Hong Kong’s simple company incorporation procedure, close proximity and relationship to China has made the city an attractive destination for entrepreneurs. To facilitate the start-up and SME industry in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong government has enacted visa schemes to attract entrepreneurs. In this article, we look to explore how these individuals can utilize this specific visa scheme tailored to suit their needs.
What you will learn from this article:
1. Investment Visa
Hong Kong has visas catered to foreign entrepreneurs under the special migration visa scheme Entry for Investment. This visa type will be issued to owners of Hong Kong companies and is generally issued for a one-year period and is renewable so long as the applicant’s business remains viable.
When applying, one of the primary criteria for this visa is that the applicant must be able to demonstrate that their business will make a significant contribution to Hong Kong’s economy. Authorities will determine this by closely examining a two-year business plan and financial projection submitted in the application.
Reviewing a submitted business plan will help understand whether an applicant’s business will create jobs for Hong Kong’s workforce, and the likelihood that their business will engage the services of other Hong Kong companies. Authorities will thus scrutinize the quality of the submitted business plan to ensure that company growth is achievable. Other aspects to be considered are the operational plan and the quality of the administrative and management team.
To improve the odds of an application’s success, applicants should make certain that their submitted business plan demonstrates that their business can sustain operational expenses for at least an initial 3-6-month period.
2. Eligibility Requirements
To meet the eligibility requirements for an Investment Visa’s, applicants must demonstrate through their business plan that they will make a significant contribution to Hong Kong’s economy.
Briefly described above, the exact criteria for what will be assessed in the business plan is as follows:
- Two-year business plan stating the nature of the business, market analysis, market positioning, business direction, sales targets, product marketing strategy;
- Two-year forecast of the profit-and-loss account statement
- Statement of Cash Flow and balance sheet;
- Organizational structure of the company;
- Extent of the company adopting new technology or skills; and
- Initial capital investment from the applicant
3. Other Considerations
Applicants who intend to establish or join a Hong Kong start-up business will find their application examined and scrutinized with similar standards to other applications. However, to the extent that a start-up business in consideration is supported by a Hong Kong government-backed program, the application will be reviewed under more favorable circumstances. Such programs include the Cyberport Incubation Program and the Design Incubation Program administered by the Hong Kong Design Centre among others.
In addition, as many applicants are often not in Hong Kong during the application process, a majority of individuals will complete their application procedures abroad. Professional firms like the FastLane Group can act as your local sponsor and submit your application on an applicant’s behalf.