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I’m New to Canada

Starting a new life in Canada is exciting! If purchasing a home is on your list of priorities, we can help familiarize you with what’s involved when obtaining a Canadian mortgage. BMO® Bank of Montreal is here to assist you every step of the way, with advice on everything from saving for a down payment, getting a mortgage pre-approval, to choosing the right mortgage product. Contact us anytime so we can review your personal situation and come up with a plan to get you into a new home.

Borrower qualification

We have programs in place that are designed to help you get a mortgage when you are new to Canada. Here are some of the requirements for our new to Canada program:

  • You have immigrated or relocated to Canada within the last 5 years.
  • You have 3 months minimum full time employment in Canada (borrowers being transferred under a corporate relocation program are exempt from the minimum 3 month probationary period.) This requirement is designed to ensure that you have completed the standard three month probationary period with your new employer.
  • You must have a valid work permit or have obtained landed immigrant status.
  • The minimum 5% down payment required to purchase a home in Canada must be from your own savings/resources. Any additional down payment may be gifted from an immediate family member or from a corporate subsidy.
  • All debts held outside of the country must be included on the mortgage application.
  • Rental income earned outside of Canada cannot be used on the application.
  • Guarantors are not permitted to help you qualify.
  • Foreign Diplomats who do not pay tax in Canada are ineligible for this program.
  • You need to meet the standard debt servicing guidelines that apply in Canada and the credit requirements outlined below that suite your situation.

Credit Requirements

Establishing a Canadian credit history is another step to helping you qualify for a mortgage, but is not necessary. BMO® is flexible with alternative sources of credit/repayment history.

Credit requirements when applying with a down payment less than 10%

We will pull a Canadian credit bureau to see if you have two established credit trades demonstrating timely payments (no arrears.) If you do not have two established credit trades, we will look at alternative sources:

  • You can provide an international credit report demonstrating a strong credit profile OR
  • Two alternative sources of credit demonstrating timely payments (no arrears) for the past 12 months. The two alternative sources required are:
    • Rental payment history confirmed via letter from landlord and bank statements to confirm the payments are made each month and on time.
    • One other alternative source (utilities, cable and auto insurance) to be confirmed via letter from the service provider or 12 months billing statements. Alternative sources of credit must be obtained from a Canadian source.

Credit requirements when applying with a down payment 10% or greater

We will pull a Canadian credit bureau to see if you have two established credit trades demonstrating timely payments (no arrears.) If you do not have 2 established credit trades, we will look at alternative sources:

  • You can provide a letter of reference from a recognized financial institution OR
  • Six months of bank statements from your primary account.

Now that you know the requirements for your personal situation being new to Canada, you may want to review Getting my Pre-approval and Buying my First Home. These topics will help familiarize you with how a mortgage works in Canada. If you do not meet these requirements you can review I’m Not a Resident of Canada to see if we have a program that is right for you.