The American Dream of the Chinese Rich

China Daily looks at the increasing numbers of wealthy in China who spend their money on investing in the U.S. in exchange for green cards:

According to statistics from the US Department of State, the number of so-called “investor green cards” issued to non-Americans nearly tripled to 4,218 in the 2009 fiscal year. About 1,800 of those recipients are from the Chinese mainland. South Korea is second with 903 recipients.

In comparison, just 1,443 investor visas, referred to as EB-5 visas, were issued in fiscal year 2008.

The real estate price hike and stock market boom in China has enabled the rich to spend lots of money for their American dreams. And many of them, like Zhang, are doing this for their children.

The New York Times also reports on this phenomenon by looking primarily at immigrants to Canada:

Yet even as China grows richer, the number of its rich choosing to emigrate is rising. Many want to maintain two homes, merging their money-making abilities in China with what they perceive as the greater security and ease of international travel offered by a foreign passport or permanent residency.

Last year, for the first time, Chinese citizens became the largest group of immigrants to Australia, displacing the traditional sources of Britain and New Zealand. From July to December 2009, 13,371 Chinese became “permanent additions” (gaining or entitled to permanent residency) to Australia, overtaking Britain’s 13,037 and New Zealand’s 7,342.

While most immigrants are admitted on the basis of sought-after skills or to reunite families, investment immigration, in which applicants make a minimum financial investment or create jobs in their destination, is also booming. So much so that Canada, excluding Quebec, temporarily halted its program in June in order to double the amount that would-be immigrants must invest to qualify. Whereas before applicants required a net worth of 800,000 Canadian dollars, or about $790,000, and a 400,000-dollar investment, in the future they will need 1.6 million dollars and an investment of 800,000 dollars.

“All these changes are because we are overloaded,” Mr. Charette said. “This is a huge, sophisticated market.”

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