Chinese immigrants take $1.6b a year overseas

Updated: 2012-02-14 16:00


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More than 10 billion yuan ($1.59 billion) is being taken overseas by Chinese immigrant investors every year since 2009, the Beijing-based Legal Evening News reported Tuesday.

The paper mapped the immigration routes of Chinese investors based on domestic research and immigration experts, showing that more than 80 percent of immigration wealth has flown into the United States, Canada and Australia.

Chinese immigrants take $1.6b a year overseas

A map of Chinese immigration routes across the world. [Photo by Liu Jiang/Legal Evening News]

In 2011, 934 Chinese people acquired EB-5 visas and became US citizens, bringing at least $460 million in investments into the country, according to statistics by the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

The EB-5 visa is an immigrant investor program created by US Congress in 1990 to stimulate the US economy. It provides a method of obtaining a green card for foreign nationals who invest at least $500,000 in the US, according to USCIS.

The higher quality of education, better social welfare and legal environment are the main advantages attracting wealthy Chinese to Western countries, said Wang Dan, an immigration expert at Jinjilie Group, which provides counseling service in foreign studies and immigration.

Many countries also introduce special immigration policies to boost their economy through capital investment from foreign investors, Wang said.

The increase of immigrants and money outflow is an international phenomenon, not unique to China, according to officials at the Department of Consular Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Chinese immigrant investors are part of the international immigration and a result of China's growing power, the paper said.