Canada Immigration Information

There 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.

U.S. citizens are relatively free to occupy residential premises in Canada on a temporary basis. If you don't have permit residency status you will be allowed to stay here for six months per year while maintaining a residence outside of Canada.

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.

Five Important Questions

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.

Customs - Information for Visitors to Canada

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.

CIC Canada | Main Menu

Canada International

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.

Canada International - Home

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.

Government of Canada Web Site | Canada Site

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.

Canadian Immigration Information Resource

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.

Skilled Workers - Emigrating to Canada 

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.

Tax Information for Non-Resident Buyers and Sellers

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

First Time Home Buyer's Program 

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 Home Owner Grant

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.

BC Property Tax Deferment

Mortgages for New Arrivals

I am a Mortgage Broker with one Canada's larger national mortgage brokerage companies. My services to you are free as the lender pays us a finder's fee based on the lender you choose to deal with after I have indicated the different options that are available to you given your current circumstances. Although each office is independently owned and operated our mortgage volumes as a network attract the best rate from the 30 odd lenders we can access on behalf of our clients. You can read more about me and my company by visiting the Web site indicated below.

There are a range of programs, from a number of lenders, which could be available to help you in this situation. The down payment requirements of these different programs would range from as much as 35% down to as little as 10%. Generally speaking the lenders would want to establish your credit worthiness through usually a letter from your existing bank or mortgage company verifying your current status with them with regards to credit. They would also want to see the source of the down payment through bank or investment statements.

John Woods
Mortgage Centre
250-754-1904 Toll Free: 866-840-1704
Cellular: 250-616-3107
woods.j@mortgagecentre.com   Website: Click Here

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.

Medical Services Plan of B.C.

MSP for B.C. Residents

MSP  Definition of a Resident


Steve Orsatti
Your Island REALTOR
Royal Lepage Nanaimo Realty Gabriola
#1-575 North Road
Gabriola Island, BC V0R 1X3

 Contact Steve directly, just fill out the form & click Contact Me:

* Name Phone
* Email Price
Buying Selling
Cottages on < acre Building Lots
Homes on < acre Ocean View Building Lots
Acreage Homes 5 + Acreage Lots 5 +
Ocean View Homes Ocean View Acreage 5 + 
Oceanfront Homes Oceanfront Building Lots

Other requirements, questions and comments...

* required field


We value your privacy.