Hong Kong has won the name of the best destination in the world because of its prudent financial system and immigration policies. For investors, Hong Kong administration has made it easier for you to enter and make the investment you want. In this post, we review Hong Kong Citizenship By investment. The post particularly digs deeper into The Capital Investment Entrant Scheme (CIES) to help people understand it better and make the best decisions.
A brief history of Hong Kong history
Hong Kong is a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China that operates independently from the mainland China. It has a small landmass of 1,104 square kilometres and a high population of 7 million people. This makes it one of the most densely populated regions in the world.
It was colonized by the British after the First Opium War between 1839 and 1842 and later occupied by Japan during the Pacific war. Later, British regained control until 1997 when China regained its sovereignty.
The partial independence model from the mainland was adopted during the colonial era and has remained to date. Subsequent administrations after 1997 have implemented progressive immigration policies targeting to help investors bring more capital or run companies in Hong Kong.
The Basic Law of Hong Kong (the constitution) is that Hong Kong shall have and exercise a high degree of autonomy from the mainland China. This autonomy involves all areas except matters relating to military, defence, and government political system.
Today, Hong Kong has become the leading international financial centre because of its low taxation rates, free trade, and a strong currency. The limited space has made the administration support tall buildings and one of the best transport systems.
Immigration to Hong Kong via Investment
If you want to immigrate to Hong Kong for investment, there are two main methods you can use.
Business investment Visa
This is meant for active entrepreneurs who want to immigrate and run businesses in Hong Kong. To be granted this visa, you are required to demonstrate the nature of the business you want to run using a business plan, indicate the job opportunities it will create, and capital investment you want to inject.
You must also prove you have high academic qualifications (at least a degree) and capability to support the start-up and all expenses for at least 6 months.
Capital Investment Entrant Scheme
The Capital Investment Entrant Scheme (CIES) was established to make Hong Kong more diverse and competitive. Unlike the Business Investment visa, you are not required to have an active role in managing the investment you invest in. This makes it easy because you can leave the money and investment to be run by experts for higher returns.
Features of the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme provide that:
- The applicant under the scheme can get involved in alternative employment in Hong Kong without having to get an employment permit/working visa.
- If the applicant stays in Hong Kong for 7 complete years under the scheme, he can apply for right of abode.
- The minimum capital investment has been raised from HKD 6.5 million in 2010 to HKD 10 million. This cost is reviewed in every 3 years.
- To apply for entry under the scheme, you must be over 18 years of age with a net worth of more than HKD 10 million or USD 1.3 million.
- Besides, you are required to have invested the funds in Hong Kong not less than 6 months by the time of application.
- To get approved, you are required to prove that you can support yourself without using the funds for a reasonable time before returns can be realized from your investment.
- The applicant must not have a criminal record in Hong Kong and even the home country.
- The CIES program is available for people from most countries except nationals of Albania, Afghanistan, Cuba and North Korea.
When you apply for entry under the scheme, you are granted a three months visa. This will be followed by a 6 months residence visa immediately after your investment is launched. Immediately you get the 6 months visa; you will be expected to apply for an Identity Card that guarantees you access to healthcare as well as education rights and other benefits. Though Chinese nationals do not need a visa to live or work in Hong Kong, they can also apply to get right of abode after staying for 7 years.
People Who Are Eligible To Apply Under CIES Are As Follows:
- Foreign nationals except for nationals from Cuba, North Korea, Afghanistan, and Albania.
- Residents of Macao Special Administrative Region.
- Chinese citizens with permanent residence in other nations or stayed away abroad for more than one year.
- Taiwan residents
- Stateless individuals who have been given permanent residence status in other countries.
5 Main Areas of Investment If the Applicant Wants To Invest Under the CIES
- Debt Securities
- Certificates of Deposits
- Subordinated Debt
- Eligible Collective Investment Schemes Note