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60 Second Snapshot'

What Does it Take to Get a Hong Kong Investment Visa Approved?

September 21st, 2012

Posted by / in 60 Second Snapshot, Investment Visas / 5 responses


Securing an approval for an investment visa is one of the hardest challenges there is in the realm of Hong Kong immigration practice.

Your mission is to pass the approvability test and demonstrate definitively to the Hong Kong Immigration Department that you can make a substantial contribution to the economy of Hong Kong as a whole.

First and foremost, you need a really good business investment story and the wherewithal to tell it in a compelling way.

A good way to think about how to go about doing this is to make believe that you are trying to persuade a rich, self-made uncle to back your business plan for Hong Kong financially.

If, after you have revealed all of your plans to him, do you believe he would see fit to put his hard earned money up to help you get your business in the HKSAR off the ground?

You might think of this as the smell test for how the Immigration Department will receive your story and so, if it won’t get past your uncle, why do you think it will pass muster with the HKID?

Assuming your story is compelling, you then have to ask yourself if you are going to put in place the three legs of what I have couched as the approvability stool for an investment visa approval.

Namely, are you going to be creating local employment opportunities in the not too distant future?

Are you planning to take on suitable business premises to accommodate your operations right from the get go and have you got real cash to put into the business as, by definition, this visa type calls for an act of investment?

Whether the cash you have available for investment is modest or significant, the HKID will also be expecting to see an array of additional resources which you plan to bring into play in your proposed business for Hong Kong.

This can take in partnerships, confirmed business in hand, exclusive contracts with obviously successful enterprises, bank guarantees, the support of local businesses or commercial personalities, a track record of personal and business success – indeed any other resources which are manifestly going to assist you set the business off on the path to eventual success.

And there are 2 other elements which are found in each and every business investment visa approval which we have been responsible for over the last 20 years.

These are an undying commitment to your enterprise, giving everything that you have to it and also a manifestly entrepreneurial spirit.

Hong Kong has this in droves and is the baseline against which all investment visa applications are considered by the HKID.

If you are less than enthusiastic about the possibility for success in your new business, no matter how well resourced it may be, this will undoubtedly come across in the way you articulate your story and manage your application, so think big, talk big and back up your representations with good paperwork and administer your application in a very timely manner.

More Stuff to Help You Along

Why do Hong Kong investment visas get denied?

The Hong Kong Immigration Department are out to deny – not approve – visa applications (aren’t they?)

Are there any advantages in being an existing resident of Hong Kong when you make an application for an investment visa?

10 must have resources for any Hong Kong  investment visa application


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The Hong Kong Visa Geeza (a.k.a Stephen Barnes) is a co-founder of the Hong Kong Visa Centre and author of the Hong Kong Visa Handbook. A law graduate of the London School of Economics, Stephen has been practicing Hong Kong immigration since 1993 and is widely acknowledged as the leading authority on business immigration matters here for the last 24 years.



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