More Provisions of the Schumer / Lee Immigration Bill Come to Light

Posted by Mark Ciochon on Tuesday, November 8th, 2011 at 11:51am.

That new immigration bill that Senators Charles Schumer and Mike Lee introduced on October 20 has some people worried.

As you probably remember, an automatic visitor's visa would be given to any foreign citizen willing to spend $500,000 in cash buying U.S. real estate. At least half that amount would have to be for his or her personal residence.

As we reported a few days ago, some object to "selling America to foreigners" while others worry that this infusion of foreign cash will serve to keep prices out of the reach of ordinary citizens.

However, as more details of the bill are revealed, it's beginning to look like there's not much to worry about, even if the bill passes.

Why? Because it's not such a great deal for the foreign buyers. For one thing, their purchase price would have to be more than the most recent appraisal. That might not be a detriment if they believe prices will go up. But a second provision might stop this plan in its tracks.

In order to obtain this visitor's visa, foreign buyers would have to agree to spend 180 days in the U.S. each year. That means that while they would not have a work visa to earn money in the U.S., all of their income from world-wide sources would be subject to U.S. income tax.

Does that sound to you like an offer that will have wealthy foreigners rushing to take advantage of the opportunity to obtain a hassle-free visa?

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