The Grass is Indeed Greener in India and China for Returnee Entrepreneurs: America's New Immigrant Entrepreneurs, Part VI
Anecdotal evidence indicates that large numbers of skilled workers have returned home from the United States to countries such as India and China.
There are no hard data available, but most authorities agree that the numbers returning per year are in the tens of thousands. For example, the Chinese Ministry of Education estimates that the number of overseas Chinese who returned to China in 2009 having received a foreign education reached 108,000: a sharp increase of 56.2 percent over the previous year. In 2010, this number reached an all-time high of 134,800.1 Our earlier research2 had estimated that, as of October 2006, waiting for a yearly allocation of 120,000 permanent-resident visas were 1,055,084 employment-based principals in the focal employment categories and their family members residing in the United States. We had speculated that these workers might get frustrated at the wait and return to their home countries, producing a "reverse brain drain."
In 2008, our surveys3 of 1,203 Indian and Chinese immigrants who had worked in or received their education in the United States and returned to their home countries revealed that, although restrictive immigration policies had caused some returnees to depart the United States, the most significant factors in the decision to return home were career opportunities, family ties, and quality of life. We learned that a majority of these returnees to India and China aspired to start businesses within five years.