Permanent Resident Foreign Buyer Tax Exemption

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Written By: Mariko Baerg, REALTOR of Bridgewell Real Estate Group
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This blog goes through the details of the foreign buyer property transfer tax exemptions for foreign nationals.

If you’re wondering whether you are eligible for the exemption, then you’ve come to the right place.

Read this blog to find out more about the exemption and whether you qualify.

permanent resident foreign buyer tax exemption

Permanent Resident Foreign Buyer Tax Exemption

Good news for foreign nationals, the BC government has continued to follow through with their foreign buyer property transfer tax exemption as per the additional 20%.

However, it’s not as broad as residents may think it is – you have to be a part of a specific program to apply for the permanent residency, called the BC Provincial Nominee Program.

Applicants of this program must meet the requirements, and it typically only applies to people applying to gain permanent residency that work in a skilled job sector that is in high-demand in BC. Foreign nationals that have applied through other entities which issue permanent residency will not be exempt.

How much is the foreign buyer tax on real estate in BC?

In addition to the property transfer tax, if you are a foreign national, foreign corporation or taxable trustee, you must pay the additional property transfer tax on your share of the property.

The amount as of February 21, 2018 is 20% of the fair market value of your proportionate share for properties purchased in the following districts:

The additional property transfer tax doesn’t apply to properties located on Tsawwassen First Nation lands.

Exemption Rules

Foreign national individuals who have received confirmation under the B.C. Provincial Nominee Program may be eligible for an exemption from paying the additional property transfer tax.

To qualify for the permanent resident foreign buyer tax exemption:

  • You must be a confirmed B.C. Provincial Nominee when the property transfer is registered with the Land Title Office
  • The property must be used as your principal residence
  • The transfer has to be made to an individual, not a corporation.
  • Have never received the exemption previously. This exemption only applies to each individual once.

How Do I Claim the Permanent Resident Property Transfer Tax Exemption? 

To claim the exemption, your legal professional must send a copy of your B.C. Provincial Nominee confirmation letter together with the Property Transfer Tax Return and the Additional Property Transfer Tax Return (FIN 532) (PDF).

Refund Rules

  • Foreign national individuals who were confirmed as a B.C. Provincial Nominee between August 2, 2016 – March 17, 2017 and paid the additional property transfer tax may be eligible for a refund
  • Foreign national individuals who become a permanent resident of Canada or Canadian citizen within one year of the date the property transfer tax is registered with the Land Title Office may be eligible for a refund of the additional transfer tax

Ultimately, even if you are not a part of the BC Nominee Program, but you receive a permanent residency from another source within one year of home ownership, you can still apply to have the additional property transfer tax refunded.


Have any questions about purchasing as a foreign buyer? Call us at 604-765-0376 or text 604-319-0200. If you prefer email: We are here to help.

Make the home buying process straight-forward from the start. Talk to one of our realtors today.


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