Hong Kong is a global business hub where many international companies, branches and start ups coalesce to form a dynamic business environment that is rich with opportunities. Job relocations or investment opportunities are often the reasons why American nationals choose to immigrate to Hong Kong from US. Alternatively, individuals who have a spouse already living in the Special Administrative Region may have decided that it is time for them to relocate and join their family members.
U.S. citizens are not in need to obtain a visa to enter Hong Kong. However, this does not mean that they can stay indefinitely. Special arrangements are to be made to obtain a temporary resident permit, according to their reason for remaining in the city. American citizens who have lived in Hong Kong for several years are able to apply for permanent residence – a key step to consider for all those who wish to immigrate to Hong Kong from US.
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Temporary residence in Hong Kong
U.S. nationals who wish to enter Hong Kong and remain for a lengthy period must have a genuine reason for their prolonged stay. This can include the following:
- General employment: the applicant applies for a genuine job vacancy and has adequate skills/educational background and had a conformed offer of employment;
- Talents and professionals employment: similar to the conditions above, with an important note that he or she has special achievements, professional abilities or experience, as supported with relevant evidence;
- Investment: the applicant interested to immigrate to Hong Kong from US is able to make a substantial contribution to the economy of Hong Kong; applications for start-up businesses are also accepted;
- Student: the U.S. applicant is admitted to a private school, to a locally-accredited program of various educational degrees; special age conditions apply (for example, one should be under the age of 20 for secondary education).
Other categories of visas are also in place for residence as dependant, for those employed as imported workers or as foreign domestic helpers.
Other conditions apply for these types of visas that allow the holder to remain in Hong Kong for a long period. The Immigration Department sets forth certain rules and compliance requirements and our team of lawyers in Hong Kong can give you more details on the currently applicable regulations. Our specialists will help those interested submit their application in accordance to the current law, without omitting any important documents so that the application may be reviewed favorably.
Permanent residence in Hong Kong
Obtaining permanent residence is essential for those who are wiling to immigrate to Hong Kong from US. This is done after the American citizen has lived for a certain period in Hong Kong. We list some of the key criteria below:
- Continuous residence: the applicant must have had a continuous period of seven years of ordinary residence;
- Statement: the individual will submit a special statement declaring that he or she has taken Hong Kong as the place of permanent residence;
- Proof: along with the statement for the permanent place of residence, the individual will also provide proof that he or she has the means to support oneself and the family, where applicable, as well that he or she has paid the due taxes according to law;
- Others: non-Chinese foreign nationals can be a permanent resident if the person was settled in Hong Kong just after 1 July 1997; our lawyers in Hong Kong can provide more information on the translational arrangements that are related to this procedure.
Acquiring residency in Hong Kong is possible for US nationals once they have lawfully spent seven years in the Special Administrative Region. During this time, the American citizen will need to have met the clear conditions for holding and renewing the residence documents, according to the purpose of stay. It is also important to note that an individual application is submitted for this purpose.
The immigration experts at our law firm in Hong Kong are able to provide you with complete details on all the applicable requirements as well as assist you when submitting the application to the Immigration Department.
Statistics U.S. and Hong Kong relations
Hong Kong and the United States have important economic ties and as a result, many U.S. companies are present on the Hong Kong market and numerous U.S. citizens currently reside in the Special Administrative Region. Some of the data currently available from the show the following:
- there are approximately 85,000 U.S. residents in Hong Kong;
- more than 1,300 U.S. companies operate on the market;
- around 726 regional U.S. operations are present in Hong Kong;
- in 2018, U.S. has a large trade surplus of 31 billion $, mainly due to the fact that Hong Kong imports American electric machinery, foodstuffs and many others;
- services exports from America to Hong Kong in 2018 amounted to 12.8 billion $.
Contact our team of immigration lawyers if you wish to relocate or immigrate to Hong Kong from US.