What do all of the investment migration schemes in the Caribbean, North America, Europe, and virtually everywhere else have in common? Mainland Chinese nationals consistently make up the largest chunk of applications throughout the world and there is no indication that this will change anytime soon.
This wave of investment migration from China has put up a bit of a smoke screen over what is, technically speaking, China’s own residency by investment program. Investment in the mainland is possible, but few desire this route due to limited freedoms and a lower standard of living compared to other CBI/RBI countries.
However, if you are a Sinophile that desires a similar quality of life afforded by other golden visas, the program in the Middle Kingdom really worth talking about is Hong Kong’s Business Investment Visa.
This visa is appropriate for those who fall under the following two relatively broad categories, taken from the HKSAR Immigration Department’s website:
1. The applicant is in a position to make substantial contribution to the economy of the HKSAR, with consideration factors including, but not limited to, business plan, business turnover, financial resources, investment sum, number of jobs created locally and introduction of new technology or skills.
2. An applicant who wishes to establish or join in a start-up business. The Immigration Department may consider the application favorably, if the start-up business concerned is supported by a government-backed programe with a rigorous vetting and selection process, and the applicant is the proprietor or partner of the start-up company or a key researcher of the relevant project.
To summarize these two categories for approval, an applicant’s business venture must have a positive impact on the Hong Kong economy by creating local jobs, using local vendors and resources, and/or by being particularly innovative.
Applications are generally viewed favorably if they contribute to the four industries that benefit Hong Kong’s economy the most: trading and logistics, tourism, financial services, and professional and producer services.
There is no dollar amount listed for the required investment. This is because applications are scrutinized on a case-by-case basis, determining if the applicant’s capital is sufficient to support smooth operations of the proposed business in Hong Kong.
For this reason, the Business Investment Visa can be seen as a bargain compared to the more straightforward capital investment programs of other countries as long as you have provable business acumen and a provable viable business venture that will benefit Hong Kong.
If approved, applicants will receive a 2-year visa that can be extended provided that the venture is continuing to meet all of the original requirements. Once extended, the visa will follow a 3-3 year extension patterned. After living in Hong Kong for 7 years, the primary applicant and their dependents can apply for permanent residency.
The Business Investment Visa is quite open-ended, but there is an exhaustive list of procedures and qualifications for those who want to submit their business plan for consideration. All of these can be found clearly outlined on the HKSAR Immigration Department’s website.