Chinese Continue to Seek Immigration Opportunities

While many popular Chinese immigrant destinations are tightening immigration rules, Chinese nationals with growing wealth and a desire to live elsewhere continue to seek profitable ventures outside China. As the United States awaits final approval on the extension of the EB-5 immigrant investor program, USCIS officials expect to see a rise in immigrant investor applications.

Countries such as Australia and Canada, popular destinations for Chinese immigrants, have changed immigration laws to include higher qualifications and fewer openings. In late June 2012, Canada announced it would temporarily suspend new applications to the Federal Skilled Worker Program and Federal Immigrant Investor Program. The suspension began July 1, and is expected to last through January 2013. The suspension has caused many ongoing immigration cases to stall, leaving the applicants and their families in limbo.

Australia introduced a new Skilled Migrant Selection Model on July 1, which is expected to be less convenient for prospective immigrants, and include a six-month waiting period to discover application ability. The program now enlists higher requirements for education, language and business experience.

While immigration requirements in some Chinese-favored destinations are increasingly difficult, the U.S. EB-5 immigrant investor program is expected to receive a three-year an extension in September. Furthermore, Chinese wealth is on the rise, giving more opportunity for investors to seek out profitable and enjoyable ventures outside of China.

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, which exchanges a $500,000 or $1 million investment into an economy-stimulating project for green cards, expects to see a surge in applicants once the House of Representatives passes the bill upon reconvening in September. The bill, introduced by Senator Leahy of Vermont, seeks to extend the program another three years, meaning investors and their families will have ample opportunity to invest in a US project, obtain permanent citizenship and enjoy life in the United States.