Hong Kong is a diverse, leading metropolis offering a unique blend of Eastern and Western traditions. It is one of the world’s most business-friendly cities and has a world-class infrastructure. Hong Kong enjoys an open economy with a free market and low taxation. It is an important international finance and trade center.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) offers several residence programs for talented individuals seeking residence in this Asian metropolis.Enquiry Factsheet
Minimum of HKD 30 million
Eligible to apply for permanent residence after seven years
In September 2003, the Immigration Department of the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People's Republic of China introduced the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme. Prior to the introduction of the scheme, individuals seeking residence in return for investment in the HKSAR had to rely on a subset of the employment visa, known as the Employment Visa Based upon Investment in Hong Kong (the business investment visa).
Individuals who wish to apply for residence in Hong Kong have five options available to them. These are:
Applicants are required to fulfill a set of prerequisites before they can be awarded points in one of the two points-based tests below (qualified individuals from the Talent List are eligible for bonus points under the QMAS):
Applicants who meet the following criteria may apply for residence under the TTPS:
Applicants who possess special skills, knowledge, or experience of value not readily available in Hong Kong may apply to work under the GEP if the following criteria are met:
Applicants who meet the below criteria may apply to enter or stay in the HKSAR as entrepreneurs under the GEP:
Applicants who fulfill the following requirements may apply for residence in Hong Kong under the CIES:
In order to obtain any of the above visas, the applicant must submit all the relevant application forms and supporting documents. Upon the Immigration Department’s receipt of all the required documents, it normally takes one to nine months to process the visa or entry permit applications.
Approval of applications is entirely discretionary and is subject to changes in government policies. The director of immigration reserves absolute discretion to refuse any application, even if all criteria for eligibility are met. Successful applicants will normally be granted a limited extended stay of 24 months (only without other conditions of stay upon entry). Applicants may apply to extend their stay in the HKSAR before their limit of stay expires. Such applications will only be considered if the applicants continue to meet the eligibility criteria under entry for investment, the QMAS, the TTPS, the GEP, or the CIES.
Taxation in Hong Kong is based on a territorial source principle. Hong Kong companies only pay tax on profits sourced in Hong Kong, and the rate of taxation currently is 17.5% on assessable profits. There are no withholding taxes on dividends or interest and no taxes on capital gains. However, withholding tax on royalties does apply, currently at 5.25%, and is only imposed on royalties paid to non-resident recipients not related to the payers. If they are related parties, then a tax rate of 16.5% is applicable.
Hong Kong companies are ideal vehicles for international trading or consulting activities that do not have links in Hong Kong. These businesses can therefore be conducted free of tax. The same is true for companies that hold real estate that is located outside Hong Kong. There is no capital gains tax, and dividends received or distributed by a Hong Kong company are also tax-free. Even the standard rate of profits tax applicable to Hong-Kong-sourced income is very competitive, at 16.5%.
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