— We take our content seriously. This article was written by a real person at BREL.

– Updated April 26, 2017

We help a lot of non-residents buy property in Toronto, and there are some questions that come up repeatedly. Below, you’ll find answers to the most frequently asked questions.


Who can buy real estate in Canada?
Canada welcomes home buyers from all countries, and there are no restrictions on the amount or kind of real estate you can buy. Some banks will restrict the number of properties they will finance to 5 properties per person. Additionally, effective as of October 25, 2022, there is a now 25% Non-Resident Speculation Tax that must be paid by non Citizens and non-permanent residents (including corporations and trusts) who are buying in Ontario – read the details here.

IMPORTANT! The Government of Canada has now implemented a temporary Foreign Buyer ban prohibiting non-Canadians from purchasing residential property in Canada for a period of 2 years, starting January 1, 2023.

Details below should still apply once the ban has expired in 2025, but will be updated as necessary.


Will buying a property in Canada improve my chances at immigration?
Immigrating to Canada is a complex process and, unfortunately, owning property here is NOT one of the factors taken into consideration. Of course, it won’t hurt your chances and will be considered part of your overall net worth, but simply owning a home in Canada does not affect the selection process. If you’re wondering if you’d be eligible to immigrate to Canada, visit the Government of Canada Citizenship and Immigration website.

I’m a Canadian citizen living in a different country. Would I be considered a non-resident for the purposes of buying real estate if I’m an expat?
Citizens of Canada who don’t reside in Canada for more than half the year are considered non-residents by banks (and thus subject to all the same rules) but not by the government for the purposes of the non-resident speculation tax. Canadian citizens are not subject to the 25% non-resident speculation tax.

I’m a non-resident and want to purchase a property in Canada with a resident. How will that be treated?
If you buy a property with a non-resident, you will be treated by a Canadian bank as a non-resident and thus subject to the same requirements, including a higher downpayment. If you are purchasing with a spouse who is a permanent Canadian resident, you are not generally subject to the Non-Resident Speculation Tax.


Can a non-resident get a mortgage to purchase a house in Canada?
Yes! Usually Canadian banks and lenders require non-residents have a minimum 35% down payment (in other words, 35% of the cost of the home paid for in cash, with a maximum of 65% of the home’s value provided as a mortgage). Different banks have different rules of course, and some will be more strict than others.

How do I qualify for a mortgage as a non-resident?
To qualify for a mortgage for a property in Canada, non-residents will generally require:

  • A 35% downpayment (not from gifted funds)
  • A reference letter from their bank
  • An employment letter verifying income in Canadian or US dollars
  • Three months bank statements
  • Canadian credit check

What kind of interest rate will I get on a mortgage as a non-resident?
Non-residents are eligible for the same interest rates as Canadians, provided they meet the mortgage eligibility criteria. If you live in a country that does not have a tax treaty with Canada, you will only be eligible for a fixed-rate interest rate.

If you don’t meet the eligibility requirements, you may still be able to get financing from other lenders who charge higher interest rates.

Will Canadian banks consider rental income as part of my income?
Most lenders will only consider rental income from Canadian properties, and thus rental income from properties outside of Canada will not be considered part of your income to qualify for a Canadian mortgage.

How long does the down payment have to be in a Canadian bank?
Normally, most Canadian banks will require your down payment to be in a Canadian bank for 30 days before the closing of the purchase. Most banks will want to be able to trace the source of your down payment going back 90 days.

What’s a deposit, when do I need it and how do I pay it?
After you’ve made an offer on a property in Canada, you’ll need to provide a deposit – usually around 5% of the purchase price in Toronto – within 24 hours. That deposit is held in trust by the listing brokerage and forms part of the down payment when it comes time to take possession of the property. It’s a good idea to open a Canadian bank account and have the deposit in the bank account when you start the search for a property – when you are ready to pay the deposit, they can either issue a certified cheque for you, or they can arrange to send the deposit funds via wire transfer.

Can you recommend a mortgage broker who is used to helping non-residents buy property in Canada?
We have put together a full team to help our non-resident clients. If you work with the BREL team to buy your home, you’ll have access to mortgage lenders, lawyers, home inspectors and insurance agents who understand the intricacies of non-resident home purchases or investments.

What kinds of closing costs should I expect to pay?
As a non-resident, you will have to pay the 25% Non-Resident Speculation Tax and be subject to the other regular closing costs, including land transfer taxes and legal fees. [See Related: Closing Costs]

Will I qualify for any government programs?
As a non-resident, you will not qualify for the first-time buyer programs or land tax rebates offered by the Canadian government.

I don’t need a mortgage. How do I pay for the property?
You can buy a property without getting a mortgage if you have 100% of the funds in cash. That money would need to be transferred to your lawyer before closing on the property.


Do I need to come to Canada to search for a property?
We’ve helped many non-resident Buyers buy property while they were overseas. We use video, live walk-throughs via Skype or Facetime and interactive online tours – it’s  almost as good as seeing the home in person! Many of our non-residents also choose to have a family member of friend living in Canada assist with the home search process. If you are going to need a mortgage, you’ll need to have a Canadian bank account – Canadian banks will require you to come to Canada to open a bank account. Note there are some exceptions to this (for example, we’ve had clients with HSBC accounts able to get a  mortgage without coming to Canada).

I want to buy a house. Can you recommend a home inspector?
When you work with the BREL team, you get access to all our partners – home inspectors, handymen, painters, contractors, plumbers, electricians, etc.

If I buy an investment property, can you find tenants for it and manage it for me?
Our team helps many landlords find tenants for their properties; we even have a property manager on staff. Of course, there are additional costs for these services – but it allows our non-residents to own investment properties here, worry-free.


Do I need to come to Canada to buy a property?
You can buy a property from anywhere in the world (it’s amazing what we can do with video and Skype), but note that you will be required to come to Canada to open a bank account (and yes, you’ll need a Canadian bank account if you are getting a Canadian mortgage). To take ownership of the property (we call that ‘closing’), you can do that with a notary public in the country you are in – your Canadian lawyer can take you through exactly what is required.

Where do I find a lawyer who can help me with the purchase as a non-resident?
We work with some excellent lawyers who are familiar with the intricacies of working with non-residents. We’d be happy to recommend them!

How do I sign the offer paperwork?
You don’t need to sign any of the offer paperwork in person – you can do that one of 2 ways:

1 – You can scan and email back the signed documents.

2 – As of July 1, 2015, electronic signatures are legal in Ontario, so if you’re working with a tech-savvy REALTOR (like us!), you’ll be able to sign the legal offer paperwork on a tablet or smartphone.


How do I get insurance as a non-resident? What are the requirements?
It can be tricky to get home insurance if you don’t reside in Canada, but we have some excellent insurance agents we can put you in touch with.

How much will home insurance cost?
Costs for insurance depending on what you buy and where. A good insurance agent can guide you along.


What kinds of taxes will I have to pay?
If you are buying in the Toronto region, there are four kinds of taxes you need to be prepared to pay: the Non-Resident Speculation Tax, land transfer taxes, property taxes and income taxes.

The Non-Resident Speculation Tax is equal to 25% of the price of the property and paid upon closing. You can read all the details here.

When you take possession of the property, you’ll pay land transfer taxes, which in Toronto, can be significant. Land transfer taxes are based on a sliding scale dependent on the price of the property.  [Related: Land Transfer Calculator]

Every year you’ll need to pay property taxes – you can get an estimate on the City of Toronto Property Tax Calculator.

If you are buying an investment property and have tenants who pay you rent every month, the government will require you to pay income tax on that rent (just like any other income earned in Canada). A good accountant can help you remit this money to the government and fike a Canadian tax return.

The other income taxes you need to be aware of must be paid when the property is sold. In most cases, non-residents are subject to tax on any income or gains resulting from the sale of a taxable Canadian property, including residential homes, condos, vacation properties or land. (Known as Capital Gains Tax; the increase in value of your property over the time you have owned it is known as a Capital Gain) When a non-Canadian-resident sells a property, the Buyer of the property must withhold and remit a portion of the purchase price to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Generally this amount is 25% of the gross selling price. (Note that the actual tax owing may be different, this is just to make sure the government will get its money by stopping the money from leaving the country until they can determine what is actually owing.)

Alternatively, a Certificate of Compliance related to the sale of the property can be filed and approved by the CRA to reduce or eliminate the withholding taxes. Upon filing of this Certificate of Compliance, the 25% withholding tax required is calculated on the gross sales proceeds net of the purchase cost of the property (or in other words, the net profit).

Also, non-residents are required to file a Canadian tax return by April 30 following the year they sold their property. Generally, upon filing a tax return, part of the withholding tax is refunded to the Seller as the 25% withholding tax is usually a lot higher than the actual taxes owing. At this point, you can also claim expenses like legal fees and commissions against the income from the sale.

What kinds of closing costs can I expect?
Here are the costs you need to be prepared to pay when buying a property in Toronto.

Before Closing

  • Deposit (usually 5% of the purchase price in Toronto, paid within 24 hours of your offer being accepted)
  • Property Appraisal ($400- $500, often paid by the lender)
  • Home Inspection ($400-$600, paid to the home inspection company at the time of the inspection)

On Closing

  • Balance of the Purchase Price – the purchase price less your initial deposit. Usually, the bulk will come from your lender and become your mortgage.
  • Legal Fees – amount varies depending on purchase price and lawyer (approximately $1,800 for a $500,000 purchase)
  • Title Insurance – sometimes included in your legal fees ($250-$400)
  • Mortgage Broker Commission – if applicable, usually paid by the lender
  • Property Survey – if required  ($1,000-$2,000)
  • Non-Resident Speculation Tax – 25% of the purchase price
  • Ontario Land Transfer Tax – varies depending on purchase price (see our Land Transfer Calculator)
  • Toronto Land Transfer Tax (varies depending on purchase price (see our Land Transfer Calculator)
  • Property Tax Adjustment – reimbursement to Seller of property taxes they paid beyond the closing date
  • HST – generally only applicable on new construction condos and houses
  • Tarion Warranty  Fees – warranty on new construction condos and houses only, not resale, (click here to estimate Tarion Fees)
  • Provincial Sales Tax – only applicable on chattels purchased from vendor (amount varies)
  • Adjustments for Utilities/Condo Fees/etc. – reimbursement to Seller for prepaid utilities, etc. (amount varies


What happens when I want to sell my property?
If you want to sell your property while you’re a non-resident, you’ll want to partner with an agent who has experience helping overseas sellers. We’ve written a whole article on the topic that you can find here: [Related: How to Sell Your Property for Non-Residents].

What kinds of taxes will I have to pay when selling the property?
You’ll want to consult an accountant to get a full understanding of the taxes you will need to pay upon selling your property. Generally, you will be taxed on any income and gains in value of the property. The Canadian Government generally withholds 25% of the gross selling price until the appropriate tax forms have been completed. Alternatively, a “Certificate of Compliance” can be completed to prove the appropriate taxes have been paid, which can reduce or eliminate the withholding taxes.


What professionals will I need to help me buy a property in Canada?
To buy a property in Canada, you’ll normally need a real estate agent, a real estate lawyer, a home inspector, an insurance agent, a property manager and a lender. If you buy with our help, we’ll connect you to the best in the industry (and to people who have specific experience dealing with non-residents).

I want to buy a property in Canada, but not in Toronto. Can you help?
The BREL team only sells real estate in the Toronto area, though we may be able to recommend an agent in Canada’s other big cities.


What is involved in renting out my property?
There are two parts to renting out your property: finding the right tenant and then managing the property. Renting out your property involves setting a price, marketing the property, showing it to potential tenants, screening them, negotiating a lease and securing a deposit. Ongoing property management involves maintaining and repairing the property and maintaining the relationship with the tenant. How much work this involves depends on the type of property you own (for example, there’s a lot more involved in managing a house than a condo!)

Can you help me find tenants?
We help many of our investors find tenants. The cost to do is one month’s rent and involves pricing, marketing, screening and negotiating. We provide professional photography and expert guidance throughout the process.

Can you manage the property for me?
We manage many properties for our clients.  While the fees vary slightly, we generally charge a monthly fee of 6% of the gross rent for condos and 10% for houses. That fee does not include finding the tenant (that costs one month’s rent) or the actual expenses to maintain the property.

What kinds of returns can I expect?
The investors we work with have different goals: some are concerned with cash flow, others with the appreciation in the value of the property and other investors are more concerned with building equity in the property via the mortgage being paid by the tenant. Generally, as of time of writing, most investors break even with a 20% downpayment or are slightly cash flow positive. Gross yields average 4.5-6%.

Do you have other questions? We’d be happy to help answer them and lead you on the path to home ownership in Canada.


      • I am having Canada visitor visa.I want to purchase a house in canada.without mortgages.

        Should I remit the payment from Indian bank or open a bank account in Canada .

        • Brendan Powell says:

          If possible, it’s always best to open a bank account in Canada. It just leads to fewer problems like delays or other issues which can pop up with international wires.

          However, if required, an international wire can be done.

        • Brendan Powell says:

          If the property is an investment property and you are collecting rent, then you will need to file to declare that rent. You would want to set up any tax witholding ahead of time before you start collecting!
          When you sell, you will again need to make sure the government knows as you will need a tax clearance certificate and $ will be withheld to make sure taxes again get paid. Assuming you made a profit, you would then need to file the next year for any profits you made the year of sale, and then once that is assessed any remaining profit after taxes would be refunded to you at that point.

          Other than that, no you do not need to file taxes in Canada just because you own a house…only when you make INCOME in canada with it!

    • Melanie Piche says:

      Unfortunately owning a house in Canada does not impact the immigration process – you still have to qualify in the usual ways.

  1. Are there any special things I need to know if buying a property WITH a non resident (I am a resident)? Any changes to taxes, government documents, etc?

  2. Hi i am not a Canadian resident but i am thinking to buy a property in Canada. I read all the information on your web but i am not sure about one thing, can you please explain it for me.

    This __ An employment letter verifying income in Canadian or US dollars

    Do they want this letter from the country where i work or what ?

    • Melanie Piche says:

      That is what lenders are currently requiring from a non-resident. Residents can get a mortgage with as little as 5% down.

  3. If you are retired and not employed but both collect Social Security and/or just part-time income will you be eligible to get a mortgage if credit is good?

  4. Hi,
    I am not a Canadian resident but I am thinking to buy a property in Canada. so I have four questions:

    1) if I obtain mortgage (es. with a 35% equity), can I rent the propriety to have incoming? or I will have problem with the bank?

    2) Is a canadian resident subject to tax on any income or gains resulting from the sale of a taxable Canadian property?

    3) Is a ltd canadian company subject at the same tax like the citizen?

    4) I read you manage properties with 6-10 % cost of income. What means manage?


    • Melanie Piche says:

      1- It depends on the bank. Some will require you to live in it, while others will allow you to rent it out.
      2- Canadian residents are subject to capital gains tax on the sale of any investment property – their primary residence (the one they live in) is exempt.
      3- Corporations have different tax rates than Canadians.
      4 – We can help find a tenant (cost is one month rent); the 6-10% fee is for ongoing management of the property (financials, dealing with any issues that come up with the tenant or home, etc.)

  5. I’m looking at buying a house with my non-resident boyfriend. When we decide to sell I understand that as a non-resident, if he owned the home alone, he is required to obtain a Certificate of Compliance with a holdback of 25% of the gross selling price. Does this still apply if he owns the house with a resident and if so how does this requirement impact me as a Canadian resident?

    • Brendan Powell says:

      That is a question for your accountant and lawyer. Basically though, the government just wants to make sure they get their pound of flesh (tax). As long as taxes are paid, you should be all good.

  6. As a non-resident, will I be able to obtain an investor visa to be able to come and check the investments that I have in Canada?. If so, do I have a limit to how much I can stay in the county?

    • Brendan Powell says:

      As far as I know, Canada no longer has investor visas…however, you should contact an immigration specialist. We are real estate agents.

    • I am in vancouver British Columbia right now looking to buy a property in Saskatchewan as non resident , Do I have to pay for. NSRT and if I will buy another house after my permanent residence do i will get my tax rebate as a first time buyer

      • Brendan Powell says:

        Details of the NRST can be found in the link to the Ontario Ministry of Finance site above — emphasis on ONTARIO, where we are located. The NSRT applies to the Greater Golden Horseshoe area of Ontario. (Although there could be other programs developed elsewhere).

        Most first-time buyer rebates do not apply to nonreidents, and even for Canadians, only to your first purchase (obviously).

  7. I’m a Canadian non-resident looking to purchase a property in Toronto with 35% down however I do not want to disclose income. What lender would allow that?

    • I can’t see that any lender would do that – if they are going to lend you money, they need to be confident you have the capacity to pay it back. With non-resident buyers, lenders go to greater efforts to trace where the downpayment $ came from (they’ll want to track it for at least 90 days) and they need to see that your income can support the mortgage payments (taking into consideration your other assets and liabilities, of course).

  8. Hi Melanie: I am a non resident of Canada. My son started studying at the University of Waterloo last year. His course in computer science will last for five years. Last November I was visiting Canada when I was invited to a condo launch in Kitchener. I thought it would be good idea to purchase a property instead of paying all that rent for five years.I eventually made a 15% down payment on three of the Condos. The price for each was approximately 300.000.cnd.dollars. My intention is to rent out two of the units and let my son occupy the other.I have enough funds to complete the down payments to 35% on each. They have asked me for a pre approval letter. I know what it is but could you gave me some general guidelines on what I can and cannot do.I will be back in Canada soon ,can I link with you?

  9. Thanks for the great advice and insights Melanie! Here is my situation and some questions I have to go with it.

    I’m a Canadian working abroad and I am deemed a non-resident for tax purposes. My plan is to purchase an apartment and rent it out at the end of the year.

    1. When I move back to Canada, can this apartment by my primary resident when I reside in it. If so, when I sell the apartment, will I be subject to capital gains?

    2. I am married in the country which I currently reside in, does this mean my wife and I will have to pay the additional 15% foreign buyers tax as she is not a canadian resident?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Brendan Powell says:

      Hi Andrew,

      First: as always we suggest you talk to your accountant for a definitive answer. However, as I understand it:

      1. Yes, once you move back to Canada you can move into and designate that apartment your principal residence for tax purposes. The smart thing to do would be to get a valuation at that point–any Further gain in value would then be exempt from capital gains tax when you ultimately sell. Any gain that happened up to that point would be taxable–as I understand it. We are sometimes asked to give Opinions of Value for our clients moving to or from overseas for this reason.

      2. As the foreign buyer tax is only Vancouver I don’t have any experience on this front, but there is plenty of info on the BC government website. Here is one bulletin with some details:


      It looks like you would be exempt as a Canadian citizen but as I say this is not my department.

      • Hello,
        I have a similar question.
        1) I am a Canadian citizen living in the USA and bought a property as a non-resident in 2017. I am not sure if I will come back to Canada in the future. However, can I claim that property as a principle/primary residence (currently I am not renting the house) and not have to pay capital gains since I do not own any other properties and living in rental apartment the USA?
        2) How will the scenario change if I decide to rent out the apartment.

  10. Hi,

    I am a Canadian Citizen who had lived outside Canada for more than half a year. In this case, would i consider as a non-resident buyer that needs to pay 35% downpayment when buying a condo?

    By any chance that i can still have the 5% downpayment as other Canadian Citizen migth have?

    Thanks a lot!

    • Brendan Powell says:

      As I understand it, in most cases you would be considered non-resident…the important person to ask would be the bank! It’s not the government or realtors that make this rule–it’s each individual lender. Speak to a mortgage broker for specifics on your situation. Start with our People We Trust page.

  11. Hi, I am considering buying an apartment in Toronto as a non-resident. I have two questions, where you might help:
    1. Do I need to pay 25% tax rate on gross or net income? Can I subtract expenses like interest on mortgage, fees and commissions, depreciation on the property, etc?
    2. My country – Russia – has a lower personal income tax – 13%, and there is a tax treaty between the two countries – can I reduce the tax rate to 13%?
    Thank you in advance for your help

    • Melanie Piche says:

      1 – You should check with your accountant to confirm your specific circumstances, though taxes are normally paid on net income (after expenses).
      2 – The tax rate in your own country does not impact what the taxes you have to pay in Canada. Some countries will require you to pay taxes in your home country in addition to any taxes owed in Canada.

  12. Pingback: Non Resident Canadian Mortgage | First Morgages
  13. hey ,
    I’m planning to study master degree on Canada and live there for the rest of my life .
    I’m planning to apply for immigration then become an citizen .
    if i buy an house or get on any business on Canada , does that raise my chances? and if so how much it cost me for the process , i heard you should buy a house for 150000$ and after 3 years you become an citizen after apply

    • Melanie Piche says:

      Buying a house here does not impact your chances at immigration, and there is no automatic citizenship after 3 years. Houses in Toronto average $1.3 dollars…not sure where you could buy something for $150,000.

  14. Hi I am a Canadian non resident left Canada almost 20 years ago. I bought a house in Ontario last year, and use it as a holiday home the plan is to use the house for summer holidays.

    My understanding is that does not affect my non residency status, but if I were to sell the house whilst still living and working abroad I would be eligible to pay tax on the proceeds of the sale of the house, assuming I was to sell it for more than I paid for it, is this correct?


    Tony Bond

  15. After living in the home for a few years, and then becoming a resident, the 25% tax on selling the home would then no longer apply, correct? Thank you.

  16. Hi, I won the Quebec selection and submitted my permanent resident visa to the federal. while I am waiting for this residentail visa, I stated to search house in either Toronto or Montreal. My preference is now condo, may be still under construction. Could you let me how much money I need to pay on top of selling price for taxes, legel fee and etc. in term of rough percentage of sales price?

    Thank you

  17. Hi Melanie,

    I’ve read this thread with great interest. Many of your responses addressed questions I had. My situation is not unlike the situation in a previous post (Oct 12).

    I am a non-resident Canadian working abroad (for eight years now). I am looking to make an investment in Canada–either Toronto or Montreal.

    A few questions:

    1. I may purchase the condo/duplex alone or with a friend. The friend would be a co-investor, and is a resident Canadian. If we went to get a mortgage together, who’s status comes to matter in determining the down payment limit (5% or 35%). Also, when it comes to the sale, how are the proceeds taxed given that (a) we are not married, (b) have different income brackets (she is a single parent with children also), and (c) will have different residency statuses?

    2. It would seem more advantageous for a non-resident Canadian to buy and sell property, as opposed to a Canadian resident (assuming it is not their primary residence). The non-resident’s tax obligation is limited to 25% of net proceeds if a certificate of compliance is obtained, whereas a resident Canadian would owe capital gains taxable at 50%–is my reading correct?

    3. Last question 🙂
    In general, would you say it is more advantageous for a non-resident to purchase property and use it to generate rental income, as opposed to a resident Canadian (I ask because I may be coming back to Canada and I’d like to know which residency status is more advantageous for tax purposes).

    Thanks very much in advance!

    • Melanie Piche says:

      1 – You would be considered non-residents if you are both on title. You would be taxed as individuals.
      2 – A resident pays tax on 50% of the gain, at their normal tax rate. A non-resident pays 25% of the net proceeds (not just the gain) until they file their taxes. A tax lawyer can give you more details specific to your situation.
      3 – Non-residents have to pay higher downpayments and usually pay higher interest rates – it’s usually more advantageous to buy as a resident.

  18. I am an international student studying in Canada, I bought an apartment my first year as well as opened a Canadian bank account. I study full time (more than 2 semester terms per year) and have been here for almost four years. I recently purchased a car in my third year. I am planning to sell my apartment and car next year when I finished my study and return home for a break until I apply for work permit. Am I considered a RESIDENT or NON-RESIDENT when I sell my home? Also, will I still be required to file my income taxes (even if a year is NIL) for all the years I’ve been here? Thanks for your advice!

    • Melanie Piche says:

      You’ll want to talk to a lawyer and accountant to confirm your particular situation…the rules vary by province and are changing all the time and we can’t provide that kind of specific advice on the site.

  19. I am a non-resident Canadian left a year ago. My parent and I purchased a pre-construction condo 3 years ago with 20% down payment. However, I’m not living in Canada anymore, and my parent’s income might not be enough to get the mortgage. I’m wondering
    1. if I have to apply for the mortgage with my mom (who is a Canadian resident), are we going to be treated as residents or non-residents?
    2. If I disclose my world income to the mortgage broker, will that affect my non-residency status?

    Thank you in advance.

  20. Great information.

    Do the home buying rules (35% down payment) apply even if the non-resident is living in the purchased home as their primary residence. Example, diplomat stationed in Canada for five years? In this scenario the diplomat will have their government pay a majority of their monthly mortgage. Do the banks take that into consideration when determining the purchasing power of the individual?

  21. Hi Melanie,

    My husband is Canadian citizen but living abroad for over 20 years. Thinking to purchase a condo in Vancouver this summer for retirement purpose.

    Will he be considered as non-resident buyer and to pay 15% non-resident speculation tax or just a higher down payment term?

    Look forward to your reply.

    • Melanie Piche says:

      You’d want to reach out to a Vancouver agent about that…we work in Toronto so we aren’t familiar with the Vancouver rules.

  22. Franklin chukwuebuka Muoh says:

    Can an international student who is currently studying in Canada as a non immigrant buy a house in Canada?

  23. That’s great to know that I’ll have to physically go to Canada to finalize the purchase. We live near the border and love the Canadian side so we’re looking at buying a second home. Thanks for all the great information.

  24. I have dual Canadian/US citizenship and am considering returning to Canada after living in the US for about 30 years. I have found a home that I would like to purchase but will leave it vacant until I move. Does owning a home in Canada but not living there deem me a Canadian resident?

  25. Mathew Palackal says:

    Hi Melanie,

    I have been a non-resident for many years and I bought a house during this period. Last month I became Resident and started paying income tax. If I sell my house which is my primary residence, am I required to pay Capital Gain tax?

  26. Good Afternoon

    Is a co-signor allowed to be a non-resident of Canada to renew Mortgage with Different Lender? Person is Already a co-signor with a Bank but they are not happy with the rate that they are given to renew. They are worried that there is no other Lenders that allow co-signor as non-resident.

  27. Hello,

    I am non Canadian and not a resident. I bought a condo in Toronto in one of my visits and is renting it. Is there any other tax I have to pay other than the property tax? Do I pay income tax?

    • Melanie Piche says:

      The realtor who helped you buy should be able to take you through all of the costs, as they are familiar with your situation…otherwise, you should speak to an accountant.

  28. Sandy Hutchison says:

    Hi there, I am a Canadian who has lived in Australia for the last 20 years. I want to buy a house in Canada to rent out for a few years and then to live in for part of the year, and potentially have my kids live in while studying in Canada. I spoke to my bank, and they said they can’t lend me the money as I need to have a family member or myself living in the house. Could you advise if other banks offer mortgages for an investment property to non resident citizens, ( I spoke to BOM) or what other options are available to me to get a mortgage in Canada? Thanks very much.

    • Melanie Piche says:

      TD Canada Trust is currently the best lender for non-residents…I’d also suggest getting in touch with a local mortgage broker who may be able to provide you with additional options.

  29. I don’t think it is correct that Non-resident speculation tax applies to non-residents of Canada who are otherwise Canadian citizens. The Ontario government website states that it forbids purchase of property by foreign nationals and foreign entities, not Canadians who happen to live abroad for extended periods of time.

    It could well be correct, however, that Canadian lending institutions will consider you a non-resident if you are Canadian citizen residing abroad and therefore make you subject to the more onerous procedures of obtaining a mortgage.

    This is an important distinction that’s worth pointing out.

  30. Hi

    I am canadian but non resident. Living with my family and working outside canada. I have aplan to move my wife and kids back to Canada. I bought a real estate in my home country. if I sell my property there, can i use the money for downpayment (35%), any help is appreciated

  31. I am a Canadian citizen but non-resident and would like to buy an apartment for my parents (who are currently residing in Toronto) for self use purpose. Any idea how much of a down payment I need to pay?

  32. Hi there, In your experience, when non-residents buy pre-construction condos in Toronto, are they required to pay 35% for the deposit, rather than the “normal” 15-20% deposit scheduled at intervals (e.g. 5% at 30 days, 5% at 90 days, 5% 180 days…)? I hope to buy a pre-construction condo in 2018 as a non-resident, but plan to re-establish residency in Canada in 2019, well-before the closing of the condo in 2020 and a mortgage kicking in. Does this depend on the lender, builder or both? Thanks for your advice, Susan

  33. Can non-resident buy a presale unit? Do I have to complete it? Can I re-sale it before the completion day? Do I have to be in canada to get a pre sale unit?

  34. Hi
    I’m a Canadian citizen working in US under TN visa. I will obviously be considered as non resident. I have a property in Toronto. I would like to refinance my mortgage. A TD broker told me that I will be eligible for as much ads only 65% of my current property value. is this the case for all financial institutes across Canada

  35. Canada is a very good option for migrating & buying a dream home at discounted price is a dream for many people.
    Check out the following link for a list of amazing properties at DISCOUNTED prices in the best locations in Canada.

  36. Buying Property in Canada says:

    This is the best ever blog for non-resident buyers. I have read it fully and got the huge amount of knowledge towards buying a property in Canada. Thanks for putting your efforts to write this post!

  37. Mark Hutzler says:

    Hello. Thanks for the article. I am a non-resident of Canada with a Belize Corporation. I would like to purchase a primary residence through my Trust and not rent it out. It’d sit there for when I need it for about 5 months of the year. If I stay longer – I’d lose my non-resident status. (well six months – but who’s counting).

    Anyhow… I want to minimize the tax implications and I am not worried about the eventual capital gains should i want to sell the property. What do you think is the best approach?

    John D Rockefeller said – “Own nothing – control everything”. So personal ownership means nothing to me if I can hold the property in my Trust.

  38. Hi,
    I’m a canadian resident (i have my PR for 5 years) but still living and working outside of canada. If my understaning is correct:
    – I will be considered by banks as non residents and hence have to have 35% down payment
    – I will not have to pay the non resident tax of 15% additional
    Is that right?

  39. Hi,

    I am a Canadian resident and I am looking to purchase a condo with the help of my parents who are American. Me and my partner (who is a Canadian Citizen) plan on living in the condo full time and paying the mortgage. We only want my parents to help qualify us for the mortgage and help with the down payment. Is there any way around the non resident tax since they are only being used to qualify us?

    Will banks allow a non resident guarantor? If I am correct, a guarantor would not be on title of the mortgage, therefore they wouldn’t be subject to the tax?


  40. Hi
    My plan is to buy a property about 40 acre in the prov BC or Yukon to be self suficient. I can’t find any restriction for non residents.
    Hope to get answer and thank you for.

  41. HI. Great thread indeed. Got loads of info going through it. My query additionally is:

    As a non-citizen, a foreigner, I read I can buy with no immigration status change and higher taxes. Point being, can I buy for the purpose of rental income for me? if so, what is the rental income %age and do u think it is lucrative for someone like me to do so? example in Toronto or in Ottawa?

    p.s. – I am looking at Canada as investment option for rental income, because my brother holds a PR there and their son is a minor and a resident citizen. Thus having own family opens up Canada for me to look at as an investment and earning opportunity. my home country offers me 7% on bank Fixed Deposit, just fyi to help me know if rental income in Toronto or Ottawa will be better than this 7% bank FD returns!

    Thanks in advance

  42. Jose Medeiros says:

    I am a US citizen
    If I buy a property in Canada can I live in it as a non-resident? or are there restrictions?
    Cash payment would be used so no banks involved

    Thank you

    • Brendan Powell says:

      Rules for purchasing real estate, and immigration requirements are two entirely different things in Canada. Generally the one does not affect the other. (So you are free to buy it, but that doesn’t have any impact on whether you can stay in the country or not.)

  43. Christopher Wilden says:

    hi, im from the uk living in canada as a resident, i still make money in the uk aswel as canada, can i use the money i earn in the uk towards a mortgage for a canadian property?

    • Brendan Powell says:

      That would be entirely up to the specific lender and their rules. Generally it would need to be very legitimate and traceable. Usually they will not count rental income.

  44. Great article and Q&A section, thank you.
    We are in a process of immigrating to Canada, but want to buy an investment before we come over. We visited Ottawa last year and opened a bank account in Scotia. Now, when I enquired about mortgage from Scotia, I was advised they do not lend to non-residents for investment properties, only for owner occupiers. To get a mortgage from other banks they want us to come over physically in Canada. So we are somehow in between now…
    Have few questions
    1. Can you reccomend a lender, where we would not be required to (again) physically come over in Canada? Higher deposit is no problem.
    2. I was told capital gain tax for non-residents is same as residents – paying it on 50% of the gain, on the tax rate you are on – typically 15%. I read above something different??
    3. Lawyer to recommend for non-resident buyers?
    4. Non-resident speculative tax does not apply to Ottawa, right?
    Thanks a lot

    • Brendan Powell says:

      1. That is a question best asked to a mortgage broker, I would start with one that works with multiple lenders as they would have a better bird’s-eye view. We have some listed in the People We Trust section of this website.
      2. You are correct, capital gains tax in Canada is 50% of the gain, added to your income that year and then taxed as per normal. As a nonresident, the government may WITHOLD some funds from a sale temporarily (details above), but that is unrelated to what you eventually are required to pay.
      3. We have several lawyers that are familiar with nonresident buying needs. We would be happy to connect you as part of the process.
      4. The NRST does not apply to Ottawa. Details of exactly where it does apply can be found here: https://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/bulletins/nrst/

      If you choose to look in Ottawa, shoot us an email and we can introduce you to one of our excellent realtor partners there as well. Best of luck!

  45. Sumire Makimura says:

    I am an US citizen living in Canada on work permit for the past 5 year. As a temporary resident, do I need to pay the 38% capital gain tax?

    • Brendan Powell says:

      The down payment rules are lender-specific, so it will all depend how the mortgage lender sees you…however, generally speaking the higher the perceived risk, the more you will need to put down as a down payment–this is why self-employed folks typically need to put down 35%.
      As a non-resident, the bank could see you as higher risk depending on the source of your income–for a definitive answer you should speak to a mortgage broker about your specific situation. We have a list of some of the brokers we know and trust here: https://www.getwhatyouwant.ca/people-our-team-trusts

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