Can a Non-Resident Buy Property in Canada?

Can a Non-Resident Buy Property in Canada

Economic stability and quality of life make Canada an attractive destination for property investment. 

But can a non-resident buy property in Canada?

Well, buying property in Canada as a non-resident can be a bit of a puzzle. But don’t worry. We are here to help you put the pieces together. We will break down the process, explain the rules, and give you some essential tips to make your property dream in Canada come true.

Who Are the Non-residents in Canada?

Before we get into the details, let’s ensure we’re on the same page about what a “non-resident” means in Canada. 

A non-resident is someone who doesn’t live in Canada or doesn’t spend a significant amount of time here. They may be a foreigner, a Canadian expat, or not often here.

Things should Know When a Non-resident Buy Property in Canada

It is generally allowed for a non-resident buy property in Canada. There are some important rules and considerations you need to keep in mind. These are –

Types of Properties Non-Residents Can Buy in Canada

Residential Properties

Non-residents can purchase homes or apartments. These properties can be used for personal residences, vacation homes, or investment properties.

Commercial Properties

Non-residents can invest in commercial real estate, such as office buildings, retail spaces, or warehouses. This can be a strategic business move or an investment opportunity.

Vacant Land

Some non-residents may be interested in buying vacant land for future development or investment. However, it’s essential to check local area regulations and development restrictions.

Rental Properties

Buying a property for rental income is a common strategy for non-resident investors. This can provide a steady income stream, but it comes with responsibilities like property settlement and tax considerations.

How to Find a Lawyer Who Can Help to Purchase Property as a Non-resident?

Referrals and Recommendations

  • Real Estate Agents: Your real estate agent can be a valuable source of recommendations. They often work closely with real estate lawyers and can provide insights into who is experienced in dealing with non-resident buyers.
  • Friends and Family: If you know someone who has purchased property in Canada as a non-resident, ask for their recommendations. Personal referrals can be a trustworthy way to find a lawyer.
  • Online Forums and Communities: Participate in online forums or communities where non-resident property buyers share their experiences. They may offer suggestions for lawyers they’ve worked with.

Online Directories

Many legal directories and websites list lawyers by their practice areas. You can search for real estate lawyers in your target province and check their profiles for expertise in assisting non-resident buyers.

Initial Consultations

Schedule initial consultations with a few lawyers to discuss your specific needs and assess their suitability. During these meetings, inquire about their experience with non-resident property transactions, fees, and approach to handling your case.

Check References

Request references from the lawyer. Speaking with previous clients can give insight into their ability to handle non-resident property purchases efficiently and professionally.

Legal Support Team

Inquire if the lawyer has a support team to assist with various aspects of the transaction. This can ensure that your purchase process is well-coordinated and efficient.

Selecting the right lawyer is an essential part of a non-resident buying property in Canada. Take your time to research and choose a legal professional who can understand the legal complications and ensure a successful and secure property acquisition in Canada.

Can Non-residents Buy Property in Canada and Get a Permanent Residency?

Non-residents can buy property in Canada, but purchasing property alone does not grant permanent residency. Owning property in Canada does not automatically provide you with legal immigration status. However, there are ways to use property ownership as part of your path towards permanent residency:

Express Entry System

One common route to permanent residency in Canada is through the Express Entry system, which is a points-based system for skilled workers. Owning property in Canada does not directly award points. It can increase your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score if you have a valid job offer, Canadian work experience, or a provincial nomination.

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

Some provinces have their own immigration programs that may offer provincial nominations to individuals with connections to the province, such as owning a business or property there. This nomination can significantly boost your chances of obtaining permanent residency.

Investor and Entrepreneur Programs

Certain provinces and territories in Canada offer immigration programs designed for investors and entrepreneurs. Owning and investing in a Canadian business or property may make you eligible for such programs.

Family Sponsorship

If you have close family members who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents, they may be able to sponsor you for permanent residency. While property ownership isn’t a requirement, having a home in Canada can demonstrate your intent to establish a genuine connection.

Retirement Programs

Some provinces offer retirement immigration programs for individuals over a certain age. Owning property in the province where you plan to retire can be a part of your application.


Investing in Canadian real estate as a non-resident not only offers financial potential but also the chance to enjoy the country’s natural beauty and vibrant culture.

Buying property in Canada as a non-resident is an achievable goal with careful planning and the right support. It’s a fantastic way to invest in a diverse and economically stable country. 

If you understand the process, taxes, and legal requirements, you can make the right decision and turn your Canadian real estate dream into reality!


Can a Non-Resident Buy Property in Canada?

Non-residents can generally purchase most types of property in Canada, including residential homes, vacation homes, and investment properties. However, there may be restrictions on certain types of properties, like agricultural land or properties located in certain protected areas.

Are There Any Restrictions on the Location of the Property Non-Residents Can Buy?

While non-residents can buy property in most areas of Canada, some provinces and territories have additional restrictions on foreign ownership, particularly in certain sensitive regions. It’s essential to check with local authorities and conduct due diligence to ensure you comply with any regional restrictions.

Do Non-Residents Need a Canadian Bank Account to Buy Property?

While it’s not mandatory to have a Canadian bank account to purchase property in Canada, it can be beneficial. Non-residents often find it easier to manage financial transactions, such as property taxes and utility payments, with a local bank account.

What Taxes and Fees do Non-Residents Need to Pay When Buying Property in Canada?

Non-residents are subject to various taxes and fees when purchasing property in Canada. This includes the Goods and Services Tax (GST) or the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), depending on the province. Additionally, non-residents may need to pay a Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST) in some provinces, like Ontario and British Columbia.

Can Non-Residents Rent Out Their Canadian Property?

Yes, non-residents can rent out their Canadian property. However, they must be aware of tax implications, including withholding taxes on rental income. It’s advisable to seek professional tax advice to ensure compliance with Canadian tax laws.

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