Florida realtors push for visa retirement scheme

Florida realtors push for visa retirement scheme

Property professionals in Florida are lobbying for a visa retirement scheme for overseas property buyers, which they believe could generate 300,000 new jobs as well as bringing new money into the Sunshine state's housing market.

The current visa system does not allow foreigners with second homes to use them full time, or enter and exit the country without a number of restrictions.

Spurred on by President Obama's desire to create new jobs throughout America, local realtors are pushing for the introduction of a new visa, dubbed the 'Silver Card' which would enable foreign retirees to more easily settle, and remain, in the state. Research by the organisation Florida Tax Watch conducted in 2009 found that the introduction of a retirement visa would mean an increase in house-building which would lead to increased jobs both in construction and in associated infrastructure and leisure roles.

"A large percentage of Florida property sales each year are to international buyers," said 2011 Florida Realtors president Patricia Fitzgerald.

“Realtors across the state work with clients from many different countries, who want to invest in Florida real estate or own a home in the Sunshine State. Florida Realtors supports a retirement visa, and continues to have discussions with other interested groups seeking to advance the program on the federal level." she added.

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