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New Scheme to Draw New Talent and Capital

New Scheme to Draw New Talent and Capital

Measures to enhance Hong Kong's role as a talent and capital hub.

A new Capital Investment Entrant Scheme (“CIES” or “Scheme”) is being launched to allow eligible investors to apply for entry into Hong Kong. The Government has launched numerous talent attraction schemes in the past, the CIES differs from those and focuses on qualifying capital requirements, having its own advantages regarding visa/entry permits and duration of stay.

The Scheme is a special investment entry program for capital investors to obtain permission to stay in Hong Kong by investing in qualified asset classes.

The applicants must:

  • be persons 18 and above including foreign nationals, Chinese nationals who have obtained permanent resident status in a foreign country, Macao Special Administrative Region residents and Chinese residents of Taiwan;
  • has net assets of not less than HK$30 million to which he/she is absolutely beneficially entitled throughout the two years preceding the application;
  • make an investment of a minimum of HK$30 million in the permissible investment assets, including investing a minimum of HK$27 million in the permissible financial assets and non-residential real estate, and placing HK$3 million into a new CIES Investment Portfolio.

This CIES Investment Portfolio will be managed by the Hong Kong Investment Corporation Limited to make investments in companies/projects with a Hong Kong nexus.

Furthermore, successful applicants:

  • may bring his/her dependants (including spouse and unmarried dependent children aged under 18 years) to Hong Kong, permission to stay will normally be granted to the applicant and his/her dependants for not more than two years.
  • and his/her dependants upon a period of continuous ordinary residence in Hong Kong of not less than seven years, can apply to become Hong Kong permanent residents in accordance with the law.

The range of assets for investment and related requirements are available here, and includes but not limited to:

  • Equities – shares of companies listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (“SEHK”) and traded in Hong Kong Dollars (“HKD”) or Renminbi (“RMB”);
  • Debt securities – debt securities listed on the SEHK and traded in HKD or RMB, and subordinate debt;
  • Certificates of deposits;
  • Eligible collective investment schemes
  • Limited partnership funds that are registered in Hong Kong;
  • Non-residential real estate.

The investments must remain in Hong Kong, and applicants are free to dispose of the invested assets after their application for permanent resident or an unconditional stay is approved.

Also a mechanism will be introduced for suspension of payment of Buyer’s Stamp Duty and New Residential Stamp Duty for applicant’s acquisition of residential property in Hong Kong (Suspension Mechanism). The Government shall make legislative amendments for the Suspension Mechanism to cover the successful applicants under the new CIES.

The CIES is expected to officially launch in mid-2024.