Our website uses  cookies for statistical purposes.

  • Level 8 Cambridge House, No. 979 King's Road, Taikoo Place, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong
  • clients(at)opencompanyhongkong.com
  • (+44) 203-287 0408
Our Articles

Investment Visa in Hong Kong

Investment Visa in Hong Kong

The investment visa in Hong Kong is available to foreign nationals who are able to establish a new business of join an existing one in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Applying for this type of visa is subject to a number of rules and one should note that it is not available to Chinese residents of the Maintained China and to a number of other foreign nationals (Afghanistan, Cuba, Laos, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Nepal and Vietnam).

If you qualify for this type of visa, read below to find out more about the general conditions and how to apply. The team of immigration experts at our law firm in Hong Kong is able to help answer any questions before you submit your application or can assist you during the application process (and afterward), as needed.

 Quick Facts  
Who can apply for the investment visa in
Hong Kong?

Foreign nationals, except for Chinese residents of Mainland China and nationals of Afghanistan, Cuba, Laos, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Nepal, Vietnam

Startup visa
processing time

4 weeks

Investment visa in Hong Kong validity

Usually 24 months
Application steps

Fill in the application forms, nominate a suitable sponsor in Hong Kong, provide the supporting documents, submit the application and wait for the answer

Mandatory conditions Observe the eligibility criteria for the business plan
(detailed below)
Conditions for the investor

Have good, relevant education background and/or relevant abilities and experience supported by evidence

Conditions for the company in Hong Kong

Create local jobs and/or introduce new technologies,
if applicable

Conditions for the business plan Should include the market analysis and positioning, sales targets, marketing strategy, along with details about the business and a two-year forecast for the profit and loss statement, among others
Minimum investment To be communicated to the Immigration Department which will consider if the proposed amount suffices
Company incorporation Registered with the Companies Registry, according to the chosen business form
Financial conditions The applicant needs to provide sufficient proof of financial resources for the stay in Hong Kong
Family can join the visa holder (Yes/No) Yes
Investment visa in Hong Kong extension Yes, if the holder continues to meet the criteria for the visa

Investment visa application costs

Starting at HKD 230
Citizenship by naturalization for investors in Hong Kong Naturalization as a Chinese national after becoming a
Hong Kong permanent resident (after 7 years of lawful stay)

Conditions for obtaining the investment visa in Hong Kong in 2024

Apart from being able to open a company in Hong Kong and having a sound business plan, the applicant for the entrepreneur visa also needs to comply with other conditions. The eligibility criteria are outlined below by our attorneys in Hong Kong:

  • Background: the applicant had no criminal record and is subject to no security objection; a good educational background and good technical qualifications in the field, along with professional abilities will be verified;
  • Business plan: for the purpose of obtaining the investment visa in Hong Kong a two-year business plan is needed; information about the nature of the business, the business goals, marketing strategy, marketing analysis, market positioning, and other details are included;
  • Business turnover: for new businesses, a two-year prediction of the profits and loss account is expected; those who join a Hong Kong business will also submit documents attesting to the business profits and turnover in the year prior to that in which the application is submitted;
  • Other business conditions: these can include proof of investment resources, proof of investment sum, as well as the number of new jobs created locally and the introduction of new technology (if applicable).

Applications for those interested in starting or joining a start-up business in Hong Kong are also accepted, however, the start-up needs to be supported by a programme under the government. Examples of such programmes include those supported by the Hong Kong Science and Technologies Park Corporation, those administered by the Hong Kong Design Centre or those administered by the Innovation and Technology Commission.

Chinese nationals who live overseas can also apply for an investment visa in Hong Kong provided that they have their permanent residence overseas, that they submit the application from their respective country and that they have been residing overseas for no less than one year before submitting the application.

We invite you to watch a short video guide about this visa, if you wish to apply in 2024:

The process of applying for the Hong Kong investment visa

The application process can be entirely supervised and helped by our team of lawyers in Hong Kong. Below, we briefly list some of the most important steps:

  1. fill in the application forms: the applicant fills in a special form and so does the sponsor; the forms can be obtained from different offices (for example, the Immigration Department Headquarters of the Government offices outside of Hong Kong);
  2. choose a local sponsor: the sponsor is needed for this process and he can be a company or an individual; when he is an individual, he needs to be over 18 years of age, a Hong Kong resident, and acquainted with the applicant;
  3. provide the documents: all forms are accompanied by supporting documents such as a recent photograph, copy of a valid travel document or identity card, proof of financial status, the investment plan, and any other relevant documents; the sponsor also submits a set of documents;
  4. apply: the final step is to apply for the investment visa in Hong Kong with the Immigration Department and wait for the approval.

Submitting false information or making false representations to an immigration officer is an offence.

The authorities reserve the right to conduct field visits in order to confirm the authenticity of the applicant’s statements.

The usual processing time is four weeks from the submission date, however, the Immigration Department does not start the processing phase until all of the documents are submitted as indicated.

The Director of Immigration has the ability to refuse any application, and has absolute discretion for this purpose. The application can be refused even if it meets all the eligibility criteria.

Our lawyers in Hong Kong can assist you if you are ready to submit an application got an Investment as an entrepreneur visa.

When you work with our team you will benefit from the expertise of a local team who is well aware of the current policies set forth by the Immigration Department.

Post application steps

The visa or entry permit is issued once the Immigration Department approves the application.

The e-visa holder presents this entry permit, together with his or her travel document, upon entry into Hong Kong.

The e-visa is a new form of entry permit, implemented since 28 December 2021, by which the holder receives a file format of the visa, instead of the sticker, or physical label that was issued for the visa, permit or the extension of stay.

The e-visa can be re-downloaded or re-printed through a mobile application or online.

The initial validity of the visa for investment as entrepreneur is 24 months from the date of entry. The holder can apply for an extension, provided that this step is handled within 4 weeks before the expiry date.

It is important to note that the investment visa in Hong Kong can only be extended if the applicant continues to meet all of the eligibility requirements.

When the visa holder wishes to open another business, other than the one for which the visa was granted, he will need to obtain the approval of the Director of Immigration.

The holder of the investment visa in 2024 does not need a re-entry permit. He can re-enter the HKSAR during the validity of the visa with their travel document.

The right of abode in Hong Kong for foreign investors

Hong Kong offers the right of abode to individuals admitted for investment purposes, provided that they have remained ordinary residents in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for no less than 7 years, continuously.

Obtaining the right of abode can be the goal of investors who obtain an investment visa in Hong Kong in the first place.

Our lawyers describe the main conditions and the principles for the right of abode below:

  • the individual who has continuously resided in Hong Kong for at least 7 submits the application for permanent residency with the Director of Immigration;
  • the applicant will submit a statement in which he or she will declare that he/she has taken up Hong Kong as their place of permanent residence;
  • the right of abode allows the individual the right to land in Hong Kong, the right to be free of any condition of stay (including limits of stay), and the right to not be deported or removed from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Different conditions apply to returning emigrants and Chinese citizens.

Loss of permanent resident status can occur in the following conditions:

  • The person has taken Hong Kong as his/her place of permanent residence after 7 years of continuous stay (and is not a Chinese citizen) can lose the status of permanent resident if absent from Hong Kong for a continuous period of at least 36 months since having ceased to ordinarily reside in HKSAR;
  • On attaining the age of 21, the person will need to qualify for status of permanent resident on his/her own accord.

Our team can give you more information about permanent residency, the loss thereof, the right of abode and obtaining Chinese citizenship.

According to the Immigration Department, 2,667 visas were issued under the “Capital Investment Entrant Scheme”. Other data shows the following:

  • in 2015, the number of entrants under the “Capital Investment Entrant Scheme” was 2,739 and in 2014 it was 4,855;
  • 35,997 employment visas were issued in 2016 under the General Employment policy;
  • 10,404 visas were issued in 2016 under the “Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals.”

As the right of entry for investment as entrepreneurs is granted under the General Employment Policy, our team also presents a set of more recent data (from 2021 and 2022) for this particular visa category type:

  • in 2021, out of the total applicants (13,821 individuals), 870 had a doctorate, and 2,831 had a Master’s Degree; most applicants had other academic qualifications and 6,654 of all the individuals had their Bachelor’s Degree (or its equivalent in their countries of origin);
  • in 2022, there were more applicants with a doctorate (1,076) and more applicants with a Master’s Degree (3,135);
  • 2,241 of the total applicants in 2022 were applying for a monthly remuneration of $80,000 or above.

For 2023, the data shows that the total number of applicants under the General Employment Policy Scheme was 18,467 (for the analyzed period between January and September 2023). This is a significant increase, compared to 2022 when the total number of applicants was 13,495. Other statistical data shows the following:

  • There were 1,835 applications for the commerce and trade industry and 1,606 applications for the financial services sector;
  • A total of 1,540 UK applicants were recorded, as well as a total of 1,332 USA applicants;
  • Only 2,164 applicants were approved for a visa that provided them with a monthly remuneration of HKD 80,000 or above;
  • According to academic qualifications, 1,880 individuals had a doctorate and 3,791 a master’s degree.

The acceptance of your investment visa application in 2024 will largely depend on your proposed business, the presentation of your business plan, as well as on other factors. The team of experts at our law firm in Hong Kong can help you prepare the documents so that you can rest assured that the submission is compliant.

Contact us for more information on the investment visa and for personalized assistance for application.