Immigration Policies are Deterring Foreign Buyers

22 10 2006

Real estate professionals in Florida are speaking out against federal security and immigration policies that make it difficult for foreigners to purchase homes in the United States.

Agents in the state also say that some longtime foreign property owners have found it difficult to renew their visas in recent years and that some foreigners and/or their relatives have not been allowed to return to the States after leaving to visit their home countries.

“It seems like we’re putting the thumbscrews down on the very type of people we want here,” notes Tony Macaluso, vice chairman of the Florida Association of Realtors’ (FAR) international operations committee.

Foreigners who want to stay in the United States for more than 90 days are required to obtain visas, and even then the Department of Homeland Security can turn them away. They also must undergo more comprehensive background checks as well as routine fingerprinting.

FAR is urging the government to offer a retirement visa to foreigners who meet specified financial guidelines, as visa issues are prompting international property buyers to settle instead in Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico and other countries with fewer barriers to entry.

Source: Planet Realtor


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