When you think of a cosmopolitan place in the world, Hong Kong will likely come to your mind. Hong Kong is one of the most highly developed cities in the world. It is where quality is the norm and is manifested in how the city functions. Yes, just like any other city, it is not perfect, but it is good enough for the rich to settle down and thrive. Home to the third-highest number of high-net-worth individuals in any city in the world, Hong Kong is business-friendly.
Many investors take the route of residence by investment to secure permanent residence in the country as quickly as possible. Though the program (known as the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme) was suspended in 2015, there is no word whether the suspension is temporary. Regardless, it wouldn’t take more than a minute for you to read how investors could have accessed Hong Kong’s expansive horizons of opportunities. Let us take a look at how one could gain permanent residence in the city through the program.
Possible routes for investors
There are two routes for entrepreneurs to reside and conduct business in the city: the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme (now suspended) and the Business Investment Visa. The former was introduced in 2003 and allowed passive investors to invest in various options except for real estate. Once investments were made under the former scheme, the successful applicant would be entitled to two years of temporary residence; permanent residence would only be granted upon seven years’ residence in the city.
In the latter scheme, active investors must ensure that a company is established and locally incorporated, and engaged in commercial activities. The investor should ensure that locals are engaged in the business, which ultimately impacts the economy’s growth. Successful applicants get to reside temporarily in the city for one year. Seven years of residence is mandatory to acquire permanent residence.
General eligibility criteria
The general eligibility criteria under the residence by investment programs require that the applicant is a minimum of 18 years of age, must have requisite net assets as stipulated under the scheme, should come with a clean criminal record corroborated with a police clearance report, must show financial position to invest in the city, and prove that the sources of income are legal.
The Application Process
The applicant must submit the application and other necessary documents to the Hong Kong Immigration Department. Once the department receives these documents, the process of due diligence commences. The said process takes around four to five months, depending on the case at hand. Applicants should note that mere satisfaction with the eligibility criteria doesn’t guarantee application approval. The director of immigration is entrusted with the discretion to decide the fate of the applications. If you want to include your family members in the application, you will have to submit relevant documents as provided under the scheme. However, only your spouse and unmarried dependent children are covered.
Benefits under the program
Hong Kong is the financial center of the world. The world-class infrastructure and solid entrepreneurial spirit aren’t the only features of the city. As an investor in the city, you will be placed in an advantageous situation compared to many of your peers. What makes your position so beneficial? The city is an economic powerhouse; it runs a well-structured legal system, opens gateways to the gigantic Chinese market, has low taxation and free trade aimed at attracting investors, convertible currency linked to the American Dollar, and exemplary infrastructure and fewer administrative hurdles.
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