Hong Kong is a business driven economy that has policies targeting to bring as many entrepreneurs as possible. Hong Kong is a special legislative region of China which grants its autonomy in most operations except military and politics. Despite this, Hong Kong only approves about 300 -400 business investment visas every year. To get a business investment visa, it is advisable to ensure you understand everything about it and make the application correctly. In this post, you get everything you need to know to succeed in the investment visa.
The Cornerstone of investment visa
When Hong Kong administration introduced the Business Investment Visa, the target was to leverage the economy and propel it to the next level. Therefore, the business investment visa is pegged on four main pillars that applicants should focus on.
(i) Job creation to the residents: As a business driven economy, Hong Kong encourages investments that have the potential to create employment and spur massive opportunities in the line of operations.
(ii) An appropriate business premise: The Hong Kong administration wants to deal with a business that is easy to find for enforcing other laws such as tax obligations.
(iii) Proof of capital, personal financial health, and resource mobilization capability: To invest in any investment, the requisite capital must be readily available. You must demonstrate that the business is capable of meeting startup costs and all expenses for the first 6 months.
(iv) A proper business structure: A good business should have proper operational structures demonstrating the roles of various professionals. For example, the top management, middle staff, and general workers. You should also extend this structure to areas outside the business to demonstrate how various departments will relate with government, partners, and customers.
Preparing and presenting a good business plan
(a) What the immigration department looks for
If you intend to run a new business, the department of immigration requires you to present a comprehensive business plan for review and approval. The plan is supposed to capture the health of your business including the nature of operations, market analysis, brand positioning, competitor analysis, and targeted sales.
Notably, the immigration department cannot grant you a business investment visa on the basis of the paperwork alone. The plan has to be tied to other aspects of the business especially capital availability. To get the real picture of the anticipated business, you have to provide a comprehensive profit and loss account projection of the subsequent two years. The plan and profit and balance sheets are evaluated by experts from respective government departments.
It is very important to note that the immigration department must first see the contribution to the economy. Even when you want to establish an entirely new business, the department will want to see your input through a limited liability company. Therefore, it is advisable to focus on your limited liability company to demonstrate your willingness and capability to take it to the next level.
(b) Components of the business plan
• A Clear demonstration of the area that the business will be operating in. This is critical because the applicant is able to clearly tell in which area of the economy that the business targets. For example, your business should be easy to categorize whether it falls in the finance, tourism, telecoms, or other areas.
• If an applicant has been running a business in Hong Kong or even overseas, it is important to provide its profit and loss balance sheet for the previous year. If the business is new, it is important to carefully capture the forecast of two years in profit and loss account. It is at this point that immigration department will be evaluating for the business viability.
•Personal financial statement detailing your capability to invest in the business: No one can invest without the requisite funds. The immigration department looks at the business plan and your capability to drive everything using the required funds. Besides, the ability to mobilize additional funds gives the department assurance that you are ready even to inject more capital for accelerated growth.
• New technology that will be introduced by the applicant. Hong Kong administration strongly supports investors who are bringing new technologies because they have the capacity to spur huge growth.
When immigration department ask for a business plan, the focus is not to see a theoretically neat paper presentation. Rather, they want to see the link between the applicant, the business, and Hong Kong Economy. Therefore, you should ensure that the business plan underscores key difficulties you are expecting and how to handle them in a practical and legal way.
The processing of your application
As indicated at the beginning of this post, the main objective of business investment visa is to attract investors. Immediately you submit all the required documents; it will take about 3-6 months. If your plan is clear, viable, and presents huge potential to Hong Kong economy, there is a great likelihood that you will get communication requiring clarifications
It is, therefore, critical that you are vigilant and keep strengthening your ideologies to strengthen the business proposition. For example, if you have a business that is already operational, you can keep looking for additional funds and talk of how you will expand the business in Hong Kong. When the business investment visa is approved, you will be required to personally go to the immigrations department and complete the formalities.
Changing your visa status to business investment visa
If you came to Hong Kong on an employment visa, you can change to a business investment visa. First, you will need to ask the employer to allow you run a side business on top of being employed. It is important to look at the application as if it’s a completely new business investment application.
If you left the employer and started a business in Hong Kong, application for a business investment visa will be really difficult. However, if you had taken more than three years in Hong Kong and you are willing to make a significant injection through your business, chances of getting the business investment visa are higher compared to those with fewer years. However, you will need to make a very good presentation and take advantage of knowledge about Hong Kong market.
If you have a visitor visa, changing to a business investor visa can be very tricky. Though Hong Kong immigration department encourages investors so much, your visiting visa will not be extended because another visa (business investment visa) is being reviewed. Therefore, opening a business to demonstrate commitment can put you in a difficult situation when the visitor visa expires. You will be at risk of being left with a company that you cannot run because the time of your stay in Hong Kong under the visitor visa is over.
While the Hong Kong administration business investment visa is among the best in the world, it is crucial to apply it appropriately. With only 300-400 visas in the category being approved every year, the chances of getting one are no doubt slim if you do not get everything right. You must put a lot of focus on your business plan, finances, and direct connection to the Hong Kong Economy. The immigration department must see the real business in motion by simply going through your documents. To make your business investment visa successful, make sure to get things right from inception to the last stage.