As mentioned on the Primasia website, If you are planning on moving into Hong Kong to work, or to relocate staff to Hong Kong for work in your company, you will need to obtain a Hong Kong working visa or a Hong Kong investment visa. Having discussed in detail what a Hong Kong Working Visa is and the ongoing process on how to obtain one, let’s the discuss its counterpart: the Hong Kong investment/entrepreneur visa. The Hong Kong Investment Visa option is for those selected entrepreneurs under the General Employment Policy (GEP) which is a policy used to establish or join a currently existing business in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR). Due to the specific criteria on the requirements this is for those select individuals that fill in the requirements. Often, these requirements would include:
- There should be no security objections or any known record of serious crimes in respect to the applicant
- The Applicant must have a good education background, (normally a first degree in the relevant field, and/or good technical qualifications, proven professional abilities and/or relevant experience and specific achievements
- The Applicant mentioned above needs to be fully supported with documentary evidence.
- The Application should result in a substantial contribution to the economy of Hong Kong SAR with relevant factors including but not limited to:
- A business plan (forecast turnover and profitability included)
- The financial resources available to the applicant
- Importantly: the number of jobs planned to be created in Hong Kong
- The Introduction of new technologies or skills is also relevant consideration to the application
Of course, it is crucial the entrepreneurs outside Hong Kong know and understand these facts. But this is not enough for the government to simply pass you. In business, there will always be the finer details which will hopefully enable you to get over that line. So what are those finer details?
For your business plan, there should be a two-year plan to demonstrate that the business is suitable for and capable of developing in Hong Kong. The applicant will also submit a two-year forecast of the profit-and-loss account statement, cash flow statement and balance sheet to demonstrate the feasibility of the business in terms of operation, finances, and development.
This is so the Immigration Department will consider, for example, whether the applicant’s business belongs to or whether it is able to complement industries where Hong Kong enjoys obvious advantages, such as the four traditional pillar industries (i.e. trading and logistics, tourism, financial services, and professional and producer services) or whether the new potential company is part of the clusters of sectors being explored for support measures by the Economic Development Commission (i.e. transportation, convention and exhibition industries and tourism, manufacturing industries, innovative technology and cultural and creative industries, and professional services), etc. All these decisions are important to the immigration department as it looks to continue and develop the potential for both Hong Kong internally and what it offers to the rest of Asia.
If the applicant is already running a relevant business either overseas or is already involved in such a business in Hong Kong, he/she will have to submit the profit-and-loss account statement and balance sheet of the existing business showing the business’s turnover and profit in the previous year. They should also provide a two-year forecast of profit-and-loss account statement and a balance sheet, including the anticipated business turnover, in order to demonstrate the feasibility of the business operation and development.
Current Experience and Resources:
The applicant should submit statements of his/her personal and company bank accounts in the previous year and proof of other sources of funding to demonstrate that he/she has sufficient financial resources to support the relevant business in Hong Kong. The Immigration Department will then consider whether the applicant has relevant investment or working experience in the business concerned. The applicant should also submit documentary proof showing the amount of capital investment in Hong Kong.
Other Basic Information
The applicant should set out the organisational structure of his/her business and the required and projected number of staff and posts, identifying those to be created locally. The applicant should explain how the new technology or skills to be introduced can benefit Hong Kong, including any IP registered or to be registered.
An applicant who wishes to establish or join in a start-up business may also make an application. Applications which are government-backed program (for example those listed below) will be viewed particularly favorably.
(i) StartMeUpHK Venture Program administered by InvestHK;
(ii) The Incu-App, Incu-Bio and Incu-Tech programs administered by the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation.
(iii) The Cyberport Incubation Programme.
(iv) The Small Entrepreneur Research Assistance Program and Enterprise Support Scheme administered by the Innovation and Technology Commission
(v) The Design Incubation Program administered by the Hong Kong Design Centre.
However different criteria apply to PRC nationals.
Entry of Dependants:
Applicants admitted for investment may apply to bring in their spouse or same-sex partner under marriage, civil union or (broadly) other similar, legally recognised relationship. This does not currently include common law marriages, cohabitation, fiancé(e). People under the investment visa programme will be the sponsors of their accompanying dependants to the HKSAR. An application for admission of a dependant should show:
- reasonable proof of a genuine relationship between the dependant and the sponsor.
- there is no known adverse record of the dependant
- the sponsor can support the dependant’s living at a standard well above the subsistence level and provide him/her with suitable accommodation in the HKSAR.
The length of stay of such dependants will normally be linked to and dependent on that of their sponsors. These dependants are currently permitted to take up employment or studies in the HKSAR.
It normally takes four weeks to process a visa/entry permit application for investment upon receipt of all the required documents. Processing does not start until all the required documents and information have been received. Approval of applications is entirely within the discretion of the Immigration Department, regardless of whether eligibility criteria are met, and is subject to changes in government policies.
Connect with Primasia Corporate Services Limited
Hong Kong Headquarters: Suite 1106-08, 11/F., Tai Yau Building, No. 181 Johnston Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong