In countries such as Australia, Belize, Spain and the UK, if you are a foreigner of retirement age and have a good pension and medical insurance, you can get citizenship or long-term residence so you can live out your life where you choose.
Not in the U.S.! If you’re a foreigner and don’t qualify for residence based on work or family ties, don’t have at least a half million dollars to invest and lots more to pay a lawyer to help you, and you don’t win the annual green card “diversity” lottery, forget your dreams of retiring here. You can only visit on limited tourist stints, and to do that, you must maintain a foreign residence.
The Wall Street Journal reported on European professionals who worked for many years for a big American corporation, had more pensions and insurance than you could shake a stick at, and wanted to buy ranches in the West and retire among the cowboys and tumbleweeds. (It seems that Swiss, Germans and Austrians commonly have an outsized fascination with our mythical Old West.)
But they couldn’t afford to maintain homes in Europe and buy a ranch in Utah, and they wanted to live here, not visit for 6-month increments. So they had to pick somewhere else to retire and spend their money.
I’ve heard that some of America’s popular retirement areas – Florida and Nevada, for starters – have a few houses that foreign retirees might like to buy and enjoy. But we won’t let them.
Way to let others eat our lunch, America!
Dear Jeffrey and Joey,
Sorry I missed your lecture yesterday. Apropos of our conversation a few evenings ago, see this posting on demands that Obama exercise executive discretion: http://immigrationimpact.com/2011/04/14/22-senators-demand-president-obama-exercise-executive-action-on-immigration/
Enjoyed meeting you. Keep up the good work!
Thanks for your kind words and for the interesting link. In explanation . . . Jeffrey and I were invited to speak at the Rosenfield Symposium on immigration at Grinnell College. See http://www.grinnell.edu/academic/rosenfield/events . We were at Grinnell from April 12-15. We had a delightful time talking with students, faculty and other invitees, and were grateful for the opportunity to teach them a little bit about asylum law and to promote the Ride for Human Rights and the work of Human Rights First. –Joey