Skip to comments.Buy a House, Get a Visa: Coming Soon Everywhere?
Posted on 12/01/2012 8:22:56 PM PST by SeekAndFind
For the last two years, Spain has been in the thick of a massive housing crisis. There are somewhere between 700,000 and a million new, unsold homes in the country. (The U.S., by contrast, with five times the population of Spain, has only 145,000 new unsold homes.) Spanish banks hold nearly 200 billion euros worth of bad mortgage loans.
So Spain is offering a deal. Buy a house worth more than the mean home price and receive something that had been, until now, priceless: Spanish residency papers.
Spain isn't the first European country that's tried to stimulate the housing market through immigration incentives. Portugal offers residency papers for a 400,000 euro property investment; Ireland for 500,000. Hungary offers residency to anyone who buys 250,000 euros worth of specially issued government bonds. But so far, the Spaniards are setting the bar the lowest. For 160,000 euros, a Spanish house -- and a Spanish home -- can be yours.
It's a proposal, colloquially known as "buy a home, get a visa," that's been touted by a number of economics writers, including Thomas Friedman, Matt Yglesias, Tyler Cowen, Alex Tabarrok, and others.
Since the programs in Portugal and Ireland only began earlier this year, there's scant evidence yet of how well they're working. One concern among European Union states is that open borders within the Schengen Area means that one country's radical immigration policy has far-ranging repercussions. In Ireland, for example, supporters have advertised the "Immigrant Investor" program as a fast route to E.U. citizenship -- "the Irish passport is one of the most sought-after travel documents in the world" -- an approach that's unlikely to sit well in countries like Denmark and Finland that retain strict limits on immigration.
Other opponents might contend that such programs offer "citizenship for sale,"
(Excerpt) Read more at m.theatlanticcities.com ...
Laundering drug money, I presume.
When Hong Kong reverted to China there was a flood of chinese into Southern California getting visas by buying homes.
Not a bad way to escape the US when the dictatorship gets really nasty for rich old white guys here.
Really, I think they’re 2 or 3 years ahead of us in the progression.
The news was recently filled with scenes of rioting masses, people angry that the government could no longer afford to give them as much free stuff.
These Spanish homes could have a great deal of appeal and get taken quickly... if their yards face mecca.
Why offer half a million dollars for citizenship papers, when any Mexican worth his salt can sneak across the border by night, have phony papers by the end of the week, and eventually get himself an amnesty green card.
Schumer’s an idiot and grotesque poseur, of course, as everyone knows; but is he really so stupid that he doesn’t realize that no one but another fool would pay half a million for something that any Mexican can get for free?
This proposal wouldn’t do much to offset the Spanish capital flight. Not many people want to live in Spain, nor do they want to risk re-appropriation of the houses bought in Spain by the socialist left.