Romania opens doors to Chinese immigrants shunned by Canada

Bucharest airpot, Romania Photo: Aero_Icarus

Canada’s move, which was announced last month, arrived as Chinese investment in the country drove up its real estate prices, fuelling a potential bubble. With 45,000 mainland applications cancelled, other countries are clamouring to welcome the shunned investors.

Indeed, Australia is already expected to benefit, thanks to its popularity with neighbouring countries, while nations such as Spain and Portugal have introduced similar residency schemes for non-EU buyers in attempt to attract capital into their struggling housing markets.

Now, though, Romania has joined the list, with the country’s former Prime Minister saying that any immigrants would be “warmly welcomed”.

“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,” Petre Roman told the South China Morning Post during a trip to Beijing. “We welcome immigrants from China.”

Roman said that there are now 40,000 Chinese living in Romania, a small percentage of a total population of 20.1 million. The country’s scheme at present requires a minimum investment of €1 million to become a permanent resident and gain access to the European Union.

“Most people still want to move to the US, Hong Kong or Macau,” Tang Feiyang, a consultant from the Exchange International Service, added. “European countries, including Portugal, Cyprus and Greece, are also considered, but Romania is uncommon. There are better options for rich Chinese.”