Foreign nationals with Canadian work permits coming to BC through the BC Provincial Nominee Program can now be exempt from the 15 per cent additional Property Transfer Tax (PTT) (known as the foreign buyer tax) when they buy a home. The exemption began March 17, 2017.

The foreign buyer tax took effect August 2, 2016. It originally applied to all foreign buyers, defined as foreign nationals and foreign corporations who are neither Canadian citizens nor permanent residents, buying residential property in Metro Vancouver, excluding treaty lands in the Tsawwassen First Nation.

Existing BC provincial nominees who bought a principal residence on or after Aug. 2, 2016, can apply for a refund. Application forms are available on the government’s website.

The Province is also extending rebates of the additional PTT to foreign nationals who became permanent residents or Canadian citizens within one year of purchasing a principal residence.

Foreign nationals working in BC who are not BC Provincial Nominees, such as those in the Canadian Federal Skilled Worker Program, are not entitled to the upfront exemption.

“British Columbia has always welcomed the world’s best and brightest, where they find a place that embraces them,” said Premier Clark. “Our growing tech sector depends on the Provincial Nominee Program, and that’s why we’re removing barriers, so they can get to work, create jobs, and help build B.C.”

All buyers of residential property in BC pay the PTT at a rate of a one per cent tax on the first $200,000 of their purchase, two per cent on the remaining value up to $2 million, and three per cent on the portion above that. The foreign buyers tax is a 15 per cent tax in addition on the whole value of the property.

Learn more or phone 1.888.355.2700

If you have questions, please contact Andrew Peck, vice-president and general manager, Royal Pacific Realty Group

Sources: BC Ministry of Finance; Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
Writer: Teresa Murphy