Do 97% of Chinese Want to Live in the United States?

In The American Dream Is Alive and Well In China, the Globalist claims that “if U.S. immigration policies allowed it, 97% of the Chinese people would probably want to move to the United States.” There is some truth to this.

Often, Chinese companies that approach my law firm for one purpose, like forming a US company, have another underlying goal, such as securing U.S. visas for their families or ensuring their children’s admission into U.S. schools. Typically, they only reveal these deeper intentions once we’re already engaged in the project. Many Chinese clients enlist our services to establish their companies in the United States and, to a lesser extent, in Latin America and the EU. This is primarily because they desire a safe haven for themselves and their family and/or educational opportunities for their children outside China.

Frequently, our consultations with Chinese companies keen on expanding to the U.S. transition into inquiries about the rumored benefit their young child (often around five years old) can immediately enroll in a top-tier local school at no cost. Affirming this substantially boosts the likelihood of a cross-border transaction materializing. Without this strong desire among many Chinese parents for a brighter future for their children, the volume of U.S. foreign direct investment cases from Chinese companies at my firm would likely diminish.

In Special delivery: mainland mothers heading to US to give birth, Shanghaiist discusses the trend of affluent Chinese mothers traveling to the U.S. to give birth, ensuring U.S. citizenship for their newborns.

But is the 97% claim truly reflective of reality? It might be a slight overestimation, but based on my experience, it’s pretty close to the mark.

August 24, 2023 UPDATE:  The sentiments concerning Chinese citizens’ desires to immigrate to the U.S. have remained largely consistent since my initial observations from 2010. However, the challenges associated with this move have escalated. Nowadays, my law firm’s immigration team doesn’t only consider the United States as an option for our Chinese clientele. WE instead explore various countries that offer feasible and swift citizenship opportunities for them.