How To Get An Entrepreneur Visa And Start a Business in Hong Kong


Like most places, Hong Kong has its own legal procedures for entrepreneurs to gain residency through locating their business within the Special Autonomous Region. Through a scheme known as Entry for Investment, business owners can apply for an entrepreneur visa (also known as an investment visa) and operate their business in Hong Kong. To help budding entrepreneurs successfully set up their business in Hong Kong, here is our definitive guide to applying for the Hong Kong Entry for Investment Visa.  

Who can apply for an entrepreneur visa?

As a gateway city to international markets offering huge economic potential, Hong Kong is a highly coveted location for business. For this reason, there is a stringent set of procedures and requirements that must be followed to obtain an investment visa in Hong Kong. Applicants for the entrepreneur visa are required to undergo a background check by the Hong Kong police to ensure that they do not have any criminal records. They must possess a high-level educational certification related to their business industry and register their company on the Hong Kong Company Register before making an application. Applicants will also need to show that their business will employ local workers, service providers, suppliers, and manufacturers. This is crucial to highlight in your Hong Kong investment visa application.  

What documents do I need for the application?

To apply for a Hong Kong investment visa, you will first need to prepare a 2-year business plan detailing your proposed business activities. Besides, you will also need to submit the completed Form ID999A along with all the supporting documents. This includes a photocopy of your passport with entry stamp if you are in Hong Kong and a copy of your Hong Kong Identity Card if you have one; photocopies of up-to-date bank statements; relevant qualifications and certificates relating to the proposed business; a copy of your Business Registration Certificate detailing your company registration in Hong Kong as well as your company’s employment contract.  

Do I need a certain amount of capital?

No. There are no financial requirements for the application for an entrepreneur visa. However, adequately stating the initial capital and accurately projecting the turnover and profits for your business is very important. You will need to show in your business plan how your business will help improve Hong Kong’s economy.  

Preparing your business plan

Your business plan should be a 2-year projection plan for your business, including a market analysis evidencing growth potential, an operating plan, and the makeup of your team. The main objective of your business plan is to show how your business will contribute to the local economy. Your business plan will be evaluated based on three other criteria: overall capital investment, proposed business vehicle, and proof of suitable business premises to ensure that you have the proper licenses and facilities to execute your business plan.  

Sponsors

It is also necessary to have a sponsor when applying for an entrepreneur visa. This can be a company sponsor or a private individual. Sponsors will need to complete Form ID999B. For company sponsors, a copy of the company’s Company Registration Certificate should be provided, and a tax audit may be conducted. If your sponsor is an individual, they need to provide a copy of their passport and Hong Kong identity card along with the completed Form ID999B. Once you have all the supporting documents necessary, you can submit them by post with your application to the Hong Kong Immigration Department.  

Application processing time

The application process time can typically vary between 4 weeks to 5 months. Upon successful application, you will be informed to collect your visa at the Immigration Department office in person. You might have to exit and re-enter Hong Kong to activate the visa. Should your application for a business investor visa fail, there is the option to re-apply on appeal. However, it is highly recommended to rectify every identified issue with your supporting documents and paperwork before resubmitting the application for your Hong Kong investment visa.  

Need help?

If you are still unsure about the process of applying for the Entry for Investment Visa in Hong Kong, no need to fret. FastLaneHR can offer you the assistance you need. As a trusted work visa agent, we are experienced in liaising directly with the Hong Kong Immigration Department and helping numerous clients successfully process their work visas and various immigration-related applications. We can guide you through the entire application process from start to finish, so you can make a seamless transition to starting a business in Hong Kong. Get in touch with FastLaneHR today!