Wealthy Chinese who want to leave their homeland are seeing a rise in competition among other countries to attract them and their families. While many cash strapped countries have lowered their requirements for visas and citizenship in efforts to draw Chinese immigrants to their shores, the U.S. remains one of the most alluring and safest choices.
Investor immigration programs are technically open to all nationalities, but the focus on Chinese investors has seen a substantial rise over the past decade as more and more Chinese search for ways to stabilize their future.
Countries new to the investment for visa programs include several Caribbean states who are looking to boost their economies. The island nations of St. Kitts and Nevis and Antigua and Barbuda are struggling in a region wrecked by large amounts of public debt and slow, low growth. According to the IMF, the Caribbean’s 2013 growth is only at 1.25%. St Kitts, with a population of 53,000 will grant citizenship to individuals who spend $400,000 on real estate or donate $250,000 to the country’s Sugar Industry Diversification Fund. Neighboring Antigua and Barbuda will launch its own program soon.
Southern Europe is also upping bids to attract Chinese and other investors. Greece, Portugal and Cyprus are battling for the most attractive offers, offering “golden visas” and real estate opportunities.
While the smaller, less wealthy countries battle for attention, the US continues to see a continually growing flow of Chinese investors who are participating in the EB-5 Immigration program, which swaps visas for a $500,000 to $1 Million investment. In the fiscal year ending September 2012, 80% of the 7,641 applicants were Chinese.
The EB-5 immigrant investor program continues to garner attention by US and other international news sources. It has received attention for its community-enhancing results as well as its bountiful opportunities presented to investors and their families.