SW Legal studies in Business

Holder of Tourist Visa Cannot Be a “Permanent Resident” of an Apartment in the U.S.

New York high court held that a foreign citizen who holds a tourist visa cannot, by definition, be a permanent resident. Under New York City rent-control law, one cannot reside in a rent-controlled apartment unless one is a permanent resident. Hence, a tourist visa holder cannot stay in a rent-controlled apartment.

Topic Real and Personal Property
Key Words

Rent Control; Visa Status

C A S E   S U M M A R Y

Bianca Jagger (former wife of Mick Jagger) lived in a rent-controlled apartment in Manhattan. (News reports stated that she paid $4,000 a month, but the market value was $8,000 per month.) The landlord argued that Jagger had no right to keep the apartment because it was not occupied as her primary residence, as required by New York rent-control law. Due to confusion about the law, a question was certified to the high court of New York whether a tenant, as a holder of a B-2 tourist visa, could keep control of a rent-controlled apartment.


Question answered. Since Jagger held a B-2 tourist visa, which requires her to maintain permanent residence outside the United States that she had no intention of abandoning, she could not maintain a primary residence in a rent-controlled apartment in New York. Hence, the landlord could evict her and regain control of the premises.


Katz Park Avenue Corp. v. Jagger, 898 N.E.2d 17 (Ct. App., N.Y., 2008)

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