Thursday, October 20, 2011

Buy a US Home, Get a Visa— But There's a Catch - CNBC

Buy a US Home, Get a Visa— But There's a Catch - CNBC

Investors are buying up the distressed inventory at a fast clip, but not fast enough.

So why not try to get more?

That's precisely what a bipartisan team of Senators, Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Mike Lee (R-UT) are proposing. The last section of a their new immigration bill is titled, "Increasing Home Ownership by Priority Visitors." It would offer non-immigrant visas to foreigners who buy at least $500,000 worth of residential US real estate. Unfortunately, there are a whole lot of caveats that will limit the scope of that potential buying population.

First and foremost, this is not a work visa, and the buyer has to live in the residence for at least six months (not necessarily consecutive) out of the year. That means said buyer would not be able to work in the US for half the year; translation, said buyer would have to be really rich. The buyer would of course have to go through the standard criminal background checks that any US residence visa requires, but they can bring the spouse and kids. The homeowner could not receive any US government benefits, and once they sell the house, they have to leave the country.

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