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Studio interview: Popularity of US as destination

12-05-2011 08:13 BJT

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For more on Chinese immigration to the US, we are joined in the studio by my colleague Wu Haojun.

Q1: Just how many Chinese immigrants are there exactly in the US? Who are most likely to immigrate there?  

A: Let me give you a few figures to put things into perspective. According to data compiled by the US Immigration Services last year, there were a total of 1.6 million Chinese immigrants in the US, making Chinese the fourth largest immigrant group behind Mexicans, Philippinos and Indians. And this trend is only likely to continue as Chinese applicants for investment immigration have increased 11 fold in just 4 years. 带2屏2 Now, on the demographics of the immigrants. According to immigration experts, in the past, most Chinese immigrants were from large cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou and South-eastern cities along the coast. But in recent years, there’s been a surge in the number of immigrants from smaller cities in central and western China. Another interesting shift that’s worth mentioning here, prior to the millennium, roughly 90% of Chinese immigrants to the US were "skilled immigrants" and only 10% were "investor immigrants." Now, things have changed, with investment immigrants making up the majority.

Q2: Why’s the US such a popular destination? It’s the number one immigration destination for Chinese people?

A: There’s the American Dream of course and the country’s perceived economic and education opportunities. But what really set the tone in recent years was a matter of MONEY. When the United States first opened its door to investment immigrants, the bar was set high at 1 million dollars. That was the minimum amount of money an applicant needed to invest in the US. In the mid 1990’s, the requirement was lowered to just 500-thousand US dollars. While the United States is lowering the bar, other immigration hot spots are doing just the opposite. Last year, Australia raised its requirement of net assets for immigration applicants from 250-thousand Australian dollars to 500-thousand. And, Canada also doubled its net asset requirement from 800-thousand Canadian dollars to 1.6 million. That’s why more and more Chinese who are looking to emigrate elsewhere now consider the US a better bang for the buck.

 

Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: CNTV.CN

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