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Wealthy Chinese seeking to create life in U.S. and Europe

In recent years China has enjoyed a period of great economic growth. This growth has made a small percentage of the country's residents quite wealthy, living a life that many envy. Despite living the good life, some of these people are pursuing a life outside of China via immigration to either the United States or countries in Europe.

While each person likely has his or her reasons for contemplating such a move, there are several reasons that may ring true, at least in part, for many of them. In addition to food that is safer, some Chinese residents also are hoping to end up in a country where their children can receive a better education and all can breathe cleaner air on a regular basis. Financial security is also a concern to many.

A survey published this past fall revealed that the U.S. is at the top of the list of countries where residents of China are looking to move. Accordingly, investment immigration visas available under the EB5 program have risen at a fast rate. In the 2011 fiscal year, 2,969 applications from residents of China were received. This is up from the 787 received in fiscal year 2009.

The U.S. makes available 10,000 EB5 visas available each year to individuals who meet a certain criteria. The individuals have to invest at least $1 million in the country as well as create a minimum of 10 jobs. In areas that are rural or dealing with high rates of unemployment, the amount of the investment is less, $500,000.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Plan B for China's Wealthy: Moving to the U.S., Europe," Jeremy Page, Feb. 22, 2012

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