Canadian Realestate Magazine forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.

Investors: Canada safe from U.S. visa proposal

Notify me of new replies via email
guest | 29 Nov 2011, 07:58 PM Agree 0

“Even if it did win legislative approval – something that I don’t think will happen – I think it would have a negligible effect on the Canadian market in terms of attracting Chinese and other Asian property investors attracted to Vancouver and other Canadian markets,” Douglas Gray, author of The Canadian Snowbird Guide: Everything You Need to Know about Living Part-Time in the USA and Mexico.  “They are coming here instead of the U.S. for social and cultural reasons, and that won’t change.”
 
 
If a bi-partisan team of U.S. senators has its way, the American economy will see a significant increase in property investment coming from outside its recession-wary borders.
 
Last month, Senators Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, unveiled proposed changes to the country’s VISIT-USA Act, among them a measure to provide renewable three-year resident visas to foreign nationals who invest a minimum of $500,000 in residential real estate anywhere in the U.S.
 
That residency offer would extend to spouses and dependent children and is geared toward regenerating a housing market that has yet to recover from the 2007/8 housing collapse.
 
A host of conditions apply: of that half a million dollars in property, at least $250,000 must go toward a primary residence, although dwellings purchased for non-residential use can be rented out; the visa holder must also live in the primary residence for at least 180 days a year and pay U.S. income taxes on foreign earnings; all purchases must be made in cash; and all applicants would be subject to background checks.
 
That being said, Canadian snowbirds meeting the criteria would see their current six-month cap on stays in the U.S. removed. Proponents in Seattle – now struggling to grow its share of the Chinese investment now going to Vancouver – have also suggested the legislative changes would strengthen the city’s appeal.
 
That kind of diversion just isn’t going to happen, said Gray, among other successful property investors based in B.C. convinced Vancouver Asian-friendly approach and large community will keep it as the primary real estate market for Chinese investors.
 
Gray, also a lawyer and author of several other investment books, is just as convinced potential tax implications and the possibility of losing access to Canadian health care will also keep most snowbirds from relocating to the U.S.
 
“That isn’t going to happen,” he told CRE.
  • Brian Stewart | 01 Dec 2011, 07:50 PM Agree 0
    I have been waiting for this for years. I have property in So Cal and am always sad when I have to leave just before my 6 months are up. We talk about this wish all the time with other snowbirds. Let's hope it passes
  • Brian Stewart | 01 Dec 2011, 08:50 PM Agree 0
    I have been waiting for this for years. I have property in So Cal and am always sad when I have to leave just before my 6 months are up. We talk about this wish all the time with other snowbirds. Let's hope it passes
  • Jerry Quigley | 02 Dec 2011, 04:55 PM Agree 0
    Didn't you notice the requirement that you pay US income taxes on your foreign income!
    That is a bit of a stickler!
    Health insurance is another issue, but one could move to a province that requires only 3 months resident in Canada.
    Very interesting, indeed!
  • Jerry Quigley | 02 Dec 2011, 05:55 PM Agree 0
    Didn't you notice the requirement that you pay US income taxes on your foreign income!
    That is a bit of a stickler!
    Health insurance is another issue, but one could move to a province that requires only 3 months resident in Canada.
    Very interesting, indeed!
  • Fred Wagman | 03 Dec 2011, 04:27 PM Agree 0
    It seems to me that the USA should take another look at the restrictions [six months less a day] they put on CANADIANS visiting their country. What if we as snowbirds,retirees, wanted to stay seven months?.We do not come here to get jobs etc. We come to enjoy the great weather,buy or rent houses,spend our money on all sorts of things that helps the American economy.Mary Bono Mack hasd often made the point by thanking the Snowbirds for being in the valley and helping the economy.For Seniors,purchasing a residence here in the US should be condition enough to let one stay a period of time over the curren six month limit.Time for the USA to take another look at how they treat their neighbors
  • Fred Wagman | 03 Dec 2011, 05:27 PM Agree 0
    It seems to me that the USA should take another look at the restrictions [six months less a day] they put on CANADIANS visiting their country. What if we as snowbirds,retirees, wanted to stay seven months?.We do not come here to get jobs etc. We come to enjoy the great weather,buy or rent houses,spend our money on all sorts of things that helps the American economy.Mary Bono Mack hasd often made the point by thanking the Snowbirds for being in the valley and helping the economy.For Seniors,purchasing a residence here in the US should be condition enough to let one stay a period of time over the curren six month limit.Time for the USA to take another look at how they treat their neighbors
Post a reply