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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily

B-4 Retiree Visas

by Harry DeMell ©

At one time there was something called the non-preference visa. These immigrant visas were issued when there were visas left over from the preference classes. Some of these visas went to retirees. Let's discuss reviving this idea as a non-immigrant category.

Some Americans worry about jobs. Some worry about the real estate market. Some worry about funding our health care system. Here we have an idea that can benefit America in all these areas.

It would make no sense to issue immigrant visas to retirees. We would not want to make this a magnet for people wishing to circumvent the preference categories and apply solely to assist family who might not otherwise qualify for residence here. A temporary, non-immigrant visa is enough here.

Retirees, who enter on non-immigrant visas, might qualify for the preference categories and wait their turn like anyone else. They might later be sponsored by family or make investments that might qualify them for E visas. This would be no different that other visitor visa holders but for our purposes this should be limited to a non-immigrant visa category.

This B-4 non-immigrant visa could cover people who are over sixty years old and their spouses. It might require proof of American medical insurance and require that B-4 visa holders leave the United States for no less than two months every calendar year. It could specify that time in the United States under this visa would not inure towards time for cancellation of removal.

These visa holders would not be able to work in the United States and would have to document significant financial means. They would not compete with Americans for jobs. Just the opposite: they would create jobs. Since B-4 visa holders would be spending the much time in the U.S. they would be spending for housing, food, transportation, medical care and a host of other items.

B-4 visa holders would be a net asset for our economy since they would be bringing money into the United States at a time when out balance of payments is tilted strongly against us.

Our health care system would also benefit since we would have to require that each visa holder have American health insurance. The extra money paid into the system would result in a net inflow at a time when every clarification out of Washington in the area of health care is economically troubling.

Our real estate situation would benefit since each retiree couple would need a place to live. It doesn't take a lot of imagination to see that these thousands of retirees would rent or buy thousands of apartments mostly in areas where the real estate market is weakest such as southern Florida and Las Vegas.

None of these ideas is a game changer for the American economy, but just as many small businesses add up to many jobs and a benefit for America so would this idea qualify as a significant step in the right direction for our economic recovery.

This is not a new idea. We had this idea 'before' and hence the title B-4 visa. We simply had this in a different form. In this case, the best idea might be an old one reworked to suit current times. With an increasingly aged population worldwide the United States might be a magnet for wealthy seniors to come, enjoy life here, spend their money on housing, restaurants, golf courses and a host of other items that will create commerce and hence jobs in the United States.

There is all this talk about thinking in the box or outside the box. This is looking at an old box that we put in the attic and forgot about but there might be a treasure of good wisdom in it.

Copyright © 2011, Harry DeMell


About The Author

Harry DeMell is an Attorney practicing exclusively in the area of Visa, Immigration and Nationality Law since 1977.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.


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