US, Canada Top Immigration Destinations for Wealthy Chinese

By | Jun 09, 2014 12:01 PM EDT

China's high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs), commonly known as the wealthy Chinese, prefer the United States and Canada as top destination to immigrate, even if both countries have recently changed its immigration policies recently.

According to a white paper released by Hurun Research Institute and Visas Consulting Group, out of the 141 Chinese HNWIs, whose individual wealth was worth 42 million yuan (around US$6.7 million) on average, 52 percent said they prefer to immigrate to the US while 21 percent said they would want to live in Canada. Another 9 percent said Australia is a great place to immigrate while 7 percent choose Europe.

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The main reason for the wealthy Chinese to favor the US and Canada is the easy access to obtaining permanent residency while those who chose Canada said they already have friends and relatives in the country.

Canada continues to the be second most-preferred immigration destination even as the country's immigration officials scrapped an investor program that would have easily allowed wealthy Chinese to enter the country and get permanent resident cards as long as they have personal wealth of US$1.46 million.

Canada, however, scrapped the program in February after noticing a rise in the number of Chinese applicants, which resulted to backlog. The cancellation of the program affected the application of around 46,000 Chinese, experts said.

Last week, at least 1,300 applicants to the said program filed a lawsuit against immigration authorities of Canada and each asked for 5 million Canadian dollar as compensation for the cancellation of the program even if they have already complied with the requirements.

Visas immigration lawyer Chen Zhaohui said more Chinese citizens have applied for investment immigration because this type of immigration has simple procedures and provides quick access to permanent resident cards.

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