Romania ‘welcomes Chinese with open arms’ as Canada tightens immigration policy

  • February 25,2014
  • As Canada tightens its immigration policies amid a crush of wealthy mainlanders, Romania is opening its doors wide to Chinese immigrants.

    Chinese looking to move to the southeastern European country would be warmly welcomed, former Romanian prime minister Petre Roman said during a trip to Beijing.

    "We're used to seeing people move out of our country to Western Europe, so we don't have problems with immigration like many countries do," Roman said. "We welcome immigrants from China."

    He said that Chinese were "well accepted" in Romanian society.

    A rising number of wealthy Chinese are moving to the United States and Europe. Another favoured destination, Canada, has signalled a change in policy with the termination of its Immigrant Investor Programme, which saw about 45,000 mainland applications cancelled.

    Roman said there were about 40,000 Chinese in Romania, which has a population of roughly 20.1 million. An investor immigration scheme requires an applicant to invest at least €1 million (HK$10.6 million) or create 100 jobs to become a permanent resident in Romania.

    Tang Feiyang, an immigration consultant with the Shenzhen-based Exchange International Service, said most Chinese immigrants applied to Romania for gaining access to the European Union, but that its language and culture made it a choice for only a small minority.

    "Most people still want to move to the US, Hong Kong or Macau," Tang said. "European countries, including Portugal, Cyprus and Greece, are also considered, but Romania is uncommon. There are better options for rich Chinese."

    Former Dutch prime minister Wim Kok also travelled to the capital with Roman. The two men were in Beijing representing the Club of Madrid, a group of former democratically elected leaders. They were invited by the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs to a forum on social inclusion.

    Kok said the Netherlands, in contrast to Romania, was becoming more selective in admitting immigrants owing to a lack of jobs, but added that the country still welcomed skilled people and students.

    He said there were about 100,000 Chinese in the country. An investor immigration scheme requires that immigrants invest at least €1.25 million in a Dutch company.

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