledges their long-term stake in the local community.

  1. Individuals Under Refugee Protection

Those granted refugee protection in Canada are also exempt from the ban so long as they meet certain criteria. This inclusion reflects the government’s commitment to providing a secure and stable living environment for individuals seeking refuge within the country.

  1. International Students and Temporary Workers

Foreign individuals in Canada on study or work permits are also exempt under the Foreign Buyer Ban so long as they meet certain qualifications. This exception acknowledges the transient nature of their stay and provides flexibility for international students and temporary workers.

Summarizing the Law

In essence, the Foreign Buyer Ban in Canada restricts non-resident individuals and non-residents Corporations from purchasing residential real estate within Canada for a period of 2 years commencing January 1, 2023, with specific exemptions for permanent residents, individuals under refugee protection, and those in the country on study or work permits so long as they meet certain criteria. Understanding these nuances is crucial for consumers navigating the real estate market in Ontario and elsewhere in Canada.

In Conclusion

As Canada’s Foreign Buyer Ban continues to shape the real estate market, both consumers and corporations must navigate its complexities. For corporations, the restrictions underscore the need for expert legal advice from experienced real estate lawyers. The lawyers at Vakili Law Group have been advising individual clients, corporations and trust companies regarding the changing landscape of real estate law for more than a decade and we will be happy to assist you as well. For more information feel free to schedule a free 15 minute consultation with one of our lawyers by clicking on the following calendar link


Disclaimer: This article is for general information purposes only and you may not rely on it.  The facts of each case are unique and can impact the implications of the law on your particular circumstances. Finally, the law changes frequently and the information in this article may no longer be applicable and therefore relying on the information in this article is at your own risk.

About the Author

Bobby Vakili
Bobby Vakili

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