In Hong Kong, the Business Investment Visa serves as a gateway for entrepreneurs from foreign countries seeking to invest in the region. This visa category is specifically designed to facilitate the entry of individuals who plan to make investments in businesses within Hong Kong.

What benefits does this document grant its owner, and what are the steps for an investment visa application in Hong Kong? Let’s explore more with us through this article.

In Hong Kong, the Business Investment Visa is known as an entry for investment as an entrepreneur from a foreign country.

Overview of Hong Kong Investment Visa

It is commonplace that a foreigner setting out to invest in a country needs some sort of entry permit that allows him/her to come and manage the business. This visa, in Hong Kong, is known as ‘Entry for Investment as Entrepreneurs’. Hereinafter, we would refer to it as an “investment visa”.

The Hong Kong Investment Visa is a document that establishes a foreigner’s right to stay in Hong Kong for setting up his or her new business, or to make investments as an entrepreneur. Notably, this visa is different from the employment visa in Hong Kong.

How is your eligibility decided?

There is no quota system limiting the number of holders of the investment visa at any given point in time. So whether or not you are eligible depends solely on your qualifications.

Given that the primary objective of this visa scheme is to strengthen Hong Kong’s economy, applicants need to persuasively demonstrate to the authorities that either they or their proposed business plans, can contribute immense value in various ways.

Your academic and/or professional backgrounds will also be assessed. Therefore, showcasing your proven expertise and experience in a relevant field would help. In addition, you also must designate a local sponsor to act as your guarantor. Your sponsor could either be an individual or a company whose duty is to shoulder your responsibility if you repatriate, that is, you leave Hong Kong.

How long is the visa valid for?

Once an HK investment visa is granted, it would typically remain valid for 2 years for the initial period. As long as you have it renewed appropriately, you are allowed to stay in the country to keep operating your business. You could also apply for permanent residency status when you have stayed long enough.

And just like the holders of other types of work visas, you can bring along your family members under certain conditions.

Free ebook

Everything you need to start business in Hong Kong

Find out in a matter of minutes.

 Everything you need to start business in Hong Kong

What are the Hong Kong Investment Visa requirements?

To be considered a suitable candidate for this scheme, you need to fulfill the following requirements:

  • You have a clean criminal record, that is to say, you thus far have not committed any wrongdoings or misconduct.
  • You have an outstanding record of academic performance, professional achievements, or both. So if you think your graduate degrees are inferior, you could show proof of your past technical or professional experience as a substitute.
  • You manage to convincingly demonstrate that you or your business could actively promote Hong Kong’s growth in terms of revenues and more. It could be that your company creates new, rewarding jobs for the local workforce, or that you can facilitate the operation of other local businesses that are not necessarily in the same industry as you.
  • You are not from the following countries (to be not eligible to apply for an Investment or Entrepreneur Visa in Hong Kong):
    Chinese residents of Mainland China, Afghanistan, Cuba, Laos, North Korea (i.e. Democratic People’s Republic of), Nepal, and Vietnam

It should be well-noted that you must set up your Hong Kong company well before you apply for the visa.

What are the documents to prepare?

As an applicant, you would be required to submit the following documents:

  • A duly filled application form
  • A copy of the personal particulars page of your passport as well as your recent photograph
  • A copy of your travel document that remains valid if you are currently staying in Hong Kong
  • A copy of your Hong Kong identity card (if any)
  • A copy of proof of your academic and/ or professional credentials such as a graduate degree, investment portfolio, and so forth
  • Copies of documentary evidence supporting your financial standing as well as that of your company
  • A copy of the company’s employment contract or letter of appointment recognizing your position. These documents must also include your post, fringe benefits, and employment period.
  • A comprehensive 2-year business plan encompassing all details on your proposed company such as business activities, amount of investment, creation of local job posts, setting up of an office, showroom, warehouse, and so forth.
  • A copy of your company’s valid Business Registration Certificate issued by the Inland Revenue Department
  • A copy of proof of your overseas residence if you are residents of Macao SAR or Taiwan, or overseas Chinese holding a PRC passport.

Documents required of the sponsor

In case that your sponsor is a company, the following documents are required:

  • A duly filled application form that is specifically devised for the sponsor
  • A copy of the company’s Business Registration Certificate

But given that your sponsor is an individual, he/ she needs to prepare:

  • A duly filled application form that is specifically devised for the sponsor
  • A copy of his/ her Hong Kong identity card
  • A copy of his/ her personal particulars page of the valid travel document

The above-mentioned documents are for your reference purposes only. To further support your qualification, you would likely be asked to submit additional documents at the discretion of the relevant authorities.

What to include in your business plan?

The following is the checklist of some elements you need to include in your business plan

Business plan

A sound and feasible instrumental plan in the application for your investment visa is needed to demonstrate the viability of your proposed company and how it could contribute to the growth of Hong Kong.

This agenda should incorporate the nature of your business, market analysis, market positioning, business direction, sales target, product marketing strategy, and many others as required.

Use our tool to acquire the cost breakdown  for your new business in Hong Kong
hk cost

Business Turnover

You would be required to prepare the profit-and-loss account statement and balance sheet given that you are in charge of running a business in a foreign country other than Hong Kong, or that you have been employed by one in Hong Kong.

But if you own no company at the time you register, you should produce a forecast for the following 2 years, detailing the projection of the profit-and-loss account statement and balance sheet of your awaited company.

Financial resources

You must demonstrate that you have sufficient resources to finance your proposed business. These proofs could come in the form of statements of your personal and company bank accounts in the preceding accounting period, letters of credit, the latest audited financial report, and so forth.

Capital investment

In the same vein as financial resources, you must expose the amount of capital investment you have at hand for approval.

Jobs Provided Locally

You are required to propose the extent of employment that you would stimulate for the local workforce.

To reinforce your qualification, you should also include the following:

  • Proposed business form: In general, some forms of business would bespeak a higher degree of credibility than others. For example, a private limited company in comparison with a sole proprietorship.
  • Introduction of new technologies or skills: A business that introduces an unprecedented technology or new skill set would be more welcomed.

How to apply for Investment Visa

You can simply follow the steps below to complete your Hong Kong Investment Visa application with ease.

Step 1: Submit the application

Once you are certain that all the eligibility criteria are met and that you and your sponsor have managed to prepare all the required documents as we specified above, you are well-placed to submit the application to the Hong Kong Immigration Department. Thus, the submission must be done utilizing the post.

  • Application form ID 999A is for normal applicants
  • Application form ID 999B is for sponsors

Following receipt of all required documents, the visa or entry permit application for investment as an entrepreneur typically takes 4 weeks to process. The Department of Immigration is the competent authority to process, assess your eligibility criteria, and make decisions for all applications.

Step 2: Pick up your visa in person

Assuming that your application is approved, the Visa/Entry Permit will be issued. You would then need to collect it in person at the Immigration Department. If you cannot make it here, you can have your sponsor or an authorized representative do so on your behalf.

Because the Visa/Entry Permit acts as a license permitting you to travel into Hong Kong, you need to affix it on a blank visa page of your travel document so that you can present it when prompted.

In the worst-case scenario that your application gets rejected, you are allowed to lodge an appeal for reconsideration.

That being said, rest assured that as long as no criterion is violated and your business is promising, you will be granted the visa seamlessly.

Important Note

Important Note

Hong Kong does allow e-visa applications which came into effect on 28 December 2021. Further information about this type of application.

Other considerations for applying for a Hong Kong Investment Visa

Applying for the Dependant Visa

Anyone holding the investment pass is allowed to reunite with their family members in Hong Kong under certain conditions.

Only some specific categories of dependants are eligible for the Dependant Visa. These individuals are typically your spouse and/or your unmarried children who must be under 18 years old.

You would also be subject to some formalities to qualify for the visa. Some of the proofs that you need to show are that your relationship with the dependant(s) is genuine, that you can sufficiently provide them with at least the bare essentials, and that they have not committed any wrongdoings at the time of registration.

The length of stay of your dependants is tied to that of yours. Therefore, as long as your pass remains valid, the dependants are allowed to stay and work as legitimate citizens.

Renewing the Investment Visa

You can renew the visa and, thus, extend your stay provided that you can manage to meet the same criteria concerning the application process. You are advised to have the visa renewed at least 4 weeks before its expiration date takes place, which is the deadline for renewals.

Once you get approval, the extension of your stay would typically follow the 3-3 years pattern.

Applying for permanent residency status

Holding an Investment Visa is among the criteria for seeking permanent residence. If you have owned it and stayed in Hong Kong for 7 consecutive years, you are in a good position to apply for this status.

Should you have any questions regarding the Hong Kong Investment Visa, talk to our consultants by dropping a chat message or sending us an email via for detailed advice.

Disclaimer: While BBCIncorp strives to make the information on this website as timely and accurate as possible, the information itself is for reference purposes only. You should not substitute the information provided in this article for competent legal advice. Feel free to contact BBCIncorp’s customer services for advice on your specific cases.

Share this article

Industry News & Insights

Get helpful tips and info from our newsletter!

Stay in the know and be empowered with our strategic how-tos, resources, and guidelines.