Wealthy Chinese nationals are expected to take up most of the expanded immigrant quota of the United States’ EB-5 investor visa scheme, according to a report on Chinese International Migration by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Centre for China and Globalization.
The US government announced last year that it would increase the quota for immigrant investors from 10,000 to 14,000 per year.
According to the report, four out of five EB-5 permits go to rich nationals from mainland China who are looking for better business or education opportunities overseas. Last year the US issued 10,692 investor visas of which 9,128 were received by Chinese nationals. And this year the program is expected to draw even more applications from China.
The US Investor visa (EB-5 visa) offered by the US allows applicants to apply for US citizenship upon a minimum investment of US$ 500,000 along with creation of at least 10 full-time jobs in the country. It does not have any age limit or language requirements, making it especially popular among rich Chinese investors.
The report says that the most popular investment option for the Chinese investors in the US was into commercial real estate projects, mainly due to the stronger Yuan and high property prices in the main cities.
“Better education for their children and more diversified investment opportunities are behind the choice of the wealthy Chinese,” say the authors of the report. Other reasons for Chinese nationals seeking US Investor visa( EB-5 ) included an escape from China’s air pollution, inadequate social benefits and a poor pension system.
“The US, Australia, New Zealand and European countries are attracting wealthy mainland investors, and a visa may ensure them easier access to overseas businesses,” says Wang Huiyao, director of Centre for China and Globalization (CCG).
China has emerged as the world’s largest source of international immigrants. It is estimated that there are about 60 million Chinese nationals living in Canada, Australia, the US, Singapore, and other countries.
Wealthy Chinese nationals are also the biggest buyers of investment immigration programs offered by several European countries, as well as by Australia, New Zealand and the US. In Australia, investors can get a residency visa in exchange for A$ 4 million, whereas in Spain and Portugal, residency can be purchased upon minimum investment of €500,000 in property.