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CAN FOREIGNERS OWN REAL ESTATE PROPERTY IN CALIFORNIA?
There are currently 58 counties in the State of California with several cities within a
county. The depreciation of U.S.dollar overseas and falling home prices in U.S.
particularly in California may have sparked an interest in foreign investment in
California homes. There has been a significant drop in home values up to 40% from its
peak in 2006. Consumers from other countries see a tremendous value in American
real estate particularly in the Bay Area, California. Price speculation might be the
driving factor for most investors. However, living in California and enjoying the
American culture, quality of life and vast educational opportunities are becoming
increasingly important for most foreign investors.
California Constitution, Article I, Section 20 states: "Non-citizens have the same
property rights as citizens." Conversely, California Civil Code § 671 also states: "Any
person, whether citizen or alien, is authorized to take, hold, and dispose of real
Individuals should seek legal counsel or with the appropriate regulatory agencies in the
applicable State if they wish to purchase property located outside California.
There are several types of visas that can help an investor come to the U.S.
These include the following:
E-1 Visa or called Treaty Trader
E-2 Visa or called Treaty Investor
EB-5 or called Employment Creation Investor
L Visa or called Intra-Company Transferees
For additional information, please contact the local U.S. Consulate or U.S. Embassy in
your country. Philippine nationals can visit or call the U.S. Embassy in Manila.
Additional information can also be obtained from the U.S. Department of State's website.
This information is not intended to serve as a substitute for legal advice for buyers and sellers and
their respective agents including questions regarding immigration or visa issues. The information
should not also be relied upon as authoritative. An immigration attorney should be consulted on
matters relating to immigration. In addition, before consummating any real estate transaction in
California or in any other states, individuals should seek the advice of legal counsel to identify and
review the applicable statutes affecting any real estate transaction. In addition individuals with
specific legal questions regarding real estate ownership (e.g. title vesting, tax implications, etc.)
should seek the advice of an attorney and/or a CPA.. This research was obtained using the 2009
California Code. California statutes may be amended or repealed or replaced. It may also be
possible that courts may issue opinions which could affect the legality and applicability of any existing
statutes or even declare unconstitutional existing statutes. Research also included information
obtained from the websites of both the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Manila.
Please check their respective websites for any updated information.