• Thu
  • Aug 28, 2014
  • Updated: 6:10am
NewsChina
IMMIGRATION

The next Canada? Rich mainland Chinese push New Zealand migration to 11-year high

China is top immigration source for southern nation, with half of all newcomers using investor scheme, some paying up to HK$53m

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 April, 2014, 12:51pm
UPDATED : Friday, 25 April, 2014, 3:26am

An influx of deep-pocketed mainland Chinese has helped New Zealand reach its highest intake of immigrants in more than 10 years, official data shows.

New Zealand's net migration surged to an 11-year high of 31,900 in the year to March, as 98,000 immigrants arrived and 66,100 left the country. It was the second-highest net gain yet.

China was the nation's biggest source of long-term arrivals at 6,200, followed by 6,100 from India and 5,800 from Britain over the same period. Ming Tiang, head of Chiwi Immigration Services in Auckland, said that half of all Chinese immigrants to the country arrived through the investor scheme. The rest were parents whose children studied there.

The top draw for Chinese families was the "beautiful environment, good weather and living standard", he said.

New Zealand has been wooing wealthy Chinese after Canada, a top destination, restricted its immigrant visa scheme after it was overloaded by mainlanders seeking citizenship. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key recently said he wanted mainland and Hong Kong investors to spend money not on land, but on fixed assets, manufacturing or real estate projects like hotels.

New Zealand's "Investor Plus" policy allows those who invest NZ$10 million (HK$53.1 million) over a three-year period to gain residency. Applicants are not required to have English- language skills or business experience.

A less expensive option, the "Investor" category, allows residency for those who invest NZ$1.5 million over four years, but who must also speak English.

Lobbyists for a relaxation in policy say New Zealand is missing out on a large pool of investors: those who have between NZ$1.5 million and NZ$10 million, but who have no English skills. "New Zealand's investor immigration programme is relatively difficult as it sets a high bar," said Victor Lum, vice-president of the Beijing-based immigration consultancy Well Trend United Consulting.

One of the biggest obstacles for Chinese investors was how to get money out of the mainland given strict rules on capital outflows, Lum said. "Previously, applicants would contact friends and relatives to help," he said.

Lum cited a new Bank of China service that allowed citizens to transfer more than the annual limit of 50,000 yuan (HK$62,700). Under one option, clients can transfer between 2 million yuan and 10 million yuan, Lum said. Under another, the amounts are from HK$2.4 million to HK$50 million. The bank does some vetting to ensure the money was legally earned.

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This article is now closed to comments

ann.wei.121
Well well well, exodus from a country in which " the degree of support , satisfaction and trust on the Administration surpasses that of US and Japan ", according to the HK Govt.'s "Advisor ". How interesting !
Bo Xilai
Yes, Mainlanders, please go to New Zealand... We're full up of gear-grinding, Ferrari driving Mainlanders here in Vancouver... We've cancelled the Investor Immigrant Program, so hopefully you'll get the message... Move along, we don't need your dirty money here....
daily
Now the Chinese can go and pee all over New Zealand's backyard...............good.
caractacus
"The top draw for Chinese families was the 'beautiful environment, good weather and living standard', Oh, and the cheap real estate prices.
It seems the New Zealand Govt will not learn that money does not choose the company it keeps. Will they not learn from what happened in Toronto, Vancouver, Sydney, San Francisco etc until the majority of their people are unable to afford a home because of Chinese property speculation? The NZ Government must be turning a blind eye to money laundering and the fact many of the immigrants are corrupt criminals. What a mistake.
TigerJ
It's about time more humans occupy that empty piece of land...
jiawang@adb.org
Why are so many rich mainlanders rushing to leave China?
New Zealand will now have mainland children peeing and sh*ting on the streets.
chaz_hen
Wonder how long before other countries start denying visa free status for New Zealanders? Lo_custs are swarming down under...
pmc
@m2leung what does the reference to Kiwifruit mean?
VicSexton
google 'chinese gooseberry'
m2leung
It's only fitting that the kiwi fruit is actually a Chinese product.

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