Can I Use the US Visa Waiver Program When Buying Florida Property?

If you’re considering buying a Florida home, one of the first questions you may have is whether or not, as a resident of another country, you need a visa to buy Florida property. The short answer is no. You don’t need any special visa or paperwork to buy a house in Florida, as our in depth article explains.

You May Need a Visa to Visit Your Florida Home

However, when you use your Florida home, if you are intending to stay for more than three months on your visit, work while you’re here,  or visit for multiple extended periods, it may be necessary for you to get the correct visa to do so. We explain all about the different types of visas you may be eligible for here, but we want to stress that the process of obtaining the correct visa is usually simple and straight forward. As always, we advise talking to an immigration lawyer who has expertise and can guide you on which will be suitable for you.

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Visiting for Under 90 Days? You May Be Eligible for the Hassle-free Visa Waiver

The Visa Waiver Program allows visitors from thirty eight countries to visit the U.S. for a period of 90 days or less without a visa, as long as they meet all the criteria specified. If you buy a Florida home and want to use it for vacations, you may be entitled to do so under the Visa Waiver Program.

A Chart showing US visa waiver program eligible countries 2015

Courtesy of Wikipedia US Visa Waiver Program Eligible Countries

It’s important to note that if you are intending to visit your Florida home several times for periods of a month or more that you may be better getting a visa which is also quick and easy to do. The US customs and border protection website is a little vague about the amount of time they expect to see between visits when using the visa waiver system. So it’s best to err on the side of caution:

When traveling to the U.S. with the approved ESTA, you may only stay for up to 90 days at a time – and there should be a reasonable amount of time between visits so that the CBP Officer does not think you are trying to live here. There is no set requirement for how long you must wait between visits – US Customs and Border Protection

Electronic Visa Waivers – Super Quick and Valid for 2 Years

If you are eligible for a visa waiver you can now apply quickly and easily online, using the ESTA system. This quick and easy system provides you authorization to travel (often in seconds) and puts an electronic stamp in your passport to show airline staff and border control that you are pre-approved for travel to the US.

You only need apply once, and the authorization remains on your passport for 2 years or until the passport expires. It costs $4 to apply, and a further $10 if you are given authorization. You can apply online here and pay with your credit or debit card.

These programs are always subject to change so we recommend you always get the latest information at http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/visit/visa-waiver-program.html

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