Lauchlan Leishman Offers Advice on U.S. Visa Applications as International Sales of U.S. Properties Rise

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The National Association of Realtors recently released the 2012 Profile of International Home Buying Activity, a report which shows that international sales of U.S. properties have substantially increased over the previous year. Lauchlan Leishman of the Berkeley Capital Group offers advice on U.S. visa applications for foreign buyers who are interested in buying properties and residing in the United States.

Some say that the most difficult country to get a visa in is the United States. However, with the help of proper authorities, you can get a visa easily.

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More and more foreign buyers are scooping up U.S. real estate properties, according to the latest report released by the National Association of Realtors. The 2012 Profile of International Home Buying Activity survey shows that total international sales of U.S. residential properties amounted to $82.5 billion during the 12-month period ending in March 2012. In comparison, the cost of real estate properties sold to foreign buyers during the same period in 2011 totaled $66.4 billion, indicating a 24 per cent increase in the volume of international sales. Lauchlan Leishman, head of the international real estate company the Berkeley Capital Group, states that these numbers necessitate further education for aspiring property buyers abroad regarding U.S. visa applications.

He states that foreign property buyers who are interested in living and working in the U.S. need a visa to do so: “If you are a foreigner and you are not a resident of, but want to reside and work in the United States, then you must get a resident visa. A resident visa is one that will allow you to have residency in a foreign land. It will allow you longer stay in the country and with this, you are staying in the country legally. You could live there and also work there if you have a visa,” Mr. Leishman explains.

There are different processes for visa applications, shares Mr. Leishman. He adds that because of these different policies, international property buyers should carefully study their country’s visa application requirements to ensure that the process runs smoothly.

“Because of the different countries, there are also different processes that must be followed. You can turn to the Internet for information on these different countries. Make sure to check out their local immigration website and be mindful of the requirements,” advises Leishman.

“There are also certain provisions depending on the country that you want to visit. See which are allowable and which are not. You should also be aware that some visa applications could be denied due to certain circumstances and all of which are within the prerogative of the certain country you are applying a visa in,” he adds.

Leishman, who has handled numerous real estate transactions with international buyers, shares that one of the most common requirements for visa application in the U.S. is a valid passport. The international real estate authority also states that there are various methods for acquiring resident visas, such as sponsorship by one’s family, employment, the Green Card lottery or through political asylum.

Lastly, Lauchlan Leishman of the Berkeley Capital Group advises prospective property buyers from other countries to work with a trustworthy agency with expertise in selling properties internationally, since doing so can further expedite the process:

“Some say that the most difficult country to get a visa in is the United States. However, with the help of proper authorities, you can get a visa easily. You have to make sure that you have a visa before you decide to purchase a real estate property from a foreign land,” counsels Leishman.

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