Wealthy Chinese citizens are exploring fast-track permanent residence and citizenship by investment programs to give their children an advantage in the country’s college entrance examination, known as the Gaokao.
China’s biggest and ultra-competitive national college entrance test is widely recognized as one of the toughest examinations in the world.
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So much so that parents keen on improving their child’s prospects are prepared to move to another country on a golden visa to do so.
Parents are looking to give their children an easier route to university admission in China by enrolling them as foreign students, who are treated differently to locals.
Golden Visas Around the World
The investment immigration industry has grown exponentially from just a few programs two decades ago to more than 55 programs all over the world today. One factor that has played a significant role in this growth has been demand from Chinese investors.
To qualify, investors must fulfill the minimum investment requirements, ranging between €250,000 real estate purchase in Greece to €2 million for direct citizenship in Cyprus.
Better Education for Children
Foreign education has always been equated with a good career and a better life in Asian countries like China and India.
With intense competition for a limited number of seats for foreign students in reputed institutions, wealthy Asian parents are opting for permanent residence through golden visas to help their wards study as local or in-state students.
Further, cost of education in a private schools in Europe can be as little as half of what private international schools charge in China.
With the EB-5 visa backlog virtually closing the US as a golden visa destination for Chinese investors, focus has shifted to EU countries.
Greek Golden Visa and the Chinese Effect
On example is Greece, which has issued 22,730 golden visas as of November 2018 and received total investments in excess of €2 billion. China has been the primary source of demand for the Greek golden visa.
In 2018, 55 per cent of all visas were issued to Chinese investors.
Such programs are popular because investors need not compulsorily move to Greece. They can continue living in China and retain the option of moving to Greece at their discretion.
Golden Visa and the Gaokao: Does It Work?
So, does permanent residence in Greece or any other foreign country help improve prospects of admission into a top Chinese university? Well, yes and no.
Foreign nationality can help a Chinese-origin student in the Gaokao. However, being a Chinese citizen who is a permanent resident of another country is not the same as a foreign national of Chinese origin.
The latter are treated as foreign students and enjoy an easier route to university admission in China.
However, it is not just about holding a foreign passport. Foreign student benefits are available only to those who have held a foreign passport for at least four years and resided abroad for more than two years in the past four.
Parents can, and often do, opt to enroll their child in a foreign institution in the US or the EU. While PR status will be beneficial for such students, Chinese parents should be aware that mere foreign permanent residence offers no real advantage at the gaokao.General Information: Contact us to receive more information about this article.
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