Visas Lure Foreigners to Florida’s Bank Foreclosures for Sale

by on States

Interests among foreign investors to buy bank foreclosures for sale in South Florida have intensified as investing in the area’s real estate market offers opportunity for them to become a U.S. citizen.

Industry experts said that wealthy foreign investors are flocking to South Florida to take advantage of bargain-priced bank foreclosure homes. But some are doing more than buying distressed properties. They are also seeking an added benefit for investing in South Florida’s distressed real estate market: a green card.

Local immigration lawyers said that an increasing number of European and Latin American clients have applied for investor visas. Obtaining a visa is the fastest way to gain residency and may lead to citizenship. Still, others are hoping to obtain an opportunity to live and work indefinitely in the country.

Investor visas are viewed by industry analysts as an effective way to entice foreign investors and give the real estate market a chance to recover from the impact of widespread foreclosures, volume of unsold foreclosed houses and failed condominium projects.

According to immigration lawyers, many foreign nationals are coming to them because of economic opportunities they see in the real estate market. They hope that the increase investor interests would expedite the recovery of the market in South Florida.

The investor visas have been offered for more than 20 years now. They are being offered to immigrants to give them a chance to come to the area and create jobs. Center for Immigration Studies’ policy studies director Jessica Vaughan clarifies that the visa is not offered for immigrants who come to the country due to family relationship.

Last March, the counties of Monroe and Miami-Dade were included in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s pilot program which offers temporary residency to foreign nationals who decided to invest about $500,000 in a business that will hire not less than 10 full-time employees.

Typically, a $1 million investment was required for a foreigner to obtain the EB-5 visa. An estimated 10,000 investor visas are offered annually. Already, a proposal has been made in the U.S. Congress to make permanent the investor visa program in the wake of the growing interest among foreign investors and as a way to revive the economy and the housing market.

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