Wei Gu
Wei Gu

The recent deal between the US and China to allow their citizens visas for up to ten years might be win-win for most, the visa agencies are hit severely, writes WSJ wealth editor Wei Gu in Dow Jones. Emigrating services for Chinese are under pressure.

Wei Gu:

That business is already under pressure as countries such as Canada shut down programs that effectively allowed rich people to buy citizenship. China is the top source for investment-based immigration in countries such as the U.S., Canada, Australia, Cyprus and Portugal.

The deal, reached Monday between U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping to ease visa restrictions and grant 10-year multiple-entry visas for tourists and businesspeople, will reduce demand from rich Chinese for permanent residency in the U.S.

“With a 10-year visa, some people won’t bother getting a green card,” said Bernard Wolfsdorf, a California-based immigration attorney at Wolfsdorf Rosenthal.

Chinese looking to buy permanent residency sometimes pay tens of thousands of dollars in fees to the agencies, which are based in China and overseas. The visa deal came as China agreed with other Asia-Pacific countries to set up a regional network to track down corrupt officials.

At the Investment Immigration Summit held in Hong Kong this week, industry executives were concerned. “People are waiting for the hammer to fall,” said Jean François Harvey, the organizer and global managing partner at Harvey Law Group. “There’s a lot of nervousness in China.”

More in Dow Jones.

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