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Interview: Immigration policies of other countries

11-25-2010 09:16 BJT

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To understand more about Chinese emigration, our reporter Wang Mangmang now joins us. Good evening, Mangmang. It seems an expensive home no longer gives buyers what they want.

James Q1. So what about the situation elsewhere? Have other countries changed their immigration policies, especially concerning investors?

MM A1: Hong Kong is not alone in tightening immigration policies. Traditional immigration destinations like Australia, Canada, and Singapore have also raised the bar. Applicants will need more than what's in their bank account to get into another country and regions. This April, Australia doubled the minimum capital required from investor immigrants. It went up from 250-thousand Australian dollars to half a million dollars. In another investment option, entrepreneur applicants are required to hold up to fifty percent of shares, compared to the previous 10 percent. In Singapore, self-employed applicants must invest two-point-five million Singaporean dollars. The previous figure was one million. It also removed real-estate from the investment asset category. And Canada upset even more potential applicants. It announced it would double investment requirements starting in October and would suspend accepting applications before the new system came into effect. These changes are quite dramatic, but one thing we have to understand is that none of these changes are aimed at applicants from one single country. However, Chinese applicants are the ones who have been affected most.

James 2. What are the reasons behind these changes? Why did these countries change this criteria?

MM: It may seem that increasing financial requirements are intended to drive investors away. But in fact, there are different reasons.

For example, Australia fears the immigration waves will pose a challenge to its national identity. The Canadian investment initiative, on the other hand, was unchanged for more than ten years. But the country says it had to be amended because it attracted more applicants than required, therefore resulting in prolonged processing time. The country's Immigration Minister says Canada needs investor immigrants. But he explains these changes are necessary to keep Canada's program competitive with that of other countries, and keep pace with the changing economy. In other cases, Hong Kong and Singapore want to make sure that its financial and real-estate markets will not be affected by more capital inflow. In fact, none of these countries and regions wants give up the vast amount of fortunes and employment opportunities investor migrants can bring with them. However, money is not the only consideration. Analysts say compared to skilled workers, investor immigrants tend to have a weaker sense of belonging. They are less interested in merging into their new society. To some locals, these foreign wealthy contribute even less than skilled workers. Now let's hear what one investor migrant had to say about her decision.

Editor:Zhang Ning |Source: CNTV.CN

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