We are proud to continue our Real Estate Spotlight Series, where we help you learn from industry professionals as you navigate Ontario real estate. Finding the right fit for any professional service is important. As part of our commitment to honest, transparent and personalized real estate services, we are proud to share our network with you.
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Our second Real Estate Spotlight features Elizabeth Long. Elizabeth is a partner at Long Mangalji LLP, and is certified by the law society of Ontario as a specialist in Citizenship and Immigration Law. She specializes in economic immigration and is an active advocate of immigrant and refugee rights in Canada.
Elizabeth offers her insights on real estate and the immigration process, pitfalls of foreign parents buying their children property in Canada, and the Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST).
Does owning property in Canada help in the immigration process?
Owning property has very little to do with the immigration process. In order to immigrate, there are specific criteria that a person must satisfy. Owning property is not one of them.
On the other hand, being about to obtain your permanent residence or even a work permit or study permit will allow you to have some peace of mind that you can remain in Canada to enjoy the property that you buy. It could also save you a substantial amount of money to allow you to be exempt or obtain a rebate from the Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST).
Are there pitfalls that parents buying property for children attending university in Canada need to be aware of?
Studying in Canada could allow an individual to be able to qualify for a rebate from the NRST. However, the provisions are very specific. For example, if the child that attends a school in Canada that is not an “approved institution”, they may not qualify for the rebate. Or if the parent who is a foreign buyer is a joint owner of the property, then the rebate may not apply.
Parents should also have a long-term immigration plan for their children as early as possible as their study programs and work activities even during school can affect their ability to remain in Canada for the long term.
What kind of advice can you give to those who are thinking of purchasing a property but don’t want to pay the Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST)?
The NRST has a lot to do with immigration and those who don’t meet the exemptions may benefit from seeking immigration advice before purchasing a property.
For example, those people who have permanent residence status or have been nominated under Ontario’s Provincial Nominee Program called the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) are exempt from having to pay the NRST. Those who have work permits or study permits may also be able to obtain rebates under the NRST.
Oftentimes a person might be able to obtain permanent residence status or be nominated under the OINP in a few months time. A work permit or study permit could take only a few weeks.
If individuals in these circumstances were able to incorporate an immigration strategy into their property purchasing timeline, they may be able to save a substantial amount of funds in the long run.
You can find Elizabeth on her website.
Disclaimer: Information made available on this website in any form is for information purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to replace, legal advice. Contact Chris Chu Law to discuss a specific legal issue and please note that contacting Chris Chu Law, on its own, does not create a lawyer-client relationship.