This is a guide on Investment visa for people interested in entering and doing business in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Area. The visa falls under Hong Kong General Employment Policy for establishing a business or joining an existing company.
The investment visa is designed or meant for foreign nationals who would want to open and run their own enterprises. The visa is like a work permit given to the business owner as a staff of his company. Keep reading our guide: investment visa in Hong Kong to understand how to apply and enjoy running your business in Hong Kong.
Your application for investment visa is likely to be favored more if:
(i) The applicant does not have a record of serious crime in history.
(ii) Applicant has a good education background. The Hong Kong administration recommends that the applicant should have at least an undergraduate degree. However, people with special technical qualifications that can be backed with documentation can also be eligible.
(iii) You should be able to make a significant contribution to Hong Kong economy. This can be assessed using factors such as business turnover, financial resources, capital, and business plan. Here are additional details to assess your contribution to the economy.
(a) A business plan: Every applicant who wants to start or join a business in Hong Kong is required to submit a two-year detailed business plan. In the plan, the investor details the nature of the business, the market evaluation, the direction of the investment, the targeted sales, and a comprehensive marketing strategy. These details are used to demonstrate the business viability to operate in Hong Kong. Part of the plan should include a comprehensive forecast through profit and loss statement for two years.
The immigration department uses experts from other business-related sectors and professional sectors to evaluate the business viability. For example, if the business plan belongs to tourism, financial, or logistics sector, the immigration department will use related government sectors for advice on the investment viability.
(b) The investment turnover: If you have been running a business or own a joint venture in Hong Kong, you will be required to show a complete business turnover over the last one year using a profit and loss account. For those intending to open new businesses, it is a requirement to provide a forecast turnover for the next two years. The department will seek professional assistance to ensure that your business has very high prospects for making profitability
(c) Investment capital: This is one of the most important eligibility pillars because every business person must have some capital to invest. If you already have an operational business, the audited accounts of the previous year will be required. You will also be asked to provide confirmation of other sources of funding for your investment to support smooth operations.
For individuals intending to get investment visa, documentary proof of the amount they will inject into the venture is needed. For example, you can provide the latest personal bank account statements. Then, the immigration authority will establish whether the money is adequate to support the business or not.
(d) The number of jobs that the investment will create: Your application should have an organizational structure showing the number of staff and roles of each. For example, how many managers, clerical staff, support staff and others will be involved in the business?
(e) New technology introduction: Your application should detail a clear outline of the new technology that the investment will be introducing to Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Administration wants to inspire creativity by encouraging industries that add high value to products especially those with a long-term focus.
(iv) Applicants for start-up Businesses should also submit their applications to the immigrations department for review of their contribution to the economy. The immigration department will rule in your favour after a rigorous vetting process. Your chances of getting through successfully will also be very high if you are in a government funded program. Such programs include;
(a)StartmeupHK Venture Programme administered by InvestHK
(b)Cyberport Incubation Programme
(c)Design Incubation Programme administered by the Hong Kong Design Centre
Chinese nationals abroad who have People’s Republic of China passports and that meet the outlined criteria can also apply for investment visa under the following conditions.
(a)The applicants have a permanent residence abroad
(b)The applicant has been abroad for about one year before applying for an investment visa. The word abroad means outside Macao Special Administrative Region and HKSAR.
Unless you have a permanent identity card (right of abode) or right to land in Hong Kong, an entry permit/visa for investment is required. Remember that every application of evaluated on an individual basis, the baseline is meeting the normal requirements for immigration
Entry of Dependants
Once your investment visa is successful, you can apply to bring dependants (spouse and unmarried children). For your application to bring dependants to be successful, the following criteria are used;
(i) Proof that the sponsor and the spouse are in genuine relationship
(ii) There is no related harm to the dependant
(iii) The sponsor must be able and proof that he can support the dependants once they come to Hong Kong.
After receiving the dependant visa, it will always be linked to the sponsor. Therefore, the need for extension in the future is dependent on the eligibility of the Investor Visa of the sponsor. The dependants are free to take employment and even study in Hong Kong like other residents.
This sponsor dependant is not applicable to the following;
(i) Former Mainland Chinese residents who are residents of Macao Special Administrative Region. Such people must have acquired residence in Macao using other methods apart from One-way Permit Scheme.
(ii) Citizens of Democratic Republic of Korea and Afghanistan.
An investment visa will take about 4 weeks to process after all documents have been submitted. It is, therefore, crucial that all the documents are submitted because the application will not start if any of them is missing.
The applications for investment visa are all done by the immigration department. They are discretionary and subject to changing government policies of the time. The Hong Kong Immigration Director reserves absolute discretion to deny any application even if it met all the outlined criteria.