Florida Realtor April 2012 : Page 27

The biggest mistake: Buying in an in-dividual’s name. That could result in U.S. estate tax problems, and it could also cre-ate tax or political issues in the custom-er’s native country. Financing the Deal As a result of the mortgage crisis, U.S. lending institutions became less accom-modating to foreign buyers. At best, they will provide 50 to 60 percent fi nancing. More challenging is moving money into the United States as federal agencies want to know the source of the money. When Venezuelans and corporations transfer funds to a bank, whether a branch of a foreign institution or a U.S. bank, money-nada an with d Mexic can be o, this v used by isa a perso n in Visiting and Managing the Property In working with a foreign customer, you also need to be aware of certain immigration rules and encourage your customers to seek an attorney for guidance. After 9/11, the United States clamped down hard on visas. Depending on how long the person wants to stay in the United States, a B-1 Tourist Visa of one to two weeks may suffi ce. The person may come and go through the state’s many international airports. But Here are some V individuals who stay in the isa cho and ho ices w they United States too many days c a n a qualify foreign aff ect a ing pro buyer o could be taxed as Americans. fe r investo s w s ion who ill work E-1 Tre r: full or p aty Tra Investors and property man-a a rt d U.S. em time fo er and Treaty ployer. r E-2 Investo agers can arrange long-term T h c e a r n p ’t be se Visas: F erson executi lf-emplo or ves and stays. The best visas require a C y h e il d s e pecializ . For ans, a c workers ed lose co of com direct investment in the United th u e s p in T a N is the nies fro nations of m H-1B1 V that ha States in an American company v is e a . tr relation ading EB-5 E s with th mploym or establishment of a local sub-e Unite ent Cre States. Visa: C d ation The com urrently sidiary of a foreign company. pany m , th be own e popular most ust ed or c visa, th ontrolle Such an investment could cost e citizen E re B -5 d by a quires a of a tre minimu aty cou customers more than a downtown m $ 5 n 00,000 try. L-1(A) V investm isa: For condo, but it will enable them to ta e n rg t eted em executi in a and ma ves ployme nagers stay legally in the United States for ru n ra o t f comp l area, c or that tra anies alled re nsfer to years. c g e io n a te n al U.S. affi rs. Thes or subs liate plo e unde idiary o Should the paperwork and com-rem-f a fore yed or compan ig u n n derserv y. To qu get spe e plex rules scare away a foreign cus-d alify, th a individu re cial trea as e al must tment to encoura tomer? No. When the right prop-have be employ ge eco en ed by th nomic d opmen e comp erty is found at the right price, you’ll e v for thre e t l-in any the Unit e years There a ed State and wo already have legal and tax consultants in a diff re s . regiona rked erent fo l centers across reign c for one there to assure that the transaction F lo o ri untry da invo year. ping, ho lving sh goes smoothly, the property is man-ip s p -it a lity, ma TN Visa turing a nufac-: Based n aged properly and a visa is obtained d o o th n U.S. free tra er indu An alte de agre stries. rnate is with a minimum of trouble. ements Ca th laundering regulations come into play, es-pecially if the sum is substantial or there are frequent transactions. Most foreign customers keep funds off shore and transfer them bank to bank. It’s not that simple, however. They must comply with currency rules in their home country and may encounter withholding requirements. The more complicated the transfer process, the more time your cus-tomer should allot to getting funds ready. For commercial transactions, real es-tate professionals must time the cash and the transaction. It’s important to explain to customers that deadlines for receipt of escrow funds and for closings can’t be moved. For home purchases, timing is even more crucial. About 80 percent of inter-national home-buying deals are all-cash transactions. If the property is a second or third home, the customer may seek fi -nancing, but the rate will be higher than an American customer would pay. One option would be for the customer to es-tablish an investment relationship with a private bank. Visa Op tions e EB-5 migran Im-t Visa, which re a $1 mil quires lion inv estmen creates t that at least 10 jobs . Randall L. Sidlosca is a partner in the Miami o ce of Arnstein & Lehr. He prac-tices immigration law, including matters related to visas and U.S. investment. April 2012 FLORIDA REALTOR 27

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