Canada Immigration Information
is no requirement in BC that a purchaser of property have any particular
residency or citizenship. To occupy residential property, a non-resident
must comply with immigration requirements.
If you have not applied for immigration please go to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website below. An Immigration Lawyer or Immigration Advisors who are not lawyers but cost less may help the process especially for extenuating circumstances. Click on this link http://www.bcimmigration.com/ for more info about immigration from David Aujla's website, a Canadian Immigration Lawyer.
The general consensus from people who have been through it (and also Citizenship and Immigration Canada, it's right on their website) is that you do not need an Immigration Lawyer. It doesn't really do anything unless you have some extenuating circumstances like a missing spouse that you don't want to bring along or a criminal record. Even then you're the one who has to provide all the information that goes in the forms.
In any case you need to read the guide and fill out the forms very carefully. Also joining a mailing list like the Yahoo Groups below can be very helpful.
Customs Info for Visitors to Canada and Seasonal Residents
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) wants to help travelers find the information they need to know in order to enter Canada. They have compiled the following useful links to assist in your travel planning.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) provides detailed information on immigrating to Canada. You may get more answers than most if you read all their publications found under resources (bottom left menu)...including the one they give you after you land, Welcome To Canada. They're available in PDF on the website.
Whether you are
travelling or immigrating to Canada, preparing to do business in Canada,
or want to know more about Canada and its role in the world, Canada
International is your one-stop source of information.
Government Of Canada
The Canada Site has been designed to provide you with different avenues to find information. Access information on Canada, its government, and federal programs and services organized into categories. Find an MP's e-mail address, the latest government news, or other Government of Canada resources by topic, organization or keyword.
Private Canadian Immigration Information Site
This is not a Canadian government website but a private resource for information on Canadian immigration and life in Canada, either onsite or linked directly to it.
Immigration Yahoo Group - Immigrating to Canada
This group is a wealth of info and their link page is extensive.
Their home page is Immigration Canada - General questions
Immigration Yahoo Group for Skilled Workers - Emigrating to Canada
This is a group for anyone interested in applying for permanent residence status in Canada through Canada's Skilled Worker immigration category. There is a great introduction on how to get started by one of our members in the file section.
Holdback For Canadian Tax
Non-residents of Canada will be subject to a holdback for Canadian tax on profit when they resell the property. The holdback will be 25% of capital gains or 25% of the selling price if a certificate of disposition is not obtained by the time of completion. Properties which are owned by non-residents and rented out are subject to a holdback; 50% of capital gains or 50% of the selling price if a certificate of disposition is not obtained by the time of completion. The explanation provided is a very brief summary; it is recommended non-residents get advice from a Chartered Accountant regarding these issues prior to selling and/or renting out their property. Click on the link below for some more details.
BC Property Transfer Tax
There is a 1 % Property Transfer Tax (2% over $200,000) in British Columbia. This tax is payable on the purchase of all real property in B.C. The calculation is based on 1% of the purchase price up to $200,000 and 2% of any amount above $200,000. Most first time buyers are exempt from this if they meet certain criteria. The main criteria are: a) borrower has never owned a principal residence anywhere; b) maximum purchase price of $475,000 for a full exemption; c) borrow at least 70% of purchase price; d) be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and residing in B.C. for a minimum of 12 months. The explanation provided is a very brief summary. Realtors are not tax experts and offer this information only as a guideline. This should be discussed with your accountant, notary or lawyer. The final decision as to qualification is at the sole discretion of the appropriate government ministry. Please click on the BC government webpage for the complete details.
BC Website Info BC Property Transfer Tax
BC Home Owner Grant for Principle Residences
The BC Provincial Home Owner Grant reduces the amount of property taxes you pay. You may be eligible if you are a permanent resident of BC, a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant, and own and occupy your residence full time which would be your principal residence. In most cases, the regular grant entitles eligible owners to a maximum reduction in property taxes of $570 and additional grant for those 65 and older of up to $845. You may claim the regular grant if your property taxes are at least $350. You may claim the additional grant if your property taxes are at least $100. Your grant cannot reduce your net payment below these amounts. Please note property owned by non-residents and recreation property (must be your principle residence) are not eligible for this grant. The explanation provided is a very brief summary. The final decision as to qualification is at the sole discretion of the appropriate government ministry. Please click on the BC government Home Owner Grant webpage for the complete details.
BC Property Tax Deferment for Principle Residences
The BC Property Tax Deferment Program allows BC resident home owners to defer payment of annual property taxes on homes occupied as principle residence if owners are 55 years or older; or a surviving spouse; or a disabled person as defined in the Disability Benefits Program Act; and if owners are Canadian citizens or landed immigrants who have lived in BC for at least one year immediately prior to applying for tax deferment benefits. You must have a minimum equity of 25 percent of the assessed value. This means that your mortgage and any other charges registered against your property can be up to 75 percent of the assessed value. The explanation provided is a very brief summary. The final decision as to qualification is at the sole discretion of the appropriate government ministry. Please click on the BC government webpage for the complete details.
Mortgages for New Arrivals
Medical Services Plan of B.C. (Health Insurance BC)
The Medical Services Plan (MSP) insures medically required services provided by physicians and supplementary health care practitioners, laboratory services & diagnostic procedures.MSP for B.C. Residents
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