Chinese immigrants overwhelm EB-5 visa program

Currently, a visa program in the United States is available to wealthy immigrants who have the funds to pay for a visa. These visas are known as investor immigrant (EB-2) visas, and with $100,000 and the promise to create 10 American jobs, an immigrant can secure one and move to the U.S.

The U.S. is experiencing a huge demand from Chinese citizens who are eager to move to the U.S. and open businesses here. The rate of demand is so high, in fact, that the U.S. government has issued a warning that the program could be flooded with requests and the system is about to hit a wall as early as this summer.

Of all the visas that are issued to immigrants, Chinese nationals account for more than 80 percent. Just a decade ago, only 13 percent of all immigrants in the U.S. were from China. That figure translates to roughly 6,900 Chinese immigrants in 2013, which is a massive increase compared to 2004, when there were only 16 visas granted to Chinese immigrants.

Many immigrants from China say there is a panic starting there because the demand is getting so big for the EB-5 visa that there will be a long waiting list.

For wealthy Chinese immigrants, opportunities in the U.S. are attractive. A green card offers Chinese children the opportunity to go to college, escape heavy pollution and enjoy an improved quality of life. For these wealthy Chinese citizens, the EB-5 program is relatively cheap.

The EB-5 visa program only allows 10,000 visas per year, and that number includes visas granted to an investor’s spouse and children. Currently there are 7,000 applications pending, and if just half are approved – and each investor moved with two family members – the program would easily surpass its annual limit.