The demand of the green card for Chinese in the US has been increasing drastically in the last years. The Green card is the name for the United States Permanent Resident Card, it was formerly called Alien Registration Card. Its name comes from the fact that it used to be green between 1946 and 1964. Since 2010, the United States Permanent Resident Card reverted back to its original colour. China is becoming the world’s biggest exporter of people, and the Chinese are targeting the US in priority. The US is the currently the most popular destination, 80 per cent of the 7,641 investor immigrant visas approved in the U.S. in fiscal 2012 are taken up by Chinese according to The Wall Street Journal. The number of international migrants worldwide reached 232 million in 2013 according the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations. This represents an increase of 33 per cent compared to 2000. The international migrants mainly reside in developed regions and Europe hosts the largest number of international migrants reaching 72 million. However it is closely followed by Asia with 71 million where China represents more than a third.
As a result many Chinese have to go through the immigration process to become a permanent resident.
Types of green cards for Chinese residents
The green card is used as a proof for its holder, and enables a lawful permanent resident (LPR), permission to reside and take employment in the United States. It can nevertheless be removed in the case of unmet status or requirements.
A lawful permanent resident can apply for United States citizenship, or naturalization, after five years of residency. This period is shortened to three years if married to a U.S. citizen. It is stipulated in the U.S. immigration legislation in the Immigration and Nationality Act that resident status can be obtained though various channels. The immigration process can be undertaken through a family member, employment, investment, diversity lottery, refugee status and though the director of Central Intelligence decision.
Each visa is classified into different categories with different eligibility requirements and quotas. The family-sponsored is one of the fastest channels, but the presence of a relative on the American land isn’t frequent. Subsequently, employment based visas are most popular for Chinese migrants. It requires an employer to sponsor the visa and must result to a future job in the US. A subcategory of Visa called the EB-5 visa targets immigrant investors. This green card is obtainable way faster and requires an investment of $1,000,000. Other statuses such as the Diversity Immigrant (DV), Political Asylum and Refugee may be undertaken in more specific cases.
“The hardest visa to get in the world”
The Chinese media often describe the US green card as the hardest to get in the world. Online survey in China also showed that while the US is the favourite destination for migrant, it is also seen as the most difficult to reach for Chinese people.
Getting the US green card is particularly costly, despite its reasonable purchase price for the wealthy Chinese. It is often not realized that the US citizenship brings the US taxes to be practiced. All citizens must pay the income tax, all gains are at a rate of up to 39.6 per cent and long-term capital gains are taxed at 20 per cent for the wealthier taxpayers. Also the length of the whole application and approval process due to the quotas of green cards increases the difficulty of getting the permanent residence. Generally priority members are generally delivered in 6 months. For non-immediate family members, the process may take up to 10 years since paperwork is processed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Getting no news for the first several months is habitual. As matter of security, once in the US, the owner must always carry permanent resident document.