Buying US Property from Overseas: Immigration and investor visas

There are several issues you should know about the immigration side of real estate investing.

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What legal issues should an overseas buyer be aware of, prior to considering investing in US property?
First of all, having a property in the US may be considered as an intent to live here. This can be a problem for visitors with a tourist visa. If the US Citizenship and ImmImageigration Services suspects that a person is living in the US with a tourist visa, that visa can be revoked.

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We recommend foreign buyers think about what the end goals are for property they purchase in the US. If it is just for investment purposes and not for the use of the owner, it should be fine. [quote]However, if they plan to spend more time in the US, I suggest considering longer term visas like the E2 as a small investor.[/quote]

What type of visas are available for the overseas investor?
We have the E2 visa for many treaty countries. This visa will allow a $100K investment to set up a small business and to reside here while the business operates. There is also the EB5 visa that lets foreign buyers invest $500K. This visa can lead to a Green card.

There is also an option of a H-1B visa for self-employed startup owners.

If the buyer has either the E2 or H-1B visa, it is possible for the buyer to be granted US loans to help purchase properties.

Are there any restrictions on foreigners buying US property?
There are no major restrictions but they need to be careful not to live here as visitors. Once they wish to stay longer, they would need to apply for a more permanent visa.

What legal entities allow an overseas investor to buy real estate?
Most buyers will use an LLC to purchase. They do not even need a social security number to set up this one. Taxation will vary from country to country. US citizens are taxed on their worldwide income unlike other visa holders.

Any other legal issues they should look out for?
Always plan for long term visas in case you spend more time in the US. On the other hand, buyers should also make sure that there is a strategy on what to do with the property in case they are not allowed to enter the US for any reason. They should plan for who will sell the property for them, as well as decide on the issue of the power of attorney.

Original from PmtzAr

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