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Investment Visas

Updated: Nov 29, 2023




The Investment as Entrepreneurs (IAE) scheme is a Hong Kong government program that allows foreign entrepreneurs to obtain visas and residency in Hong Kong in exchange for establishing or joining a business in the city. The scheme is designed to attract talented entrepreneurs and businesses to Hong Kong, and to help the city maintain its position as a global business hub.


Applicants must have a good business plan, and demonstrate the ability to make a substantial contribution to the Hong Kong economy.


Key Benefits of the IAE Scheme

  • Visas and residency: Entrepreneurs who meet the scheme's requirements will be granted visas and residency in Hong Kong.

  • Access to capital: Hong Kong has a well-developed financial system and a strong track record of supporting entrepreneurship.

  • Business support: The Hong Kong government provides a range of support services for entrepreneurs, including business incubators, accelerators, and co-working spaces.

  • Access to business opportunities: Hong Kong is a global financial hub and a major center for international trade and commerce. Investment visa holders have access to a wide range of business opportunities and can tap into the city's strong entrepreneurial ecosystem.

  • High quality of life: Hong Kong offers a high quality of life with excellent education, healthcare, and infrastructure. The city is also known for its vibrant culture and diverse culinary scene.

Eligibility Criteria


To be eligible for the IAE scheme, entrepreneurs must meet the following criteria:

  • Have years of relevant experience in managing a business.

  • Have a viable business plan that is likely to succeed in Hong Kong.

  • Make a substantial investment in their business in Hong Kong.

Business plan:


To demonstrate the viability and potential success of their business venture in Hong Kong, applicants seeking entry under the Investment as Entrepreneurs scheme must submit a comprehensive two-year business plan. This plan should outline the following key elements:

  • Nature of the Business: Clearly define the type of business, its core products or services, and the targeted market.

  • Market Analysis: Provide a thorough assessment of the target market, including its size, growth potential, competitive landscape, and customer preferences.

  • Market Positioning: Articulate the unique selling proposition and competitive advantage that distinguish the business from its rivals.

  • Business Direction: Outline the company's strategic direction, including its long-term goals, objectives, and milestones.

  • Sales Targets: Establish ambitious yet achievable sales targets for the next two years.

  • Product Marketing Strategy: Detail the strategies for promoting and marketing the company's products or services, including channels, messaging, and budget allocation.

In addition to the business plan, applicants must also submit a two-year financial forecast encompassing the following components:

  • Profit-and-Loss Account Statement: Project the expected revenue, expenses, and profitability for the next two years.

  • Cash Flow Statement: Forecast the expected cash inflows and outflows for the next two years, demonstrating the business's ability to meet its financial obligations.

  • Balance Sheet: Anticipate the company's asset and liability positions at the end of each year for the next two years.

By providing this detailed information, applicants can effectively demonstrate the feasibility of their business in terms of operation, finances, and development, increasing their chances of securing entry into Hong Kong under the Investment as Entrepreneurs scheme.


The Immigration Department may consult with relevant government agencies or professional organizations to evaluate an applicant's business plan and determine its alignment with Hong Kong's overall economic development objectives. This consultation may involve assessing whether the applicant's business aligns with or complements industries that Hong Kong prioritizes for growth, such as:

  • The four traditional pillar industries: trading and logistics, tourism, financial services, and professional and producer services

  • The four clusters of sectors receiving support measures from the Economic Development Commission: transportation, convention and exhibition industries and tourism, manufacturing industries, innovative technology and cultural and creative industries, and professional services

By considering these factors, the Immigration Department can make informed decisions about whether an applicant's business contributes to Hong Kong's economic prosperity and justifies granting them entry under the Investment as Entrepreneurs scheme.


A well-crafted business plan is crucial for entrepreneurs seeking entry into Hong Kong under the Investment as Entrepreneurs (IAE) scheme. The plan serves as a blueprint for your business venture, demonstrating its viability, potential for success, and contribution to Hong Kong's economy.


The substantial investment requirement is not specifically defined, but the Immigration Department will consider a number of factors when assessing whether an investment is substantial, including the size of the investment, the nature of the business, and the potential economic benefits of the business to Hong Kong.


To demonstrate the viability and potential success of their investment venture in Hong Kong, applicants seeking entry under the Investment as Entrepreneurs scheme must submit a comprehensive two-year investment plan. This plan should outline the following key elements:


1. Proposed Business Activities:

Clearly define the type of business, its core products or services, and the targeted market. Provide a detailed description of the proposed business activities, highlighting the unique value proposition and competitive advantage.


2. Investment Amount:

Specify the total investment amount to be made in Hong Kong. This includes funds allocated for business operations, equipment procurement, inventory management, marketing expenses, and any other relevant costs.


3. Job Creation:

Outline the expected number of local job positions to be created within the first two years of operation. Detail the types of jobs, required qualifications, and salary ranges.


4. Establishment of Business Premises:

Specify the plans for establishing a physical presence in Hong Kong. This may include setting up an office, showroom, warehouse, or manufacturing facility. Provide details on the location, size, and lease arrangements.


5. Timeline for Implementation:

Develop a detailed timeline for implementing the investment plan, outlining key milestones and target dates for each phase of the project.


6. Contribution to Hong Kong's Economy:

Articulate how the proposed investment will contribute to Hong Kong's economic growth and development. This may include aspects such as job creation, tax revenue generation, knowledge transfer, and technology advancement.


In addition to the investment plan, applicants must also submit supporting documentation, such as:

  • Proof of Financial Resources: Provide evidence of the available financial resources to support the proposed investment. This may include bank statements, investment portfolios, or audited financial statements.

  • Business Registration Certificate: If applicable, submit a copy of the company's business registration certificate from the country of origin.

  • Professional Qualifications: Provide relevant certifications or licenses demonstrating the applicant's expertise and qualifications in their field.

By providing this detailed information, applicants can effectively demonstrate the feasibility and potential impact of their investment venture, increasing their chances of securing entry into Hong Kong under the Investment as Entrepreneurs scheme.


Entry of Dependants


Dependants of entrepreneurs who have been granted visas under the Investment as Entrepreneurs (IAE) scheme are eligible to enter and reside in Hong Kong with their sponsors. Dependants include spouses and unmarried dependent children under the age of 18.


Entry requirements for dependants:


To enter Hong Kong, dependants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a spouse or unmarried dependent child under the age of 18 of an entrepreneur who has been granted a visa under the IAE scheme.

  • Hold a valid travel document.

  • Have sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay in Hong Kong.

Supporting documents:


Dependants will need to provide the following supporting documents with their application:

  • A copy of their travel document.

  • A copy of their birth certificate (if applicable).

  • A copy of their marriage certificate (if applicable).

  • A financial statement from the entrepreneur showing that they have sufficient funds to support their dependant during their stay in Hong Kong.


Application Process


The application process for the IAE scheme is online. Entrepreneurs will need to submit a detailed application form, which includes information about their business plan, their investment, and their experience. They will also need to provide supporting documentation, such as financial statements and business permits.


Processing Times


The processing time for IAE applications can vary depending on the complexity of the application. However, most applications are processed within one month.

Investment Visas

How Bestar can Help


Bestar can help you with the investment visa application process in Hong Kong by providing you with the following services:


1. Application assistance: Bestar can assist you with every step of the investment visa application process, from gathering documents and completing forms to submitting your application and attending interviews.


2. Document preparation: Bestar can help you prepare all required documents, including financial statements, business plans, and supporting documentation.


3. Investment advice: Bestar can provide you with expert advice on investment options that meet the requirements of the investment visa programs.


4. Business plan development: Bestar can help you develop a comprehensive business plan that outlines your business goals, strategies, and financial projections.


5. Follow-up and support: Bestar will provide you with ongoing support throughout the application process and will keep you updated on the progress of your application.


Here are some additional tips on how Bestar can help you with investment visas Hong Kong:

  • Bestar has a team of experienced immigration consultants who are knowledgeable about the investment visa programs in Hong Kong.

  • Bestar has a proven track record of success in helping clients obtain investment visas in Hong Kong.

  • Bestar can provide you with personalized advice and guidance based on your individual circumstances.

  • Bestar can help you save time and effort by handling the complexities of the investment visa application process.

  • Bestar can give you peace of mind by ensuring that your application is complete and accurate.

If you are considering applying for an investment visa in Hong Kong, contact Bestar for a consultation. We can help you assess your eligibility, develop a strong application, and increase your chances of success. Contact Bestar today!

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