Immigration and the Chinese HNWI 2015

来源:Hurun Institute

(November 27, 2015, Beijing) Hurun Research Institute and Visas Consulting Group today jointly issued ‘Immigration and the Chinese HNWI 2015'.


  • Los Angeles and San Francisco are preferred emigration and overseas realty investment destinations for Chinese HNWIs.  New York and Seattle displaced Vancouver for third and fourth place, followed by Boston, Sydney, Toronto, Melbourne and Singapore. London dropped to 14th place.
  • Education, Environment, and Food Safety three main motivations for emigration
  • US$19 million of wealth required to be ‘economically free’ in China first-tier city
  • Visas Consulting and Hurun Report Release ‘Immigration and the Chinese HNWI 2015’, with tagline ‘Chinese Global Citizen 1.0’.



(November 27, 2015, Beijing) Hurun Research Institute and Visas Consulting Group today jointly issued ‘Immigration and the Chinese HNWI 2015’, a 34-page report highlighted by the preferred emigration and overseas investment destinations, and reasons behind the trends. The report carries a bespoke Chinese Emigration Index, ranking the destinations most suited to Chinese, and a survey of the Top 10 Most Important Cities for Chinese in the world. This is the second year of the report.


Results were based on data collated between August and October 2015, on the responses of 284 High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) with average wealth of 30 million RMB, who have either emigrated or considered emigrating.


This is a summary of the Chinese language press release, which can be found at


Summary. Quality of education, environment, and food safety remain the three main motivations for Chinese emigration. The United States is the most popular emigration and overseas realty destination for Chinese HNWIs, with half of the top ten most popular cities, led by Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York. Seattle rose from sixth place to fourth, while Vancouver fell to fifth place from third last year. 58% of overseas property investors do so to purchase residences, 27% for investment and 5% for vacationing. The average amount invested stood at 5.07 million RMB. Nearly half of the respondents base their property purchases on the schools in the vicinity, and 83% of families in China plan to send their children abroad for their education. Overseas assets account for 16% of total assets on average, and investors are seeking steady returns from them. Investment risk diversification has displaced children's education as the main driving force behind overseas investment.





Top Emigration + Overseas Investment Destinations. The United States is the most popular global destination for Chinese HNWIs when it comes to emigration and property investment. Half of the top ten cities of choice are North American. Los Angeles was the most popular, with 17.4% of the vote, up 3.5% on last year; San Francisco remained in second place with 16%, while New York advanced to third with 13.5%. Seattle has leapt from sixth to fourth place, while Vancouver fell from third to fifth.


Visas Consulting Hurun Chinese Immigration Index: US and UK lead the way. The United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Germany, South Korea, Hungary and Portugal topped the inaugural Visas Consulting Hurun Chinese Emigration Index. Rankings were based upon eight key criteria, namely education, property investment preferences, immigration policy, cost of living, personal taxation levels, visa-free travel, medical care and ease of adaptability.


‘Chinese Global Citizen 1.0’. Global Citizen definition: 33% of respondents believe that 'visa freedom' is the most important defining factor in being a global citizen; 29% opted for 'financial freedom', while 'overseas education', 'multinational circle of friends' and 'multinational business contacts' were chosen by 11%, 10% and 9% respectively. To gain full financial freedom, respondents believe on average that 120 million yuan in assets are a prerequisite.


HK tops Top 10 Most Important Global Cities for Chinese: Chinese HNWIs placed Hong Kong at the top of the ten most important global cities, followed by New York. Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of Hurun Report, said, “Hong Kong’s investment environment and quality of life is most attractive for rich Chinese, despite the HK government suspending investment immigration."


Hurun Report's chairman and chief researcher Rupert Hoogewerf said, “This year’s key trend is ‘the Chinese Global Citizen 1.0’. It is no longer unusual to find the children studying in one country, with the parents either having worked or investing in another country, meaning the family now has roots in two or three cities outside of China. ‘1.0’, because many have not yet settled yet.


I’m delighted to partner with Visas Consulting Group, a leader in Chinese emigration, to put out what I believe to be the most authoritative and complete report on Chinese HNWI emigration and overseas investments.”


Visas Consulting Group senior emigration expert David Chen Zhaohui said, "China's investment immigration has risen rapidly over the past few years, mainly because of the simple green card application process. But it could also be found in Canada that investment immigration is not as simple as that. We are very pleased to have joined forces with Hurun Report, the leading authority on Chinese HNWIs, to release the Immigration and the Chinese HNWI 2015. We hope to provide comprehensive guidance and inspiration to our readers and customers in emigration issues, overseas property investment and lifestyle."


Other findings

  • Quality of education, environment and food safety remain the three most significant motives for emigration, accounting for 22%, 20% and 18% respectively.
  • Improvements in children's self-confidence and education are the biggest topics noted in post-emigration at 37%, while freedom to participate in international culture and improvement in quality of life stand at 23% and 21% respectively.
  • Lack of clarity over local tax policies and language barriers are the biggest obstacles encountered by emigrants surveyed, with nearly half of respondents noting this as a main concern.


Overseas Properties

  • 58% of investors mainly use their overseas properties for residential purposes. 27% use them for investment purposes, while 5% use them as holiday homes. The average sum invested was 5.07 million RMB.
  • Interest in investing overseas in residential property in the next three years is 66%, down from 79%.
  • Proximity to schools is the main consideration vis-a-vis location, accounting for half of respondents; a downtown location comes second with 26%, while being in an area with many Chinese residents comes third. A quiet suburban location attracted 7% of respondents.


International Education

  • Of the HNWIs, up to 83% plan to send their children abroad for an international education.


Wealthy Life

  • Among HNWI respondents, overseas assets account for 16% of their total assets on average. Respondents expect steady returns from their overseas investments.
  • Risk diversification has replaced children's education as the biggest stimulus for overseas investment, accounting for 28% of respondents. Investment immigration was chosen by 20%
  • Property remains the most popular type of overseas investment, accounting for 36%, with 42% planning to invest in properties within the next three years. Foreign currency deposits stood for 23%, a 13% increase on last year. Stocks came third at 13%.
  • There are now more dollar billionaires in China than the US. On the most recent Hurun China Rich List, there were 715 Chinese billionaires, compared with 537 in the US. Of these 715 Chinese billionaires, 596 are mainland Chinese with the rest from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau.




Immigration and the Chinese HNWI 2015 is based on a bespoke survey of China's HNWIs.


Research was conducted from August to October 2015 in major cities nationwide, with 84% of respondents hailing from first-tier cities, and 16% from second- and third-tier cities. The questioning focused on HNWIs with assets of at least six million RMB (equivalent to US$1 million), and there were 284 respondents, among whom 15% had already emigrated; a further 62% were in the process of applying, and 20% were considering it. Respondents possessed average assets of 30 million RMB, and among them, 57% had between 10-50 million RMB, 7% had 50-100 million RMB, and 4% had more than 100 million RMB. Their sources of income were primarily investment returns (34%), company revenue (32%), salaries and bonuses (23%), family members (8%), business selloffs (8%) and asset inheritance. The average age of respondents was 40 years of age, with most of them in the 31-45 year bracket (58%), followed by 46 years or over (33%), and 30 years or under (9%). 88% of respondents had children, with 60% having one child, 26% having two, but only 3% having three or more. 40% had children aged between 10-18 years, 38% had children under 10 and 19% had children over 18. Besides surveys, the study was augmented with a number of face-to-face interviews.



About Visas Consulting Group

The history of Visas Consulting Group (VCG) can be traced back to 1974, when founding partner and lawyer, Gaston Perron, opened an immigration practice in Montreal, Canada.


Now, 40 years later, Visas Consulting Group has become a leading international provider of immigration legal services, with wholly owned or joint-venture legal practices in the US (San Francisco and Los Angeles), Canada (Montreal and Vancouver), the UK (London), Australia, (Sydney) and New Zealand (Christchurch).


Visas Consulting was also one of the earliest immigration advisory companies to enter the Chinese market, and now has branches in cities including Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Suzhou, Wuxi, Hangzhou and Ningbo. In order to provide the most direct, thorough service to Chinese clients, VCG's permanent staff in China includes a large team of foreign lawyers, immigration advisers and government registered immigration consultants. Visas Consulting Group also employs a number of former immigration officials with extensive experience in assessing Chinese citizen’s immigration applications. To ensure professional standards and quality of service, a foreign lawyer and an expert immigration adviser always take personal charge of each case.


Visas Consulting Group's highly praised relocation service includes meeting clients on arrival, helping them find the right place to live, and organizing their children’s education. It has established relocation service centers in all the major immigration destinations – Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Boston and Seattle; Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal; London, and various other European countries.


Visas Consulting Group is committed to maintaining its leading position in the field of immigration services, providing clients with expert, timely and thorough service, and satisfying each client’s specific needs. Above all, VCG sees protecting each client’s interests as its duty, in order to help them build a better future in a new country.



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