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Foreign Buyers: The Importance of Immigration

Moving to Canada can be a stressful experience, but being prepared and completing the necessary steps can save you a lot of headaches along the way. To help make your move to Vancouver a little bit easier I consulted with David Aujla, an Immigration Lawyer from Victoria Law. Here’s what he had to say:


Over my years of practice, I have noted that there are five questions that foreign nationals usually ask prior to applying for immigration. Here are the questions and the answers:

1. Will buying a house or a business help my immigration to Canada?

Buying a house does not increase chances of entry, but nor does it hurt. The purchase of a home certainly shows a connection to Canada and the home is ultimately treated as a part of the overall net worth of the individual, but simply owning a house and living here as a visitor will not affect the selection process. Buying a business, however, could result in a faster entry into Canada based on a temporary work permit.

2.As a foreigner can I get a mortgage?

The answer is yes. The requirements for obtaining a mortgage to finance a purchase, whether a home or a business, will depend on the institution with which the foreign national will do business. Generally speaking, there is usually not a problem in securing mortgages with more-established financial institutions.

3. How long can I stay in Canada? (Can’t I just go out for a day and come back?)

Generally, a person is allowed a six month entry as a visitor. If a second home is purchased, one can bring in a reasonable amount of furniture as a “seasonal resident” without paying any duty. There is no corresponding regulation in the immigration act (IRPA) that states the person has to leave for six months before returning, so multiple entries can be allowed.

4. If I rent out my home, what are the tax implications?

Occasionally, foreign nationals will purchase a home, reside in it for a few months of the year and rent it out for the balance. NOTE: Special tax rules do apply to such situations and Canadian tax returns must be filed by the foreigner. In fact, if the taxation payments are not set up properly, the foreign landlord will be required to pay 25% of the net rental income per month to the tax department as a holdback until the tax returns are filed.

5. Can I retire in Canada?

There is no retirement category under the immigration regulations. Such an avenue did once exist, but the retirement avenue of immigration was phased out in the late 1980s. If an individual is buying a home with the view of ultimately retiring here, it is important to seek legal immigration advice immediately. Qualifying for immigration is time sensitive in that points are awarded based on the number of years of experience in both business and in work as well as the age factor.