爱思英语编者按:投资移民是近些年越来越受关注的话题。美国国务院近日表示计划在今年发放超过六千份投资移民签证,而这一数额将创下历年来最高。美国国务院日前表示,计划在本财年发放超过6000份投资移民签证,数额为历年来最高,比去年发放的3500份投资移民签证要多出近一倍。美国公民及移民服务局表示,大幅提高投资移民签证额度是为了鼓励更多的外国投资者来美投资,增加美国就业。

导读:许多国家都表示要鼓励创业,但是从为投资者发放签证这个角度来看,它们言行不一。对投资者来说,有哪些国家门槛较低?有哪些具体要求?且看本文。

Visas for entrepreneurs

投资者签证

Where creators are welcome

欢迎创业者的国度

Australia, Canada and even Chile are more open than America.

对于投资者来说,澳大利亚、加拿大甚至是智利都比美国更开放。

MOST governments say they want to encourage entrepreneurs. Yet when foreigners with ideas come knocking, they slam doors in their faces. America, surprisingly, is one of the worst offenders. It has no specific visa for foreigners who wish to create new companies. It does offer a visa for investors, but the requirements are so stiff—usually an initial investment of $1m, or half that if the firm is in a depressed neighbourhood—that the annual quota of 10,000 visas is seldom filled.

大多数国家的政府都表示它们要鼓励创业。然而当外国人带着点子来敲门时,这些国家又“哐当”把门关上了。出人意料的是,在这些国家当中,美国最为过分。对于那些想创业的外国人,美国并没有特殊类别的签证。但该国确实为投资者提供签证,不过要求很苛刻:通常来说,初期投资需要达到100万美元,如果在经济不发达地区创办企业,金额可以减半——因此美国每年10,000个此类签证几乎从未全数签发。

Other countries are more open (see table). Singapore offers visas to people who invest $40,000; for some, the government provides additional investment. Britain gives visas to entrepreneurs who meet certain conditions and attract £50,000 ($77,000) of venture funding. New Zealand has no specific capital requirement but offers residency to entrepreneurs whose firms are deemed to benefit the country. Chile is wildly generous: its government gives selected start-ups $40,000 without taking any equity in return. All these schemes have been introduced or expanded since 2008.

其他一些国家的门槛则要低得多(如表所示)。在新加坡,外商只需要投资40,000美元即可拿到签证;政府还会为某些投资者的项目追加投资。在英国,如果投资者能够吸引50,000英镑(77,000美元)的风险投资资金并满足一定的条件,政府就会发放签证。新西兰对于投资金额没有具体要求,只要投资者创办的企业被认定为对该国有利,便可获得永久居留权。智利则更为大方:该国政府会为挑选出来的新兴公司无偿提供40,000美元(不要求持有公司股份)。自2008年以来,这些措施被世界各国效仿,有些国家还对上述措施进行了进一步完善。

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Where an entrepreneurial visa is not available, other routes may be. Australia and Canada use a points system that emphasises youth and skills. Since 2007 Australia has curbed the total number of permanent-residency visas it issues, but expanded the number of visas for skilled workers and their dependents from 103,000 to 126,000 a year. That is nearly as many as America (140,000), though America’s population is 14 times larger.

而在那些不发放投资签证的国家,一般都有其他替代形式。澳大利亚和加拿大使用一套倾向于年轻人并看重申请者技能的打分系统。自2007年以来,澳大利亚就控制了绿卡的签发数量,但提高了每年为技术移民及其家属发放的签证数量,从103,000上升到了126,000。这几乎与美国发放的签证数量(140,000)相当,不过美国的人口是澳大利亚的14倍。

A similar side door let Mohamed Alborno into Canada. The young Egyptian-born entrepreneur incorporated his company, Crowdsway, in Delaware. He had done well in a contest for budding entrepreneurs. But getting a visa to live in America is slow, confusing and unpredictable.

一些小问题让穆罕默德-阿伯诺(Mohamed Alborno)更倾向于选择加拿大。这位出生于埃及的年轻企业家在美国特拉华州成立了自己的公司Crowdsway。在一次新生企业家的比赛中他表现出色,但是要拿到美国绿卡耗时较长、手续繁杂而且不一定能申请下来。

In the end he went to Canada instead, where setting up a company is just as easy as in America, but the visa process is much more straightforward. He now says he is very happy to have settled in Vancouver. His firm, which connects online video-makers with clients, has just launched a beta service.

最终他还是去了加拿大。跟在美国一样,在加拿大创办公司也很容易,但是办理签证的手续则要简单得多。如今他表示对于定居在温哥华很满意。他创办的公司为在线视频制作者与客户牵线搭桥,现在还在试运行。

America’s scorn for skills is extraordinary. The share of permanent visas granted for economic reasons (as opposed to kinship) fell from 18% to 13% between 1991 and 2011. In Canada it rose from 18% to 67%. The Partnership for a New American Economy, a pro-immigration group, warns that America is “falling behind in the global race for talent.” China, meanwhile, offers some highly skilled returners not only free homes but also cash to buy furniture.

美国特别看不起技术移民。1991年到2011年间,为投资者发放的签证(与因为亲属关系发放的签证相对)所占比例已经从18%下降到了13%。在加拿大,这一比例从18%上升到了67%。美国新型经济伙伴(The Partnership for a New American Economy)是一个支持移民的组织,该组织警告称:美国“在全球人才争夺战中正逐渐落后”。而中国不仅为回国的高技术人才提供住房,还发放安家费。