Are you looking forward to growing your business offshore? One of the top jurisdictions for consideration is Hong Kong, a business hub known because of its strategic location and government support for business success.
To go and run your business in the jurisdiction, one of the methods you might want to use is the special immigration visa scheme or Hong Kong residence by investment.
The residence by investment program is considered a form of work permit that is granted to the company owner as an employee of his enterprise in Hong Kong. So, how does this program work? Investment Visa HK is a key of success.
Keep reading to learn more about the entrepreneur visa, as we explain the eligibility criteria, and procedure for applications. We will also tell you about the dependents that can come and stay in Hong Kong under this program.
Why Hong Kong?
Before looking at the main details of how the Hong Kong residence by investment scheme works, it is important to answer the question, “Why Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China?” Here are some unique benefits that come with going to Hong Kong:
Hong Kong serves as the main gateway to Mainland China
Most of the companies operating in Hong Kong are opened there strategically to take advantage of the large Chinese market. They utilize the CEPA, the bilateral free trade agreement between Hong Kong and mainland China, which makes it easy for Hong Kong companies to access the mainland.
A supportive administration
The Hong Kong administration is known globally for its effort to support companies coming to the island. They offer investors both economic and tax incentives because the success of businesses implies more taxes for the jurisdiction’s administration.
Easy reach to the rest of the Far East
Apart from the Hong Kong and Mainland markets, you will also like the fact that the entire Far East will be equally easy to reach. In addition to being close to Hong Kong, most of these countries are also ASEAN members and have no or limited restrictions for companies registered in Hong Kong.
These are only a few advantages of taking your company to Hong Kong and moving there under the Hong Kong residence by investment. Others include a well-developed infrastructure, an educated workforce, and social-economic stability.
Hong Kong Residence by Investment: What is the Eligibility Criteria?
Because the bottom-line for this program is the investment, one would expect that a lot of money is required for one to qualify. Interestingly, there is no minimum investment requirement set by the Hong Kong authorities. However, you need to be careful about this because it might be the reason for the high rate rejections. When you make an application, the Hong Kong authorities evaluate the plan to determine whether it is a viable option. Therefore, it is prudent to ensure you create a good business plan, capturing all the details for business growth and success. What are the eligibility criteria?
- There should be no security objections. For example, you should not have any criminal background at home or in another country.
- Must have an impressive educational background. An undergraduate degree is considered the minimum allowed academic level for those applying for residence by investment, but a higher degree, such as a masters, is always an added advantage. For those without the high qualifications, attractive technical qualifications and experience might be considered.
- Clear demonstration that your enterprise will have a significant impact on the economy. The primary reason for offering residence by investment is to attract foreign direct investment to the island. Therefore, the Hong Kong administration wants to be sure that the enterprise being formed will spur growth beyond reasonable doubt. Here are some questions to ask when determining the expected impact. Will the company employ the local Hong Kong residents? Will the company hold meetings on the island? What about sourcing regular supplies from other dealers in Hong Kong?
- Prior to applying for this visa by investment, you are required to start by incorporating a company in Hong Kong. This implies that the process of applying for the visa should have started way earlier, perhaps a couple or dozens of months away.
Use an Expert to Increases the Chances Visa Application Success
One notable thing about Hong Kong residence by investment is that a lot of applicants rarely qualify. This brings us to the main question, “Is there a way to increase the chances of success?”
The answer is to use professionals. Having been in the Hong Kong market for years and helped other applicants to succeed, they know what works and what does not. These experts can come in two ways
Company registration in Hong Kong
As we mentioned earlier, one of the requirements is to have a duly registered company. Although Hong Kong has simplified the process so much, it is still a challenge to many investors coming to Hong Kong. Working with professionals can help prepare the documents professionally and get the company registration completed fast.
Experts will also help you identify the mistakes that other people made when trying to register their companies in Hong Kong.
For example, many are those who get their applications rejected because of poor business structure. Therefore, the professionals will help you craft papers that will make the Hong Kong authorities approve your application fast.
Preparing the Documents for Visa Application
When you present the papers to the immigration department in Hong Kong requesting Hong Kong residence by investment, these documents should help show you positively. So, how do you do that? You need to demonstrate that the company you are opening is a viable venture and will have a significant impact on the economy. This is never easy, and that is why you should work with an agency of experts.
The professionals will demonstrate your huge potential in the area of interest and ability to deliver tax substance.
A good example of how such papers are prepared is demonstrating that most the business operations will be done in Hong Kong.
For example, if the company will hold its meetings on the Island, they promote the hospitality industry. Other items include the staff who will work in your company, source of materials and liaison with other enterprises.
When all of these are rolled together and explained professionally, you can expect to get that application approved.
Residence by Investment: A Note about Taxes
Now that you know the eligibility for residence by investment in Hong Kong, it is also important to understand the tax obligations. Hong Kong uses a two-tiered tax system for companies, which means that for the first HKD 2 million, you will be charged 8.25% in corporate tax.
However, anything above the HKD 2 million is charged the standard rate of 16.5%.
When it comes to personal income, the tax rate varies from 6% for persons earning a minimum of HKD 5,001 to 17% for those with a higher income of more than HKD 200,000. The jurisdiction does not have withholding taxes on interests, loyalties, and rents.
If you are planning to invest in Hong Kong, it can serve as your vehicle for entry and abode after making an application to work as an employee in your company.
Remember that you can also bring along your spouse and children less than 18 years as dependent. To increase the chances of your application for residence by investment getting approved, make sure to work with an agency of experts.