How to Get a Mortgage After Moving to Canada

March 16, 2019 | Posted by:

Get a Mortgage After Moving to Canada

For starters, welcome to Canada. Or in this instance, Winnipeg Manitoba, which is very appropriate if you think about it, as Winnipeg is the centermost metropolis in the country. So here you are smack dab in the middle of Canada, and as a new Canadian with landed status or a valid work permit (prerequisites to getting a mortgage) you’re excited about the opportunity to own a home. There’s a lot of information out there on the topic, but today we’re going to provide a simple guide regarding the key things you need to know about getting that mortgage.

5 Things You Need to Know About Getting a Mortgage After Moving to Canada

1. Basic Requirements

If you have been in Canada for less than three years, have landed immigrant status, and have been employed in Canada for a minimum of three months, you can qualify for a mortgage. Lenders may have leniency on latter, if your current employers has transferred you to Canada as a part of a corporate relocation program.  

2. Does Your Credit Transfer Over?

Unless you’ve lived, worked and maintained a credit history for the past two years in Canada, you’re probably concerned about how to prove favorable credit to lenders. The good news, is that if you have established good credit in your home country, there’s a good chance that will carry over here. For example, Equifax operates in 24 countries in Central and South America, Europe, the Asia Pacific, and in North America. That means Canada recognizes Equifax credit scores and reports. Then there’s TransUnion, which is a global risk information provider that  operates internationally in over 30 countries and regions, including India, Hong Kong, South Africa. If you don’t have a Canadian credit background, a personal credit report from your home country via Equifax or TransUnionwill provide lenders with sufficient information they need to gain confidence in you as a borrower. The strong score you’ve built over the years will not be lost in your relocation.

Even with a solid international credit background, if a mortgage is on the horizon, start establishing Canadian soil credit today. Your good history will help you get credit cards and other lines of credit here in Canada. If you maintain a good score for the year ahead, it will certainly be factored favorably into the equation.

Also, start collecting evidence of promptly paid bills. Your Winnipeg utilities along with cable and mobile phone subscriptions can add another layer to lender confidence.

3. Your Current Income Prospects (as lenders see it)

Again (as per item #1) you will need to have been employed in Canada for a minimum of three months. If your spouse can claim the same this obviously works in your benefit. Still, you need to prove as much income as possible to make your case more attractive to lenders. The rules may be different in your home country, so for reference, we have provided a detailed guide as to what counts as income towards your mortgage, right here. 

4. Where to Buy

Landed immigrants who have met all other lender requirements (addressed above) can qualify for a mortgage that is up to 95% of the property value, for properties that are less than $1 million CAD. In some Canadian cities, that may be an issue for those in search of a single family home that can accommodate current and future (growing family?) occupants. But in Winnipeg? No problem. You have come to the right place!

In our recent mortgage news update (spring 2019) we informed readers that as of February/March, approximately 50 percent of all condominiums sold for less than $200,000 while about half of single-family homes sold for less than $300,000. As you can see, the answer to “where to buy” in Canada, is “Winnipeg”, and when it comes to where to buy in Winnipeg, the answer is nearly “everywhere” as this is one of the most affordable real estate markets in all of Canada. Yep, you indeed came to the right place (please excuse the boastful redundancy). 

5. A Mortgage Broker is Essential

Getting a mortgage after moving to any new country feels daunting, especially if you don’t have longstanding family there that has already gone through the process years ago. The good news, is that you’re not alone in this. When you connect to a trusted mortgage specialist, you gain a partner and more often than not, a friend, someone who will walk you through all of the red tape. A reputable broker will have years of experience in helping new immigrants, no matter the country of origin, navigate through the documents, paperwork, and long list of requirements until all the i’s have been dotted and t’s have been crossed. Better yet, a professional broker will have access to unadvertised rates due to the relationships they have with banks and lenders, and may very well be able to secure a rate that you didn’t know could be made available to you. The only way to take advantage of the opportunity to have someone at your side through it all, is to make that first point of contact.

We know you still have many questions about the process. That’s what we’re here for. Have a quick look at our New to Canada Mortgage Program, or simply call Ron Chan directly at or send an email to and let him know what he can do for you.



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