Recently, we started receiving many inquiries from prospective real estate investors regarding a VISIT-USA Act. On October 2011, Senators Schumer and Lee offered a proposal to boost US real estate market by granting foreign investors who spend over $500,000 on residential real estate a three-year US visa. Economists and real estate experts predict that this bill could significantly boost a demand for US residential real estate and help ease housing crises.
Under this proposal, out of $500,000 at least $250,000 must be spent on a primary residence where the foreign investor will reside for at least 180 days out of the year while paying taxes to the U.S. In addition to the principal foreign investor, the three-year visa would also cover investor’s spouse and minor children. Foreign investors would have to undergo standard criminal and national security background checks and, once approved, would not be able to receive government benefits such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. As opposed to an EB-5 visa program, under VISIT-USA Act foreign investors would not be eligible for work employment authorization or converting their status to lawful permanent residency and US citizenship.
A word of caution: at this point, VISIT-USA Act is merely a legislative proposal. In fact, it is at the very beginning of a highly complex legislative process that could take many months or years. Stay tuned for updates!