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How to Transfer Money from China to USA

What is in this guide

China to USA Guide

Summary

China and the United States have a robust economic relationship, with bilateral trade and investment flows constantly on the rise. China is currently the largest supplier of imports to the US, and America’s second-largest bilateral trade partner overall. The Chinese government has currently placed restrictions on Chinese nationals and citizens who wish to transfer money from China to the USA with caps on the amount of money that can be sent, typically $50,000 per calendar year per individual. Businesses have fewer restrictions remitting money from China to the US and Chinese businesses are encouraged to invest overseas.

Visas, work permits and residency

Chinese citizens who wish to live or work in the United States must apply for the appropriate visa or be granted permanent resident status. There are many different visa types, depending on the applicant’s profession and the desired duration of the stay. For travel or short visits lasting less than 90 days, a visitor or business visa is currently required for Chinese citizens. This can be granted after filling out the appropriate online forms and attending an in-person interview at the local American consulate or embassy. For stays over 90 days, an immigrant or non-immigrant visa is required. The EB5 Green Card program in the United States, the top destination for Chinese emigrants, requires emigrants invest US$1 million, or at least US$500,000 in a targeted employment area, according to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. China emigrants are currently the largest contributors to the EB5 program.

Buying property in the US

There are few restrictions for non-citizens who legally reside in the United States and wish to own or rent property. However, individuals who are not permanent US residents must provide an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) when purchasing property in America. To obtain the ITIN, the buyer must first apply with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which may take five weeks or longer to receive. Once the ITIN is approved, the buyer may then transfer money from China to the USA to fund the purchase.

As each US state maintains its own real estate laws, it is advisable to obtain the services of a licensed attorney or real estate agent who can advise you on both local and federal real estate laws throughout the entire process. It is common to use a licensed real estate agent when buying or selling property within the United States, and most are members of NAR (the National Association of Realtors), an organization that provides a code of ethics to which members must adhere.

Taxation

In 1993 the Chinese government passed a law mandating that all Chinese residents living abroad must declare their earnings and file tax forms annually. Based on the US definition of income, the law states that all Chinese citizens living abroad must pay taxes on all worldwide income earned. However, the US and China signed anIncome Tax Convention in 1984 that prevents the double taxation of citizens or businesses in either country. In cases where there are taxes owed, there are no restrictions on international money transfers to cover these payments.

Studying in the US

China is the leading sender of international students to the United States. Before they can apply for a visa to study at an American institution, Chinese students must first apply for and be accepted to a US-based school or program. Once the student has been accepted, the school will then be responsible for supplying the necessary documents so that the student can then apply for a visa. We recommend referring to the US Embassy website for more information on student visas.


The US currently offers two types of student visas, the F-1 and M-1 visas. The F-1, the most common type, applies to academic studies at an approved school or accredited American university. Non-academic or vocational studies, or training with an American professional institution, require the M-1 visa.

Voting

Chinese citizens are not permitted to vote in American federal elections. Currently, voting for federal office is restricted to American citizens. Although states may allow non-citizens to vote, this is rare and limited to local elections in only a few places today.

Healthcare

American healthcare is considered a pay-as-you-go system, with most American citizens owning some form of health insurance, often supplied through their job. Health insurance is the way most people pay for their healthcare. It is advisable for Chinese citizens who are planning to visit or live in the US to purchase travel insurance or a short-term health insurance policy. It is mandatory for everyone to have at least the minimum levels of health insurance, or risk facing a yearly tax.

Non-citizens may participate in the two publicly-funded health plans, Medicare and Medicaid, if their income is below the minimum threshold, they have lived in the US for at least five years, and have contributed to Medicare/Social Security programmes for at least ten years.

Importing from China to the United States

In 2013, China was the largest supplier of goods imports into the United States. Imports totaled over $440bn, representing a 3.5% increase from 2012 and accounting for almost 20% of the total of all imports into the US in 2013. The largest import categories were electrical machinery, machinery, furniture and bedding, toys and sports equipment, and footwear. Agricultural imports also accounted for over $4bn, with China the third-largest agricultural supplier to the US. Two-way trade between the countries was valued $562bn in 2013, representing the second-largest goods trading partnership for America. Chinese foreign direct investment and money transfers into the United States totaled $5.2bn in 2012, dominated by the wholesale trade and banking sectors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the money transfer companies shown above safe to use?

Yes, all the companies are safe and fully-regulated money transfer services. Each are authorised and regulated by the relevant authority such as the Financial Conduct Authority(FCA) in the UK, FinCEN in the US, FinTRAC in Canada or ASIC in Australia.

How long does an international money transfer take?

The speed of delivery will depend on where the money is being from and to and how you are sending and receiving the money. Transfers sent using bank to bank transfers can depend take anywhere from minutes to days and you should check the time estimates from the relevant provider. Debit and credit card payments sometimes allow for faster transfers for smaller amounts.

How do I use FXcompared?

First review the comparison results (such as for a table above) for a given amount of money sending from China to USA. Then select a provider based on factors such as price, speed, their rating and click the green button to be taken to their website. From there, you can register and sign up for an account. Once you have done that and the provider has verified your identity to ensure the money can be send safely, you will be ready to transfer money.

What payments methods can I use to send money overseas?

The results shown above are typically for bank to bank transfers. It is possible via some providers to pay in your funds for the transfer via cash, debit or credit cards as well but this is usually reserved for smaller amounts. Some providers also give you different options for how the money will be received - to a bank account (most common), to a debit card, to cash or to a digital or mobile wallet.

What if the price shown above isn’t exactly what I am offered when I try to transfer money?

There can be a number of reasons why the final price you are offered may be different to that shown in the table above. Exchange rates between two currencies change all the time and is the most common reason. Additionally, some providers offer different pricing depending what method you are using to send funds or how the funds will be received. Others may offer you a premium service for faster payments. In some cases FXcompared has a special rate with a provider and this is reserved for first time customers who sign up to the provider starting from FXcompared’s website. As prices do change often, be sure to confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

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All the providers listed are regulated by the relevant authority (e.g. the FCA in the UK, FinCEN in the US, ASIC in Australia) and have been vetted by FXcompared.

FXcompared.com is an fx money comparison site for international money transfer and to compare rates from currency brokers for sending money abroad. The website and the information provided is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer, solicitation or advice on any financial service or transaction. None of the information presented is intended to form the basis for any investment decision, and no specific recommendations are intended.  FXC Group Ltd and FX Compared Ltd does not provide any guarantees of any data from third parties listed on this website. FX compared Ltd expressly disclaims any and all responsibility for any direct or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever arising directly or indirectly from (i) any error, omission or inaccuracy in any such information or (ii) any action resulting therefrom.