Can I immigrate by buying a property in Canada?

Many people of the world wish to immigrate to Canada. However, it seems an impossible task for a large group of enthusiasts. Consequently, people constantly look for alternative options. Could buying a property in Canada be an alternative option for immigrating to Canada? Or at least, could it help you boost your options? Let’s explore the answers to these questions.

Table of contents

Can foreign nationals buy properties in Canada?

Canada always welcomes foreign investment. Consequently, the Government usually does not say no to your investment. However, Canada is sensitive to money laundering. As a result, the source of buying a property must be clean. Of course, an accountant with an understanding of the subject matter could help you avoid potential issues. Regardless, you must have enough financial resources or secure enough funding to make the purchase.

The government of Canada imposes trade embargoes on some individuals or entities from time to time. Needless to say, depending on the nature of the sanctions, property ownership could be out of the question. Also, keep the following in mind:

  • If you purchase a home in Ontario you have to pay the Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST) rate of 20%. The government of Ontario used to charge a 15% tax only on purchases in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). However, they increased the tax to 20% on March 30, 2022, and expanded it to the entire province of Ontario. Moreover, they closed a couple of loopholes to prevent people from dodging this tax.
  • Unfortunately, the Greater Vancouver Area has a similar policy. Moreover, they charge a Vacancy Tax if you do not occupy your residence.

Consequently, you probably need to stay away from Toronto and Vancouver and their surroundings if you do not expect to be a permanent resident soon.

Could you receive a mortgage as a foreign buyer?

Generally speaking, you may qualify for a mortgage as a foreign buyer. Although nothing is definite, you could consider the following guidelines:

  • If you are a US citizen with verified income, you could borrow up to 80% of the purchase price.
  • As a non-US foreign buyer with verified income, you could borrow up to 65% of the purchase price.
  • If you cannot verify your income, expect to post a 50% down-payment or more.

Of course, the bank has the final say. Regardless, make sure to shop around for the best deals. It’s no secret; buying a property is no easy task whether you intend to immigrate or not.

How buying a property could assist you in immigration to Canada?

At this time, there is no immigration option attached to buying properties in Canada. Consequently, you may not immigrate to Canada by purchasing a residential, commercial or industrial property alone. However, owning assets in Canada is a reflection of your attachment to the country. If you also show you have lived in your Canadian home, it could verify your establishment. Therefore, you could use property ownership in two potential ways:

  • In a PNP application buying a property in the province could be an indication of commitment. Consequently, the province is less worried you intend to leave the province after immigration. Of course, despite exceptional situations, property ownership is not a decisive factor.
  • If you are immigrating under H&C, owning a Canadian property could be a positive factor. However, the officer considers many other criteria before ruling in your favour.

Conclusion about buying a property and immigration to Canada

We could conclude that you must stay away from buying a property in hopes of immigrating to Canada. However, in exceptional situations, property ownership could indirectly assist you. Of course, you may consult with a professional to explore your personal circumstances.

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    Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
    Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
    Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
    Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

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    Al Parsai

    This article has been expertly crafted by Al Parsai, a distinguished Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) hailing from vibrant Toronto, Canada. Al's academic achievements include an esteemed role as an adjunct professor at prestigious Queen's University Law School and Ashton College, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University. A respected member of CICC and CAPIC organizations, Al's insights are further enriched by his experience as the dynamic CEO of Parsai Immigration Services. Guiding thousands of applicants from over 55 countries through the immigration process since 2011, Al's articles offer a wealth of invaluable knowledge for readers.