Investment Immigration: Hong Kong Residence Investor Programme
Capital Investment Scheme
Hong Kong, a former British colony, is now a Special Administrative Region of China. Enclosed by the Pearl River delta and the South China Sea, Hong Kong is a world city and the third most important financial centre in the world, after London and New York. Hong Kong is Asia’s primary hub for international trade and finance. It boasts of low personal and corporate taxes, which are attractive for potential entrepreneurs and business investors. With world-class standard of living and excellent infrastructure, Hong Kong has no restrictions on inflow or outflow of capital.
A “capital investment scheme” has been introduced by the government of Hong Kong for foreign nationals, which allows them to obtain a “Hong Kong Residency Visa”, provided they make a substantial contribution to Hong Kong’s economy and development.
The “capital investment scheme” has been designed for people who want invest their capital in Hong Kong and get permanent residency there. The applicants are entitled to reside in Hong Kong provided they make an investment in prescribed permissible assets without forming or becoming a part of any business in Hong Kong.
Individuals who fall under the below categories can use the capital investment scheme to reside in Hong Kong and, after meeting certain requirements, can apply for the right of abode in Hong Kong:
- Foreign nationals from other countries, except those from People’s Republic of Korea, Afghanistan, and Cuba
- Taiwan residents
- Residents of Macao Special Administrative Region
- Chinese nationals who have permanent residency in a foreign country
- Stateless people who have permanent residency in a foreign country with proven re-entry rights
Permissible Investment Asset Classes:
- Debt instruments and bonds denominated in Hong Kong dollars – including fixed or floating rate instruments issued or guaranteed by government agencies and specified authorities.
- Listed companies’ shares which are traded in Hong Kong dollars.
- Certificates of Deposits denominated in Hong Kong dollars which are issued by authorized institutions as defined by law. After receiving the approval in principle, the applicant must make the purchase. The remaining term to maturity of the instruments must not be less than 12 months at the time of purchase. On maturity, these instruments, should be replaced by Certificate of Deposits, which have a remaining term to maturity of at least 12 months, or by other permissible assets.
- Eligible Collective Investment Schemes.
- HD dollar denominated subordinated debt, which is issued by authorized institutions and complies with prescribed law provisions.
Change in Value of Investment:
- The applicant is not allowed to withdraw any capital gains which result from any increase in the market value of the investment above the levels prescribed.
- The applicant may not top up the value of investment in case it falls under the minimum level prescribed.
- The applicant can swath investment from a permissible asset to another provided all the proceeds of the sale are invested.
- Interest incomes and cash dividends can be retained by the applicant.
Inclusion of Dependents:
The following dependents can be included in the application:
- Unmarried dependent children below the age of 18
These dependents can be included in the application provided the applicant can prove his/her capability to support them without relying on employment in Hong Kong, returns on investments, or public assistance.
Entry into Hong Kong:
Once the application is approved, the investor is entitled to enter Hong Kong with visitor status for three months. As evidence of active progress of investment is produced, this stay can be further extended.
Once the applicant has proved that the prescribed investments have been made, a residency of two years will be granted. This can be extended two more times if the applicant provides sufficient proof of investment to the Immigration Department.
Once a person completes seven years of continuous lawful residence in Hong Kong, he/she can apply for right of abode.