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AFIDA Foreign Landowner Notification

Foreign investors who buy, sell, or hold a direct interest in U.S. agricultural land must report their holdings and transactions to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. The reporting requirement became law in 1978 when the Agricultural Foreign I vestment Disclosure Act (AFIDA) was signed into law.

 Failure to timely file an accurate report can result in a penalty with fines up to 25 percent of the fair market value of the agricultural land.

 Who MUST Report: Individuals who are not U.S. citizens or citizens of the Northern Mariana Islands or the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. Individuals who are not lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence or who are not paroled into the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Any organization created under the laws of a foreign government or which has located its principal place of business outside the United States. Any U.S. organization in which a significant interest or substantial control is directly or indirectly held by foreign individuals, organizations, or governments. Any foreign government must report.

 Foreign persons, who owned land on February 1, 1979, were required to report by August 1, 1979. Those buying or selling land on or after February 2, 1979, must report the transaction within 90 days of the date of the transaction.

Where to Report: The Secretary of Agriculture designated the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to collect the FSA-153 reports representing foreign investment. The completed form must be returned to the FSA County Office where the land is located.  

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