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Which is Better – Apply for a Hong Kong Investment Visa Directly or for an Employment Visa First then after Approval Become a Shareholder in Your Own Business?

May 12th, 2022

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


It hardly matters how you skin this cat, ImmD will approach it in exactly the same way… as a new business situation.



I plan to start a business with three other partners. Two of these are Hong Kong permanent residents and one of them is in the same situation as myself: recently unemployed and staying on an employee work visa.

My question is, as far as maximizing the chances of getting and retaining a visa to work in Hong Kong, would it be beneficial to apply as employees and wait until visas are granted before becoming partners in the company, or to run them as Hong Kong investment visa applications?

I have taken into consideration that:

1. I trust my permanent resident partners, and

2. Both myself and my colleague likely have better cases for employee work visa renewals (i.e. unique skill sets and experience and not a lot of cash).

Thank you very much for your help in these regards.

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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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