Posted by: Karim Ali

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New exemption to Canada’s Foreign Buyer’s Ban targets temporary workers

In an exciting twist, Canada is now granting temporary residents with work permits or authorizations expiring in more than 183 days the chance to buy a home. Each eligible individual can make a single purchase. As always, it’s crucial to consult a professional before proceeding. Reach out for a coffee and let’s discuss your homeownership dreams.

In a recent development, the Canadian government has made amendments to the foreign buyer’s ban, introducing a notable exception. This exception now allows some temporary residents who are working in Canada to purchase homes, potentially easing the process for individuals holding work permits or work authorizations. Karim, a reputable realtor based in Ottawa, sheds light on this update and provides valuable insights for those looking to invest in Canadian real estate.

Understanding the current Foreign Buyer's Ban

The Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act effective as of January 1st, 2023, prevents non-Canadians from buying residential property in Canada for 2 years.

The Act defines residential property as buildings with 3 dwelling units or less. This includes semi-detached houses and condominium units. The Act doesn’t prohibit the purchase of:

  • Larger buildings with 4 or more dwelling units.
  • Residential properties located outside of Census Metropolitan Areas (CMA) and Census Agglomerations (CA; use this map to determine if an address is located in a CMA or a CA).

It’s further important to note that the Act qualifies more exemptions, linked here

Exploring the Foreign Buyer's Ban exception for temporary residents

The recent changes in the foreign buyer’s ban have introduced a significant exception, granting eligible temporary residents the opportunity to purchase homes in Census Metropolitan Areas or Census Agglomerations.

Who qualifies for this workers’ exception?

If you are currently residing in Canada under a work permit or work authorization that has more than 183 days remaining before expiry, you likely qualify for this exception. This adjustment offers temporary residents a chance to invest in real estate once during the ban, contributing to the growth of Canada’s property market.

Limitations of the exception

It’s important to note that this exception allows for a single purchase within a Census Metropolitan Area. This means that you are limited to buying one property in a specific urban region. The aim is to ensure that individuals do not accumulate multiple homes, maintaining fairness and accessibility within the real estate market.

Professional guidance is key

Before proceeding with a purchase, it’s essential to exercise caution and consult a professional advisor who has your best interests in mind. Real estate transactions can be complex, and understanding the implications of such a significant investment is crucial. Seek guidance from professionals to make informed decisions and navigate the intricacies of the process successfully.

Reach out for further assistance

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this exception, the real estate market in Canada, or anything related to property investments, feel free to reach out. I’m here to provide you with the guidance and assistance you need. Let’s have a conversation over a cup of coffee – my treat! Your real estate goals are important, and I’m dedicated to helping you achieve them. Book a time to chat with me here.

Bonus tips for foreign buyers


Your #1 key tip will be to hire experts familiar with your woes. Make sure to ask lots of questions and hire a lawyer who frequently helps foreign buyers.


If you’re buying with overseas money, make sure you’re planning in advance as funds can take time to transfer over. 

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