As far as I know, if a person manages to buy a house/asset and open a bank account as a nonresident and passes only a few months in the US, he's liable to pay income only on his generated bank interests in the US and to pay property taxes. But if this person passes only a few months per year in the US despite of having a huge bank account in the country, with related interests, is he forced to invest the money (and get a investor visa) just like a counterpart who wants to actually settle and reside there or can he just be exempt from these requirements?

As it seems to me, an EU citizen wouldn't even need a visa in this case, even if he has a huge bank account and an asset/real estate, since he'd pass a few months per year in the country and not get involved in any business or investorship, because he'd just stay in his asset for the months he can stay, and provide himself with his money in the bank.

Can anyone clarify?

  • I puzzled over your question's title, and have amended it for clarity. I have tried to maintain the meaning you intended. If you disagree with my changes, use the "edit" button below the question text to revert the title to what you originally wrote. May 21, 2020 at 3:55
  • No the title edit is not what I'm asking for, because I'm asking whether a person in forced to invest, not whether he needs a visa to invest. Of course he needs a visa to invest, since it is work as well.
    – abdul
    May 21, 2020 at 7:39
  • Fair enough, I'm glad you reverted it. You state in your comment that a non-US citizen needs a US visa to invest or deposit in the US. This is functionally true for E5 immigrants, but I don't think it applies to investors who are non-immigrants, won't live full-time and permanently in the US, and/or don't meet the other E5 requirements. Do you have a citation or other authority to support your assertion? May 21, 2020 at 14:18
  • That is a question, of course I can't confirm that, otherwise I would not be asking in the first place
    – abdul
    May 21, 2020 at 14:25
  • Investing in a US business does not trigger a requirement to have a US investor visa. Certain investments allow the investor to get such a visa, but one can make qualifying investments without applying for the visa as long as one is happy to abide by the terms of the visa waiver program or a B visa.
    – phoog
    May 22, 2020 at 3:53

1 Answer 1


Nobody is forced to 'invest' their money.

You can leave your money in a bank account for as long as you like, whether or not you choose to get a visa or to visit the US. It is true that investing a certain amount of money gives you the ability to apply for an investor visa, but you are not forced to do that.

As an EU citizen you are eligible to visit the US as a tourist or for business under the Visa Waiver Program for periods of up to 90 days, provided you keep yourself to 'short and occasional' visits, and do not do anything not permitted by the program. The allowed amount of visit time in a year depends on circumstances, but 90 days in a year would normally be allowable.

You would need to be careful of being considered resident, and thus attracting US tax, but 90 days a year should be safe.

  • Yeah exactly, I initially thought that one should be forced to invest if he deposits a huuge amount of money in a US bank account if he's a stranger, but as long as he deposits, does no investments and pays short visits, he would logically need only an ESTA.
    – abdul
    May 22, 2020 at 0:36
  • @abdul Do remember your other question travel.stackexchange.com/questions/147743/… and the answers and advice offered. If you travel with cash above a certain amount - a seriously risky proposition - you must declare it at the border, often or usually in both the country departed-from and the country arrived-in. May 22, 2020 at 3:21
  • Yeah, but why did you bring it up?
    – abdul
    May 22, 2020 at 3:23
  • 2
    @abdul the question's premise, that investing is work and requires a visa, is incorrect. A wealthy citizen of a visa waiver country can invest in US property, stocks, privately held companies, or anything else, and can visit the US using the visa waiver program, whether the visit is related to those investments or not, provided there is no work being done and the visit is 90 days or shorter. But business meetings, whether connected to an investment or not, don't count as "work."
    – phoog
    May 22, 2020 at 3:50
  • 1
    @abdul If this is the answer you were looking for, please vote it up (clicking the upward arrow on the left) and accept it (clicking the tickmark). May 22, 2020 at 12:41

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