Early in 2015, the Hong Kong Immigration Department announced its redesign of the business investment visa to enhance the business environment. The business visa was broken into two streams, (i) the start-up visa (ii) the entrepreneur visa.
The investment visa has become one of the best methods for those intending to open and run businesses in Hong Kong. In this post; Entrepreneur Visa in Hong-Kong: What you need to know brings you a comprehensive review of the most important components of the visa. The entrepreneur visa is categorized under GEP (General employment policy) to assist those looking forward to starting new businesses or join those that are already established.
To be eligible to get the entrepreneur visa, the applicant is required to demonstrate the following;
Every entrepreneur visa applicant is required to prepare a comprehensive business plan that can be used to assess the investment viability. You are expected to draw a plan on how your business will operate for subsequent two years including but not limited to these; type of business, market evaluation, customer acquisition, positioning, investment direction, sales target, and appropriate marketing strategy. In addition to this, the investor will also be required to prepare and submit a complete 2-year forecast using a profit and loss account to demonstrate its feasibility.
To make the right decision, the immigration department seeks advice from experts in relevant fields. For example, if you are investing in the transport sector, government officials in the transport sector will be asked to give their take on its viability. The Hong Kong economy is based on four key pillars; financial services, trading & logistics, tourism, and professional & producer services.
If the investment visa applicant already has an operational business in Hong Kong, you are required to provide a profit and loss account statement for the last one or two years. For those intending to establish new businesses, a forecast of profit and loss account of the next two years will be required.
These financial projections will be assessed by immigration department and financial experts to establish the health of the investment. If the need arises, more experts might be called to establish whether the business is viable and can sustain high profitability.
To demonstrate you can meet the start-up requirements and all the expenses for about 6 months, the immigration department will want to know your financial health.
They will require you to provide personal bank accounts for the last one year and demonstrate capability to raise finances via other means. For those with operational businesses in Hong Kong, the bank statements of the last two years must be provided.
This is the amount an investor is willing to put into the business. The amount you are willing to invest is essential to the investment visa approval. The authorities will review whether the capital investment is enough in line with the business plan you provided earlier.
Together with the financial statement, the applicant is required to show how many job opportunities will be created. This is done by drawing a comprehensive organizational structure showing staff requirements. It will be easy to tell how many managers, clerical and support staff will be required to run the business.
The Hong Kong administration encourages those people with new technologies especially high-value addition types to apply for an investment visa. If you are bringing new technologies to Hong Kong, emphasizing their application will take your application edge closer to getting approved.
For an startup visa applicant intending to join an already existing business, it is advisable to also make a request to the immigration department. The immigration department will carefully review the application to establish whether it is one of those supported by government and the applicant is a key researcher. Some of these government initiatives include the following;
If the applicants are Chinese living abroad, have Chinese passports, and meet the outlined criteria, they can also apply. Note that living abroad means having permanent residence away from home or having resided abroad for more than one year.
Once your entrepreneur visa application has been approved, you can bring a spouse and children below the age of 18 years. To do this, you have to apply at the immigration department for a dependant visa of each family member. To bring a spouse, you must provide proof that you are in a genuine relationship. Besides, you have to demonstrate the capability to support the dependant fully with an above average lifestyle. However, the dependant visa is not applicable in these areas:
With the Entrepreneur Visa in Hong-Kong: what you need to know is that the the dependants are free to take gainful employment, study, and enjoy everything in Hong Kong like residents. However, this is limited to the sponsor’s entrepreneur visa validity.
From the time of application, the investment visa will take about 4 weeks to be processed.
However, it is important to carefully review and provide all the required documents because the process cannot commence if one of them is missing. While the processing is dependant on a case by case review, the Director of Immigrations has an absolute right to deny a visa even if the department had approved it.