Canada’s Ban on Foreign Homebuyers

As of January 1, 2023, Canada has restricted the purchase of residential property by non-Canadians. The Government of Canada has enacted the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act in an effort to stabilize the Canadian housing market and help make homes more affordable for Canadian citizens and those living in Canada. Passed by the Canadian Parliament in June of 2022, this new legislation prevents non-Canadians and corporations controlled by non-Canadians from purchasing, directly or indirectly, any residential property in Canada for two years.

The Act defines residential property as any real property that is a detached home or similar building which contains no more than three dwelling units, as well as semi-detached homes, rowhouses, or condominiums, and vacant land zoned for residential and mixed-use. Thus, the legislation does not explicitly ban the purchase of larger buildings with multiple units.

A key parameter in the Act’s accompanying Regulations notes that this legislation will only apply to properties located in a “Census Metropolitan Area” or a “Census Agglomeration.” A census metropolitan area has a total population of at least 100,000, with at least 50,000 living in its core, while a census agglomeration has a core population of at least 10,000 people, based on data from the previous Census of Population Program. Thus, homes and recreational properties, such as cottages and lake houses, located outside of Census Metropolitan Areas or Census Agglomerations will not be considered residential property and not subject to the ban.

The Act further lays out exceptions to specific categories of individuals who will be allowed to purchase residential properties in the two-year period. There is no ban on the purchase of property by Canadian citizens, persons registered under the Indian Act, and permanent residents. Refugees, buyers with Canadian spouses or partners, and temporary residents studying or working in Canada, all meeting specific criteria, are not subject to the ban. Additionally, the new legislation will not affect individuals who acquire an interest or a real right resulting from death, divorce, separation, or a gift.

Banned individuals who violate the prohibition may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 CDN and may be forced to sell the property purchased, “receiving no more than the purchase price paid.” In addition, those who knowingly assist a non-Canadian in “contravening the prohibition” may also be subject to the fine.

The prohibition does not apply if a non-Canadian becomes liable or assumes liability under an agreement of purchase and sale of residential property prior to January 1, 2023.

To learn more about how this may affect your potential of purchasing of a home or vacation property in Canada, please contact us.

This alert serves as a general summary and does not constitute legal guidance. Please contact us with any specific questions.

Attorney Laura M. DeMarcoFraser Trebilcock attorney Laura M. DeMarco concentrates her practice on insurance law and general business matters. Laura can be reached at or (517) 377-0834.

Canada to Ease Travel Restrictions for “Fully Vaccinated” Individuals Effective July 5, 2021, at 11:59 p.m.

The U.S. border with Canada has been closed to nonessential travel since March 2020 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but Canada recently announced that it will begin easing travel restrictions in early July.

In mid-June, Canada announced the first phase of its plan to ease border restrictions for travelers entering Canada. Pursuant to the new policy, effective July 5, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. EDT, travelers who are “fully vaccinated” will be exempt from quarantine restrictions, mandatory hotel stays pending test results (for air travelers), and day-eight testing, provided all conditions as set forth below are satisfied.

A fully vaccinated traveler must provide documentation verifying that he or she has received, “at least 14 days prior to entering Canada,” the full series of a vaccine or a combination of vaccines that are accepted by the government of Canada.

Acceptable vaccines include:

  • Pfizer (Comirnaty, tozinameran, BNT162b2)
  • Moderna (mRNA-1273)
  • AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria, AZD1222, Covishield)
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) – single dose

It is important to keep in mind that being “fully vaccinated” will not, in and of itself, guarantee access into Canada. According to Canada’s guidelines, a representative of the Canadian government will make the final decision “at the border based on the information presented at the time of entry.” And irrespective of one’s vaccination status, a traveler must still satisfy certain entry requirements, including:

  • Pre-arrival and on-arrival COVID-19 testing for all travelers, whether arriving by land or air.
  • The establishment of “a suitable quarantine plan” that addresses where a traveler can stay in Canada for at least 14 days, if necessary.
  • Travelers must electronically submit documentation of their vaccination status or COVID-19 test results through ArriveCAN prior to arrival in Canada.

Unvaccinated minors or dependent adults who are travelling with fully vaccinated travelers must quarantine for 14 days and follow all testing requirements, but are not required to stay at a government-authorized hotel.

At this time, there are no exemptions from testing, hotel stop-over or quarantine for travelers who haven’t received the full series of a vaccine or a combination of vaccines accepted by the Government of Canada.

If you have any questions on these issues, please contact your Fraser Trebilcock attorney.

When it matters in Michigan, Fraser Trebilcock is the trusted advisor for businesses and individuals facing legal and regulatory challenges, and our capabilities extend to wherever clients require counsel.