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Hadley Says

Why Do the Immigration Department Prefer a Limited Liability Company to Underpin a Hong Kong Investment Visa Application?

January 8th, 2013

Posted in Hadley Says…, Investment Visas, The Hong Kong Visa Geeza /


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Conceptually, it is possible to promote an application for a Hong Kong investment visa if you have entered into either a partnership at will or a sole proprietorship business in the HKSAR.

But what the Hong Kong Immigration Department make of this is arguably not going to do your case any favours!

You see, the Immigration Department systems are geared towards the Hong Kong incorporated limited liability company as the preferred business vehicle for your time spent in Hong Kong as a business investment visa holding foreign entrepreneur.

Indeed, all of their standard communications and documentary requisition lists detail the exact papers availed when your business has been duly established as a limited liability company here.

Even though establishing a sole proprietorship or partnership at will is just a simple matter of applying (and paying) for a Business Registration Certificate issued by the Inland Revenue Department, by not formally incorporating your business in Hong Kong, you are sending a message to the Department about your level of sophistication as you prepare to undergo your act of investment here.

The Hong Kong Immigration Department might conclude that you’re simply trying to do business ‘on the cheap’ – which is the antithesis of what the they expect to see when considering an investment visa application.

Remember, businesses on a shoe string struggle to get approved.

If you can’t afford to incorporate, the question really is begged, as to whether you’ll actually get an investment visa after all.

More Stuff to Help You Along

How onerous is the sponsorship role in a Hong Kong investment visa application?

Statistically, what are the chances of your Hong Kong investment visa being approved?

How is the Hong Kong investment visa process actually experienced by a foreign national applicant?

10 Must Have Resources for a successful Hong Kong investment visa application

How important is the support of InvestHK in your Hong Kong investment visa application?


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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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