When a foreign national intends to start a new – or join in an existing – business in Hong Kong he needs a sponsor for his investment visa application.
If the business is already well established, then the partners in that business will most typically serve as the sponsor of the application.
But if the business is brand new and where the shareholders and directors of the business are not permanent residents of Hong Kong, the question is begged as to who can serve as a valid sponsor of an investment visa application – and what the consequences of sponsorship actually entail.
Ideally, any permanent identity card holder should serve as a sponsor of an investment visa application.
Preferably, someone who has a business or other relationship which can add value to the applicants’ commercial activities and has a positive nexus and interest in the application outcome.
The rules say the sponsor needs to be acquainted with the applicant.
If you are planning to make an application for an investment visa using professional advisors, then quite often the consultancy you work with will agree to serve as your sponsor – but often for a fee (this IS Hong Kong after all!).
Whoever agrees to sponsor your application though, is effectively putting their neck on the line to meet the costs of your repatriation or removal from Hong Kong in the event that your residence here goes awry for any reason.
So, the sponsorship question can be a tough one if you’re new to Hong Kong and don’t have any close connections to ask.
So it might be worth seeking professional help if you find yourself without any real option to cover the sponsorship question.