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Bill proposes ‘Homeowner Visa’ for foreigners who buy residential property in US for at least $500,000
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Senators Charles Schumer and Mike Lee have introduced a bill for the enactment of the Visa Improvements to Stimulate International Tourism to the United States of America Act, or VISIT-USA Act, that calls for the creation of a new ‘Homeowner Visa’ that would allow foreigners who spend at least $500,000 on residential property in the US to obtain visas that would allow them to live temporarily in the US. Under the new, proposed visa, foreign nationals could spend the entire amount on one house or spend as little as $250,000 on a residence and invest the rest in other residential real estate, which can be rented out. The purchase should be in cash and no mortgage or home equity loan is allowed.

The new visa will also not allow these foreign national homeowners to work in the US, unless they have obtained a regular work visa through the normal process. They would also need to pay US taxes and spend at least 180 days a year in the US, but they would be ineligible to receive any Social Security or other government benefits. Spouse and children under the age of 18 would be able to company the homeowner. However, they wouldn't be able to stay in the US legally on the new visa once they sold their properties. The homeowner visa would be renewable every three years, but would not put them on a path to citizenship.

The provisions under the bill would create visas that are separate from current programs and there would be no numerical cap for the new, proposed Homeowner Visas. The Bill, if enacted, would definitely incentivize many foreign nationals to invest in a US residential property and would in consequently, help bring more foreign investments in to the US economy.

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