Two Senators are preparing to introduce a bipartisan bill Thursday that would give residence visas to foreigners who spend at least $500,000 to buy houses in the U.S. Co-sponsored by Sens. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) and Mike Lee (R., Utah), the bill is designed to spur more foreign investment in the U.S.
Foreign investment has accounted for a growing share of home purchases in South Florida, Southern California, Arizona and other hard-hit markets. Chinese and Canadian buyers, among others, are taking advantage not only of big declines in U.S. home prices and reduced competition from Americans but also of favorable foreign exchange rates.
The proposed measure would offer visas to any foreigner making a cash investment of at least $500,000 on residential real-estate—a single-family house, condo or townhouse. Applicants can 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 Visa would not allow the foreigner to work in the U.S. but they can enter the U.S. as they please to live at the residence for temporary periods and oversee the property.
Personally, I think this is a great idea because it would spur foreign investment in one area of the economy that is still struggling – the real estate market. Also, it would allow foreigners who came here and spend money in the U.S., which would have some effects in speeding up the economic recovery. Also, by not being able to work in the U.S., immigration critics cannot state that the foreigner is taking jobs away from unemployed Americans.