Chinese Immigration | Emigrate from China | Chinese Immigration Attorney
Contact an Immigration Lawyer for Legal Assistance with All Your Immigration Needs!
Immigration lawyers across the United States are available to help those seeking to immigrate from China and other parts of Asia. The Chinese have had a long, sometimes antagonistic relationship with immigrating to the U.S., but have nonetheless established themselves as a strong and respected part of American culture.
Early Waves of Immigration from China
Chinese immigration to the United States began with the dreams and aspirations of acquiring gold during the 19th century's California Gold Rush. In 1848, the first major wave of Chinese migration to the United States began, after word spread of the "Golden Mountain" when gold was first struck in California. Across seas, the Chinese had been suffering from years of famine and civil war, mostly in Southern China. The first gold strike gave the Chinese a reason to come to the U.S. and provided them a way to send money back to their families back in China.
With the first wave of Chinese immigrants also came the first discriminatory attitudes towards the Chinese in America. During the Gold Rush, many southern whites moved to California in search of wealth. In fact, approximately 1/3 of the gold rushers were southerners who had moved to California. Along with their desire for wealth, many of these southerners brought along hostile racial attitudes from the antebellum South. In the years that followed, these discriminatory sentiments manifested themselves in laws aimed at ethnic minorities, such as the Chinese. California gold rushers often used violence to drive the Chinese workers out of the mines; however, the Chinese immigrants persevered and established a significant presence in the American west.
Although the Chinese immigrants originally came to the United States for the Gold Rush, they also took jobs as cooks, peddlers, and storekeepers. The first Chinese were ready and willing to take any jobs, including those that nobody else wanted because they were considered "too dirty." By 1880, a fifth of Chinese immigrants were engaged mining, another fifth in agriculture, a seventh in manufacturing, an added seventh were domestic servants, and a tenth were laundry workers. Approximately 30,000 Chinese had moved to work outside of California in such trades as mining, common labor, and service trades.
As time passed, resentment increased against the Chinese immigrants because American citizens could not compete with their low-cost labor. As a result, violence increased against the Chinese from white manufacturing and agricultural workers. In 1862 alone, 88 Chinese were reported murdered. Eventually, U.S. politicians pushed for the passage of the Naturalization Act of 1870 and the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which restricted immigration of Chinese immigrants into the United States. The Naturalization Act of 1870 restricted all immigration into the United States to only "white persons and persons of African descent," thus prohibiting the Chinese from entering or receiving citizenship until 1943. Additionally, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 prohibited further Chinese migration to the United States in an attempt to prevent an excess of cheap labor from becoming available, thus lowering wages for American citizens.
As the decades passed, attitudes towards the Chinese gradually improved, and the Chinese Exclusion Act was repealed following World War II, when the U.S. and China were allies.
The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965
The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 changed the way that the United States counted its immigration population in its entirety. Not only did the Act allow far more skilled workers in the the country each year, but it also allowed their families to enter the U.S. legally. Additionally, it eliminated the old quota system that gave preference to Europeans entering the U.S. The result was a surge in the Chinese American population, almost doubling within 10 years. The new group of Chinese immigrants did not come from the same few southern, rural provinces of China as the immigrants of the 1800s and early 1900s had. Instead, many came from large cities such as Hong Kong and Taiwan, and had greater expectations of social mobility. Some were professionals, and they and their families integrated easily into cities throughout the United States.
Present Day Chinese Immigration to the United States
Since the 1980s, the U.S. has seen a huge influx of immigrants from the province of Fujian in China. The Fujian immigrants have completely overhauled the aging "Chinatown" district in most American cities. The Fujians helped transform the Chinatowns from crime and drug ridden places to quiet, colorful tourist attractions. As the flow of immigrants from Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong continues to remain steady, the Chinese-American communities in both large cities and American suburbs continue to adapt to the challenges that come with a growing and diverse culture.
Currently, many of the newest Chinese immigrants are adoptees. In fact, most foreign-born adoptions in the U.S. come from China. The U.S. State Department issued over 6,500 visas to Chinese orphans in 2006, and since 1991, Americans have adopted over 55,000 Chinese children, mostly girls.
Chinese immigrants are widespread throughout the entire United States, but have predominantly settled in the following states:
- New York
- New Jersey
The Chinese and Chinese-Americans in American communities today are growing and thriving, and currently account for the largest Asian population in the United States, at 3.6 million strong and counting.
Contact Us to Seek a Qualified Immigration Lawyer for Chinese Related Visas & Emigration from China
If you are a Chinese national seeking entry to the United States through one of the U.S. government's immigration services, please fill out the questionnaire below and an experienced immigration lawyer will contact you regarding your particular immigration matter. There is no obligation created by your submission of information. Immigration lawyers and law firms are available at all hours and will contact you to assist with any immigration concerns that you may have.