Hong Kong Residency Simplified

Hong Kong will soon reintroduce a residence-by-investment to Hong Kong: the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme. This scheme will offer eligible applicants the opportunity to reside in Hong Kong by investing HKD 30 million or more in a range of permissible assets, without establishing or operating a business. Though the government aims to officially launch this new scheme in mid-2024, you may first familiarize yourself with the basic eligibility criteria, investment options, and application procedures.

Key Points

    • The scheme is designed for foreign nationals who want to invest in Hong Kong and obtain residency.
    • Eligible applicants must invest HKD30 million or above in permissible assets.
    • Applicants must be aged 18 or above and have a clean immigration record.
    • After 7 years of continuous ordinary residence in Hong Kong, the entrant and their dependents may apply for permanent residency.


Are You an Eligible Applicant for the CIES?

The new scheme will accept applications from the following individuals:

    • Foreign nationals;
    • Macao residents;
    • Chinese nationals with permanent resident status in a foreign country; and
    • Chinese residents of Taiwan.

It is important to note that an eligible applicant should be aged 18 or above, have no adverse immigration records, and possess a net asset of not less than HKD 30 million throughout the two years preceding the application. Successful applicant may bring his dependant family members to Hong Kong, including spouse and unmarried dependent children under 18 years old.

Some Admission Requirements

    • Age: 18 years or older
    • Immigration record: Free from any adverse immigration history
    • Net asset: Minimum of HKD30 million for the two years preceding the application
    • Investment: HKD30 million or more invested in permissible asset classes

What Are Investment Requirements?

The applicant should invest not less than HKD 30 million in the permissible investment assets to meet the investment thresholds. To elaborate, the applicant will be required to invest a minimum of HKD 27 million in one or a combination of the following specified asset classes:

    • Equities, notably shares of listed companies on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (“SEHK”);
    • Debt securities listed on the SEHK, and the fixed or floating rate instruments and convertible bonds issued or fully guaranteed by the Hong Kong Government, the Exchange Fund, the Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation, MTR Corporation Limited, Hong Kong Airport Authority, and other corporations, agencies or bodies owned by the Hong Kong Government;
    • Certificates of Deposits issued by authorized institutions with a remaining term to maturity of not less than 12 months at the time of purchase, subject to a cap of 10% of the minimum investment threshold of HKD30 million;
    • Subordinated debt issued by authorized institutions;
    • Eligible collective investment schemes including Securities and Futures Commission (“SFC”)-authorized funds, SFC-authorized real estate investment trusts, SFC-authorised Investment-Linked Assurance Schemes, and open-ended fund companies managed by corporations licensed by or institutions registered with the SFC;
    • Ownership interest in limited partnership funds; and
    • Non-residential real estate including pre-completion properties and excluding land, subject to a cap of HKD 10 million.

Separately, the applicant will also need to place HKD 3 million into a new CIES Investment Portfolio overseen by the Hong Kong Investment Corporation Limited. The Portfolio will invest in companies or projects that support the long-term development of Hong Kong’s economy.

Application Process

Under the new scheme, two institutions will engage in examining the application: 1) Invest Hong Kong will assess whether the applicant fulfills the net asset and investment requirements, and 2) the Hong Kong Immigration Department will assess the visa and extensions of stay applications. Note that all documents in foreign language should be properly translated, an incomplete application may cause potential processing delays.

Successful applicant will normally be granted permission to stay for not more than two years. Upon the expiry of the authorized stay period, the applicant may apply for an extension of stay for not more than three years, and may subsequently apply for another 3 years of stay on the same basis. After not less than seven years of continuous ordinary residence, the applicant and his dependents may apply to become Hong Kong permanent residents.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact your local HLG office here for more details. Our lawyers would be delighted to conduct a free preliminary assessment and consider if you are eligible to apply for the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme.

Founded in 1992, Harvey Law Group (HLG) is a leading multinational law firm with offices across Asia, North and South America, Europe, and Africa to cater to your specific needs for immigration and beyond.


More from Harvey Law Group