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http://www.hongkongvisahandbook.com - this is the Factsheet on the Hong Kong Investment visa as found in the Hong Kong Visa Handbook. On the Hong Kong Visa Handbook website you will discover every possible resource required to effectively finish a Hong Kong visa application at the Hong Kong Immigration Department.
Somewhat surprisingly for an entrepreneurial driven economy such as Hong Kong, there are only relatively few Investment Visas granted each year. The 200 to 300 approvals recorded are extremely modest compared to the 25,000 Employment Visas annually and indeed the 1,300 Capital Investment Entrant Scheme Visas which were granted in 2010.
As the Hong Kong Immigration Department don’t provide statistics on the number of applications received, it does appear safe to assume that the low number of Investment Visa approvals is less an indication of the interest of foreign nationals that wish to establish or join in a business in Hong Kong but actually more a reflection of the reality that getting an Investment Visa approved in Hong Kong is one of the most challenging of all our visa processes. That notwithstanding, foreign nationals arrive in droves to participate in the amazing business possibilities which Hong Kong has to offer, and naturally enough, the Hong Kong Immigration Department does not discourage applications from people to start a new or join in an existing businesses in the HKSAR.
The Hong Kong Investment Visa approvability test places a burden on the applicant to show that he is in a position to make a substantial contribution to the economy of Hong Kong; but in many ways, that’s like asking how long is a piece of string? Also, whilst the visa information document included in the Hong Kong Visa Handbook looks at the discrete elements of the Investment Visa Approvability Test, there is one particular difficulty with an application for a Hong Kong Investment visa that needs to be looked at from the very outset; and this is the catch 22 which is inherent in the way the Immigration Department consider and processes all Investment Visa applications.
The catch 22 relates directly to the notion that you can’t join in a business in Hong Kong unless you secure the consent of the Immigration Department first. However, you can’t secure the consent of the Immigration Department until you can show that you are capable of making a contribution to Hong Kong - but you can’t show contribution without actually joining in the business and then once again you can’t join in a business until you first get the consent of the Hong Kong Immigration Department! Moreover, the test requires that you only show prospective, not immediately observable contribution, and how this translates is that on the basis that you have a Hong Kong Investment Visa application in the system you have effectively put the Immigration Department on notice that you are engaging in this activity and that you are seeking their consent. In such a case, they will effectively close their eyes to any prospective breach of your conditions of stay whilst they are empowered to consider your application. If you don’t have an application in the system, you are vulnerable to a prosecution for breach of conditions of stay. So, the takeaway message from the catch 22 situation is that need to get your application into the Hong Kong Department of Immigration as soon as you possibly can in order to protect yourself.