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Chinese continue to seek residency overseas

By Cheng Guangjin,  Li Xiang  (China Daily)

09:13, August 22, 2012

Despite tightening immigration rules in many destinations popular with Chinese immigrants, the number of applicants — who have growing wealth and a desire to live elsewhere — continues to rise.

This year it has become even more difficult for many Chinese citizens to realize their immigration dreams, as most of their favorite destinations are adjusting immigration rules with higher qualification requirements and fewer openings.

Canada announced in late June that it would temporarily suspend new applications to the Federal Skilled Worker Program and Federal Immigrant Investor Program, effective on July 1. The government is expected to accept applications again in January.

Meanwhile, Quebec, a province of eastern Canada, has limited the maximum number of investor applications between March 21, 2012, and March 31, 2013, to 2,700.

"This has been a heavy blow to new applicants, applicants being processed and the immigration intermediaries in China like ours," said Ding Wei, director of the Canadian immigration department at JJL Overseas Education, a Beijing-based education and immigration intermediary.

According to Ding, many ongoing application cases in his company have stalled.

"Applicants being processed have to wait longer, with a higher chance of being turned down," Ding told China Daily.

Canada is not alone in having new immigration rules.

Australia, for which China is the biggest source of immigrants, on July 1 introduced a new Skilled Migrant Selection Model, one of the biggest changes to the Australian immigration system in years.

The new system will be less convenient for prospective immigrants to Australia. They will have to wait probably about six months to find out if they are allowed to make an application.

According to Ma Jing, who is in charge of the Australian immigration department at JJL, the new model has higher requirements, including education, language ability and business experience.

Because more detailed rules have yet to come out, "now is a transition period with fewer new applicants to Australia", Ma said.

However, Ma is optimistic about a continued increase in the number of new applicants in the future.

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