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What Visa Category Should I Use to Expand My SME Business Operations From Gibraltar to Hong Kong?

September 11th, 2020

Posted in Investment Visas, The Hong Kong Visa Geeza, Your Question Answered /


First Published January 10, 2017

What Hong Kong visa category should I use to expand my SME business operations from my base in Gibraltar?


Down the years literally dozens of such entrepreneurs have passed through my office and I am proud to have been associated with this flow of foreign national talent. It came as no surprise to me when this question came my way just yesterday.


“Hello Stephen.

I’ve been reading a bunch of the articles on your blog and the Visa Handbook and have found a lot of valuable information but still don’t quite know which visa I should be applying for nor what the best way is to go about it.

I believe the business investment visa is the way to go, but…just not quite sure.

I am interested in moving to Hong Kong in April of 2017 along with my wife and two children, ages 8 and 10.

I would like to stay for 6-7 years, although perhaps longer.

I currently own and manage multiple businesses here Gibraltar, all of which operate under a single umbrella company that has been in business since 1999 (technically it was sold in 2003 and then I started over, but for me it has effectively been one business since 1999).

Our annual turnover is approximately Euros 700,000 and we have 2 full time employees and about a dozen permanently engaged contractors. We are in the internet space.

I am completely self-sufficient financially, that is, I do not need to make any money in Hong Kong in order to support myself, as the Gibraltar operations of the business provide me with enough income to live comfortably and will continue to do so even if I am completely absent from them since other people now do the majority of the real work.

That said, it is not my plan to move to HK and merely lounge about, rather I would like to start a permanent office there, staffed by locals. I anticipate creating 5-15 contractor jobs during the time I would spend there to get things going.

Then I would move on, leaving the locals in place to run things.

Both I and my wife have Masters degrees, I in business, she in human studies. I am fluent in English and Spanish with a working knowledge of French. My wife is fluent in English and Spanish and has a working knowledge of Chinese. I am 42, she is 37.

Any pointers you can offer would be greatly appreciated.”

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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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