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The Truth About Non-Canadian Property Purchase Ban: What You Need to Know


The Canadian real estate market has long been a desirable destination for both domestic and international buyers. However, recent legislative Non-Canadian Property Purchase Ban have introduced significant restrictions on property purchases by non-Canadians. The Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act has brought about a new landscape for foreign buyers. This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the Act, its implications, and what non-Canadian buyers need to know to navigate these changes.

Overview of the Act

The Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act is a legislative measure designed to limit the purchase of residential properties in Canada by individuals who are not Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or persons registered under the Indian Act. The primary objective of this Act is to ensure that Canadian real estate remains accessible and affordable for local residents, addressing concerns about housing affordability and availability.

Who is Affected?

The Act specifically targets individuals who do not fall into the following categories:

  • Canadian citizens
  • Permanent residents of Canada
  • Persons registered under the Indian Act

These categories are straightforward, but the implications of the Act extend beyond individual buyers to include certain corporate and entity structures.

Corporate and Entity Restrictions

The Act also applies to corporations and entities that are formed under the laws of Canada or any of its provinces but are not listed on a Canadian stock exchange and are controlled by non-Canadians. This means that even if a corporation is registered in Canada, it cannot purchase residential property if it is controlled by individuals who do not meet the citizenship or residency criteria set out by the Act.

Exemptions and Special Cases

While the Act imposes broad restrictions, there are specific exemptions detailed in the accompanying regulations. These exemptions are critical for certain groups of non-Canadians who may still be eligible to purchase residential property under particular circumstances. It is important for potential buyers to review these exemptions carefully and consult with legal professionals to understand if they qualify.

Compliance and Responsibility

One of the key aspects of the Act is the emphasis on the responsibility of the buyer to ensure compliance. The Act clearly states that it is the duty of the person purchasing the property to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria. Real estate agents, lawyers, notaries, and other industry professionals are not held responsible for verifying the eligibility of buyers under this Act.

Flexibility for Industry Professionals

Although the Act places the onus of compliance on the buyers, it also provides flexibility for industry professionals. The Act does not impose specific requirements for information collection, processing, or reporting on lawyers, notaries, real estate agents, or other professionals involved in real estate transactions. Instead, it allows these professionals to determine what measures, if any, are necessary to meet their professional responsibilities and duties to their clients.

Practical Implications for Buyers

For non-Canadian buyers, the practical implications of the Act are significant. It is crucial to conduct thorough due diligence before attempting to purchase residential property in Canada. This includes:

  • Verification of Eligibility: Ensure that you meet one of the specified criteria or qualify for an exemption.
  • Legal Consultation: Engage with legal professionals who are well-versed in Canadian real estate law to navigate the complexities of the Act.
  • Awareness of Corporate Structures: If purchasing through a corporation or entity, confirm that the structure complies with the Act’s requirements regarding control and registration.

Understanding the Exemptions

While the Act is restrictive, understanding the exemptions is crucial for non-Canadian buyers. The regulations outline specific scenarios where non-Canadians may still be eligible to purchase residential property. These exemptions can include situations such as:

  • International Students: Who meet certain conditions related to their length of stay and enrollment in Canadian educational institutions.
  • Temporary Workers: Who have a valid work permit and meet specific residency requirements.
  • Diplomats and Consular Staff: Who are in Canada on official missions.

These exemptions are subject to change, and it is advisable to review the latest regulations or seek legal advice to ensure compliance.

Impact on the Real Estate Market

The introduction of the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act is expected to have a notable impact on the Canadian real estate market. By limiting foreign investment in residential properties, the Act aims to stabilize housing prices and make homes more accessible to Canadian residents. However, this could also lead to a decrease in overall demand in certain high-value markets traditionally popular with foreign buyers.

Navigating the New Landscape

For non-Canadian buyers, navigating the new landscape requires careful planning and an understanding of the legal framework. Here are some steps to consider:

  1. Research Thoroughly: Stay informed about the latest updates to the Act and its regulations. Government websites and legal advisories are good sources of information.
  2. Engage Professionals: Work with real estate agents, lawyers, and notaries who are knowledgeable about the Act and can provide tailored advice.
  3. Consider Alternatives: If purchasing residential property in Canada is no longer viable, explore other investment opportunities within the country or in other jurisdictions.


The Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act represents a significant shift in the Canadian real estate market. By understanding the Act’s provisions, restrictions, and exemptions, non-Canadian buyers can better navigate the complexities of purchasing property in Canada. It is crucial to remain informed, seek professional advice, and ensure compliance with all legal requirements to successfully invest in Canadian real estate.

For more detailed information, definitions, exceptions, and FAQs, please visit our website. For the official communication of the law, please consult the following site: Official Act Communication.

By staying informed and proactive, non-Canadian buyers can make well-informed decisions and potentially find ways to invest in Canadian real estate within the bounds of the new regulations.

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