At the end of 2014 President Obama announced a new Chinese visa rule allowing Chinese people wishing to visit or do business in the US to get extended tourist and business visas for up to ten years. This significantly eases the process for potential Chinese buyers looking to buy investment property in Florida, as they would only need to apply once, in order to be able to visit the US freely for with a 10 year American visa. Citizens of both nations will now be able to obtain 10-year multiple entry visas, eradicating much of the hassle of travel to the US, particularly for Chinese investors and entrepreneurs.
According to statistics from the National Association of Realtors, Chinese people became the largest overseas purchasers of homes in the US homes by dollar value last year, replacing Canadians at the top of the list. In addition 1.8 million Chinese people visit the US every year contributing hugely to the tourism economy. And according to a statement from the White House, this number is set to rise to 7.3 million by 2021, by which time Chinese visitors are predicted to be contributing nearly $85 billion a year to the US economy and supporting 440,000 jobs.
All this is good news indeed for the property market in Florida. According to a recent China Daily article “The housing market is apparently getting a boost from the new visa rules, which make it attractive to wealthy Chinese who want to relocate or send their children or families to the US.” From April 2013 to March 2014, Chinese purchasers bought properties in the US worth a combined $22 billion, accounting for about 25 percent of total international sales “That number is likely to surge in the coming years,” says Liu Jun, a Realtor in Florida who deals primarily with Chinese clients, in the same article.
A recent Florida Realtors article outlined how this will particularly affect the Florida market. In it they reference a survey by East-West Property Advisors, which helps Asians buy U.S. property, saying “25 percent of Chinese respondents said the visa extension would directly translate into speedier purchases, while 42 percent said it would help to a varying degree.” It will make a trip much easier,” says Tony Huang, managing director of Shanghai-based Maxview Realty. With a 10 year American visa “One just needs to buy a ticket and pack.”
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Typically in the past, one of the main ways for Chinese buyers to get a long term visa to the US is by using the Eb-5 Investment Visa program, which allows those investing $500,000 in a US business and creating 10 jobs to apply for a Green Card or resident visa. In fact in recent years 85% of these Eb-5visas have been given to Chinese investors, and the demand has been so great recently that there is a significant backlog in processing times. The new Chinese visa rule for tourists and business visitors will open up Florida property investment to those who, while not financially eligible for an Eb-5 visa, still have capital to invest in Florida property.
As always, we recommend that you consult with an immigration expert to check your eligibility for any kind of US visa.