Better education for their children, cleaner air, safer food. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, these are just some of the things bringing wealthy Chinese immigrants to the United States.
As the EB-5 stakeholder community knows well, many people who have made their fortunes in China are looking for ways to emigrate. And a large number of them, it seems, are young. Indeed, the individual the Journal profiles for this article, Shi Kang, is only 43 years old.
Shi is one of many Chinese citizens seeking opportunities in the United States despite finding so much success in his own country. And he is typical of many wealthy Chinese residents arranging their immigration by investing hard-earned money into any of several EB-5 visa projects.
What?s driving this exodus?
According to the Journal, ?a survey published in November found that 60% of about 960,000 Chinese people with assets over 10 million Yuan ($1.6 million) were either thinking about emigrating or taking steps to do so.? This matches a study conducted previously by Bain Capital and the state-run China Merchants Bank, according to the report.
60% is a lot, and the numbers may be shocking to many ? especially since many Americans think of immigrants coming here to earn money, not invest it. However, these Chinese residents are looking for more than increasing their wealth. They are looking for a new way to live and for the opportunity to enjoy many things US citizens take for granted ? things like financial security, clean drinking water, and outdoor scenery.
A friendlier business environment than that offered in China is another frequently cited reason for increased emigration.
Officials taking notice
Chinese officials are not unaware of the increasing number of applications for American, Canadian, and European visas. To combat the emigration, they have promised reforms such as improved public services and plans to combat environmental problems, but few changes will go into effect until 2015.
Many of China's young, upwardly mobile individuals are not waiting. Instead, they are searching for investment opportunities outside of China ? opportunities that let them use their wealth to secure a better future for themselves and their families.
China's population, by many standards, is actually quite wealthy. Some estimates now show China being home to as many as 150 to 300 billionaires and as many as 1 million millionaires. With numbers like these and with so many wealthy Chinese citizens eager to leave, the prospect of continued growth in the EB-5 visa program looks good.
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