In response to a weakened housing market, two senators are preparing to
introduce a bipartisan bill that would give foreign residents visas if
they spend at least $500,000 to buy a house in the U.S. This provision
is a small part of much larger immigration measures. These measures were
authored by Senator Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) and Mike Lee (R., Utah).
The purpose behind these measures is to encourage more foreign investments
in the U.S. The proposed measure would offer visas to any foreign investor
making a cash investment of at least $500,000 on residential real-estate.
This includes single family homes, condos, or townhomes. Applicants would
be able to spend the entire amount on one house, or can spend as little
as $250,00 on a residence and invest the remainder in other residential
real estate, which may be used as a rental investment. This measure would
complement existing visa programs that would allow foreigners to come
to the U.S. if they invest in new businesses that create jobs. However,
foreigners immigrating to the US with the potential new visa would not
be able to work here unless they obtained a work visa through regular
working visa programs. They would, however, be allowed to bring a spouse
and any children under the age of 18. If the investor proceeded to sell
his/her property, he/she would not be able to remain legally in the US
on the new visa.