Buy in US, get a visa

Buy in US, get a visa

A new bill is being proposed in the United States which would entitle those purchasing property to a free visa.

The scheme, which has been introduced to the US senate this week, would allow overseas property purchasers the chance to live in America if they invest in a property costing $500,000 or more.

Suggested by Utah and New York realtors, the bill is being seen as an inventive way to encourage new buyers into the rocky American property market.

The visa would be valid for three years but would be subject to some restrictions. It would not include citizenship, voting rights or a work visa, and property buyers would have to complete their transaction in cash, without a mortgage. The home would also have to be occupied for 180 days of the year, although spouses and children would be allowed to live in the US as well, so buyers wouldn't have to relocate alone.

It follows a similar programme which gives foreigners fast access to a green card if they invest over $500k in a US business and create new jobs in the economy. Foreign investors already account for about 10 per cent of the luxury US market but agents and property insiders are optimistic that the bill will stir up even more of a demand for property in America.

'For too long, we have created barriers, and too many hoops and hurdles, which act to deter visitors from other countries coming to the United States to spend their money and create jobs. This is a loss we can ill afford in today's economy,' said US Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue.

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