Hong Kong Visa / Oversea Immigration

Investment as Entrepreneurs Eligibility Criteria

An application for a visa/entry permit to enter the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) for investment as entrepreneur may be favourably considered if:

Eligibility Criteria
  • a. there is no security objection and no known record of serious crime in respect of the applicant;
  • b. the applicant has a good education background, normally a first degree in the relevant field, but in special circumstances, good technical qualifications, proven professional abilities and/or relevant experience and achievements supported by documentary evidence may also be accepted; and
  • c. (i) 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. Details of these consideration factors are as follows:
(1) Business Plan

An applicant who wishes to establish or join in business in Hong Kong should submit a two-year business plan stating the nature of the business, market analysis, market positioning, business direction, sales targets, product marketing strategy, etc. in order to demonstrate that the business is suitable for and capable of developing in Hong Kong. The applicant should 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.

The Immigration Department will seek advice, if needed, from relevant government departments or professional bodies on the applicant’s business plan in order to assess whether the business supports Hong Kong’s overall economic development. For example, the Immigration Department may consider whether the applicant’s business belongs to or is able to complement industries that Hong Kong enjoys clear advantages, such as the four traditional pillar industries (i.e. trading and logistics, tourism, financial services, and professional and producer services) or the four 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.

(2) Business Turnover

If the applicant is running relevant business overseas or has joined in a business in Hong Kong, he/she should submit the profit-and-loss account statement and balance sheet showing the business turnover and profit in the previous year. Those who intend to establish business in Hong Kong should submit a two-year forecast of profit-and-loss account statement and balance sheet as mentioned above, including the anticipated business turnover in order to demonstrate the feasibility of the business operation and development.

In assessing an application for entry for investment to establish business in Hong Kong, the Immigration Department will also consider whether the applicant has relevant investment or working experience in the business concerned. If needed, the Immigration Department will seek advice from relevant government departments or professional bodies in order to assess whether the business is suitable for and able to sustain a steady growth in Hong Kong, and can give impetus to the industry concerned.

(3) Financial 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, as well as the company’s latest audited financial report (if any) to demonstrate that he/she has sufficient financial resources to run the relevant business in Hong Kong and also support the smooth operation and sustainable growth of the business.

(4) Investment Sum

The applicant should submit documentary proof showing the amount of capital investment in Hong Kong. The Immigration Department will consider whether the investment amount is able to support the operation of the business.

(5) Number of Jobs Created Locally

The applicant should set out the organisational structure of his/her business and the required number of staff and posts, based on the nature and scale of the business. He/She should indicate the number and level of actual jobs created locally (e.g. managers, administrators, professionals, clerical support staff, etc.).

(6) Introduction of New Technology or Skills (if applicable)

The applicant should explain how the new technology or skills to be introduced can inspire creativity in the high-value-added industries in Hong Kong, and whether he/she has taken out patent, contributing to the long-term development of Hong Kong as a knowledge-based economy.

  • c.(ii) Start-up Businesses

An applicant who wishes to establish or join in a start-up business may also submit an application. The Immigration Department may consider the application favourably, if the start-up business concerned is supported by a government-backed programme 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. Examples of government-backed programmes include:

(1) StartmeupHK Venture Programme administered by InvestHK;

(2) Incu-App, Incu-Bio and Incu-Tech programmes administered by the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation;

(3) Cyberport Incubation Programme;

(4) Small Entrepreneur Research Assistance Programme and Enterprise Support Scheme administered by the Innovation and Technology Commission; and

(5) Design Incubation Programme administered by the Hong Kong Design Centre.

Overseas Chinese nationals holding People's Republic of China passports who are living overseas and meet the criteria stipulated above and normal immigration requirements may apply to enter the HKSAR for investment if:

a. the applicant has permanent residence overseas; or

b. the applicant has been residing overseas for at least one year immediately before the submission of application ["overseas" means places outside the Mainland, the HKSAR and the Macao Special Administrative Region] and that the application is submitted from overseas. In general, unless a person has the right of abode or right to land in the HKSAR, he/she requires a visa/entry permit for investment in the HKSAR. While each application is determined on its individual merits, an applicant should meet normal immigration requirements (such as holding a valid travel document with adequate returnability to his/her country of residence or citizenship; be of clear criminal record and raise no security or criminal concerns to the HKSAR; have no likelihood of becoming a burden on the HKSAR, etc.) as well as the relevant specific eligibility criteria detailed above before he/she may be considered for the grant of a visa/entry permit. It should be noted that the eligibility criteria may be subject to change from time to time without prior notice.

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