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Capital Investment Entrant Scheme Suspended – Business Investment Visa Gets a Boost!

January 14th, 2015

Posted in Investment Visas, Musing, The Hong Kong Visa Geeza /


CY Leung in his policy address today announced the suspension of the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme (“CIES” visa) with effect from tomorrow.

Current applications are not affected. No new applications will be entertained until further notice.


It appears that the government has determined, finally, to focus specific attention on attracting business to Hong Kong, not capital (did we ever really need it after all?)

To my mind, all the CIES did was fuel the real estate bubble. Even after real property was removed from the list of permissible investment asset classes, mainlanders mostly took advantage of the Scheme and they all bought properties in Hong Kong nonetheless.

This change in the rules will also affect the Gambia / Vanuatu third country PR-for-purchase  market (which mainlanders had to acquire  @ c.HKD100,000 a pop in order to qualify).

This legal fiction was well passed its sell by date and to be honest made a mockery of the rationale of the Scheme. For sure, allowing people to contribute capital for investment is a bloody good idea; we still need such a programme (in my view). Next time out though, the rules should be improved upon.

But for now: Capital Investment Entrant Scheme Suspended

The good news in all of this really though is the government’s increased focus on business investment. New technology, creation of jobs, the connection economy realised (hopefully!) I await news on this with bated breath.

It seems business immigration policy is changing for the good!

Fingers crossed!

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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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