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A country popular among Ukrainians has banned foreigners from buying housing: what do you need to know

Kseniya KapustynskaNews
Housing in Canada can be bought only if a number of conditions are met
Housing in Canada can be bought only if a number of conditions are met

Canada, which is one of the most popular countries among Ukrainian refugees, has banned foreigners from buying housing in the country until 2027. The exception will be the purchase of "bare" land plots for construction. Also, students and those who have work permits in Canada and have been in the country for a long time will be able to buy housing.

Initially, the general ban was supposed to be lifted in 2025, but rising real estate prices in the country forced the government to extend the restrictions. Now the ban will be lifted only on January 1, 2027, Bloomberg writes.

Thus, real estate prices have begun to rise rapidly, particularly in major cities such as Toronto and Vancouver. "By continuing the ban on foreigners buying homes, we will make sure that homes are homes for Canadian families, not the speculative class," said Canada's Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland.

Recently, activity in the housing market has been growing as the Bank of Canada may cut interest rates. The base housing price in December 2023 was 730.4 thousand Canadian dollars (about $ 543 thousand). This is 36% higher than it was five years ago.

At the same time, the Canadian government is trying to make housing in Canada more affordable. For example, it is expected that by mid-February 2024, the Toronto City Council will consider a proposal to tax the purchase of housing by non-residents at a rate of 10% of the property value.

This is in addition to the 25% "non-resident speculation tax" imposed by the province of Ontario. The proposal for an additional tax is aimed at "discouraging foreigners from buying real estate in Toronto, including those who do not intend to live there."

How many Ukrainian refugees are there in Canada?

Since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, more than 210 thousand Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Canada, according to the Canada Border Services Agency. Thus, 210,178 Ukrainians have arrived in Canada under the Canada-Ukraine Emergency Travel Permit (CUAET) program, which was established in March 2022. This is a program that gives Ukrainians fleeing the war:

  • the right to obtain an urgent three-year work and residence permit in Canada;
  • financial assistance;
  • temporary free accommodation.

In total, the Canadian government has received almost 1.2 million applications for this visa, of which more than 936 thousand have been approved. New applications for the CUAET program have already been closed, and visa holders have until the end of March 2024 to arrive in Canada to take advantage of it.

In the summer of 2023, Canada announced that it would not extend the temporary program. However, the government has approved a new migration program that allows certain categories of Ukrainian refugees to remain in Canada permanently.

Under this program, there are two categories of applicants who are eligible to apply for permanent residence under the new immigration program 1) family members of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada; 2) spouse of a Ukrainian citizen who has a family in Canada.

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