Immigration reform includes- "buy a house- get a US residence visa!"

by Tahmina Watson

In all the discussions of immigration reform, I don’t think much mention was made of this provision- the JOLT Act – (Jobs Originated through Launching Travel Act. of 2013).  Some important gems are added to the bill including premium processing for tourist visas at the consulates.

Ever since there was introduction of the bill that stated that one could reside in the US by purchasing a house, I have had frequent questions about when that law will pass.  Well, now is the time to talk about it again! A reminder of our article iss here -”Buy a house and get a green card”

The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill 2013 includes provisions on buying a house to reside in the US. Here is a summary:

  • Canadian citizens and (their spouses) who are over 55, maintains a house in Canada and rents or owns a house in the US, can reside in the US for upto 240 days in  any given year (8 months). 
  • Retiree visa:
    • Buy one or more house(s) for at least $500,000 in cash
    • Maintains ownership of residential property worth at least $500,000,
    • And resides more than 180 days in a residence in the US in that is worth more than $250,000.
    • Spouse and children can reside too.
    • Cannot engage in work except for employment that is directly related to the manageement of the residential property worth $500,oo0.
    • Over 55 years old.
    • Has health insurance.
    • Not inadmissible
    • May renew visa every 3 years.

I think this means that though one cannot actually work under this visa, they can perhaps manage their properties (and perhaps receive rent?).

As I read and understand more, I will edit this blogpost.  Here is the nutshell for everyone who has been waiting for this.  A great addition to the current immigration system!

Originally posted on the Watson Immigration Law Blog. Reprinted with permission.

About The Author

Tahmina Watson is an immigration attorney and founder of Watson Immigration Law in Seattle Washington. She was a practicing barrister in London, UK, before immigrating to the United States herself. While her practice includes family-based and employment-based immigration, she has a strong focus on immigrant entrepreneurs and start-up companies. She can be contacted at You can visit to learn about Tahmina and her practice.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) alone and should not be imputed to ILW.COM.