Florida Realtor April 2013 : Page 5

upfr nt undeRstandinG Visas pg5 Business aPP pg5 FoReiGn BuYeR cHecK-List pg6 TIp OF ThE mOnTh InTERnATIOnAL BuyERS understanding u.s. Visas it’s vital that you grasp the facts about u.S. visa programs. A huge issue facing interna-tional buyers is the amount of time they may spend in the United States. In general, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Citizenship and Immigra-tion Services (USCIS) and the U.S. Department of State’s embassies encourage foreign visitation and foreign investment, but impose strict rules and requirements that vary by country of origin. So if you’re working with foreign buyers, have them speak with an experienced im-migration attorney to discuss their options. In recent years, many interna-tional investors have taken ad-vantage of the EB-5 visa program, which is designed to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investments. To obtain Lawful Permanent Residency (a green card) through this program, a foreign national must invest either $500,000 in (1) a low-income/high-unemployment area or $1 million in any area or (2) into an active private business or EB-5 Regional Center that creates at least 10 new jobs. Since the 2012 elections, both Con-gress and the President have discussed implementing massive changes to cur-rent immigration law. If passed, many of these changes would also stimulate the U.S. economy. By Kashmira Bhavsar, board-certified immigration attorney with Bhavsar Law Group, P.A. in Orlando cut interesting snippets from Florida Realtors® News ; then, paste them into a dropbox folder or evernote note. “When i’m asked to make comments to the media, i can pull up that housing information and have information from credible sources on hand,” says maria Wells, Lifestyle Realty Group, stuart. Here are some key changes: • Exploring legalizing the undocu-mented community in the United States; • Changing current immigra-tion laws to create more options for startup companies; • Increasing the number of visas issued to highly skilled workers; • Increasing the number of green cards available; • Creating new visa categories for foreign Ph.D. and master’s graduates in science, technology, engineering and math; • Creating a retiree visa for indi-viduals who want to live in the United States beyond the normal six months; and • Expanding the visa waiver pro-gram to more countries, like Brazil. These changes can mean that more individuals come to the United States more freely, with skills that we desperately need, investment capital and a sense of security when making the United States home. New business Series! Doing at a Glance Working with international investors just got easier. This app, called doing business at a glance, draws on data and information from the World bank and the international finance Corp. (ifC) doing business Project. With it, you can do these things: • View the 2012 and 2013 rankings and indicators, along with business reform summa-ries, for each economy. • Compare 2012 and 2013 rankings and indicators from economy to economy or from economy to region. • sort economies by their “ease of doing business” ranking or any of the other rankings and indicators. Get it for iPhone, iPod touch or iPad at doing-business.org/special-features/iphone. App OF ThE mOnTh: April 2013 FLORIDA REALTOR 5

Upfront

Kashmira Bhavsar

InTERnATIOnAL BuyERS

Understanding u.s. Visas

It’s vital that you grasp the facts about u.S. visa programs.

A huge issue facing international buyers is the amount of time they may spend in the United States. In general, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the U.S. Department of State’s embassies encourage foreign visitation and foreign investment, but impose strict rules and requirements that vary by country of origin. So if you’re working with foreign buyers, have them speak with an experienced immigration attorney to discuss their options.

In recent years, many international investors have taken advantage of the EB-5 visa program, which is designed to stimulate the U. S. economy through job creation and capital investments. To obtain Lawful Permanent Residency (a green card) through this program, a foreign national must invest either $500,000 in (1) a low-income/highunemployment area or $1 million in any area or (2) into an active private business or EB-5 Regional Center that creates at least 10 new jobs.

Since the 2012 elections, both Congress and the President have discussed implementing massive changes to current immigration law. If passed, many of these changes would also stimulate the U.S. economy.

Here are some key changes:

• Exploring legalizing the undocumented community in the United States;

• Changing current immigration laws to create more options for startup companies;

• Increasing the number of visas issued to highly skilled workers;

• Increasing the number of green cards available;

• Creating new visa categories for foreign Ph.D. and master’s graduates in science, technology, engineering and math;

• Creating a retiree visa for individuals who want to live in the United States beyond the normal six months; and

• Expanding the visa waiver program to more countries, like Brazil.

These changes can mean that more individuals come to the United States more freely, with skills that we desperately need, investment capital and a sense of security when making the United States home.

Tip OF ThE mOnTh

Cut interesting snippets from Florida Realtors® News; then, paste them into a dropbox folder or evernote note. “When i’m asked to make comments to the media, i can pull up that housing information and have information from credible sources on hand,” says maria Wells, Lifestyle Realty Group, stuart.

App OF ThE mOnTh:

Doing business at a Glance

Working with international investors just got easier. This app, called doing business at a glance, draws on data and information from the World bank and the international finance Corp. (ifC) doing business Project. With it, you can do these things:

• View the 2012 and 2013 rankings and indicators, along with business reform summaries, for each economy.

• Compare 2012 and 2013 rankings and indicators from economy to economy or from economy to region.

• sort economies by their “ease of doing business” ranking or any of the other rankings and indicators.

Get it for iPhone, iPod touch or iPad at doingbusiness.Org/specialfeatures/ iphone.

PRODuCTIvITy

Checklist for Working with Foreign buyers

Consider using this general checklist of issues that may arise when dealing with foreign buyers in the united States:

• gain an appreciation for their culture, customs and business practices.

• Ask why they plan to buy real estate in the united states—for investment or personal use?

• Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of obtaining a mortgage loan versus paying all cash.

• Determine how long they plan to stay in the united states, and ask whether they have an appropriate visa and u.s. medical insurance or travelers’ insurance. Take5 Videos Florida Realtors®

• Discuss the local market, including issues such as growth potential, liquidity and the resale market.

• Discuss requirements relating to taxes, utilities, association fees and insurance.

• Discuss available banking options for obtaining u.s. currency for dayto- day purchases at the best possible exchange rates.

Adapted from information compiled by The Canadian Real Estate Association, 2012.

WEBInARS

Global business

Don’t miss these global business webinars led by tech trainer Doug Devitre and sponsored by Florida realtors:

• How to simplify the international real estate Transaction

• Inbound marketing strategy for international business

• How to leverage global referrals

For more information and exact dates, go to floridarealtors.org/global.

GLOBAL REAL ESTATE

Florida realtors® Can Help!

Here’s how Florida realtors helps you build your global business:

• Negotiates attractive advertising rates for members in various magazines.

• Offers an international calendar of events on the florida realtors website.

• Offers various resources on its global business page at floridarealtors.org/ global.

• Regularly updates members on global business events taking place around the state, nationally and internationally.

• Provides speakers for the global networking forum and global business Committee.

• Invites international sales associates, brokers and consuls general from various countries and businesses to florida realtors events. Speakers from Panama, the u.K., the bahamas and the netherlands have attended past events.

• Works with nAr researchers on trends in international homebuying in florida.

• Organizes both inbound and outbound trade missions.

• Continually promotes the attractiveness of florida real estate at national and international real estate trade expos and conferences.

• Works with international councils at local associations to help them promote and expand their global business programs.

More info: floridarealtors.org/global

Read the full article at http://browndigital.bpc.com/article/Upfront/1347721/151310/article.html.

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