• Capital Investment Scheme Suspended Until Further Notice
  • February 9, 2015
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • The Capital Investment Entrant Scheme was suspended on January 15, 2015 until further notice, according to an announcement by the Chief Executive of Hong Kong. The suspension will not affect applications submitted or postmarked before January 15 or already-approved applications as of that date (including those in approval-in-principle and formal approval status).

    The Scheme required investments in the local market of at least HK$10 million within six months of the application date. Nearly 25,000 foreign nationals were approved under the scheme since it launched in October 2003.

    Transitional Phase Applications

    A transitional phase of the suspension will allow applications to be submitted prior to July 15, 2015, if they involve an investment of at least HK$10 million made within six months of the application date and if the application is made within six months of the investment. Such applications must also meet all other eligibility criteria under the Scheme.

    Proposed Pilot Program

    Although the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme increased investments in Hong Kong, the decrease in Hong Kong’s working population has spurred the introduction of a pilot program to encourage the return of second generation Chinese Hong Kong permanent residents who have emigrated.

    Details of the program has not been formally announced. However, a 12-month visa without an employment offer requirement is expected to become available for second generation Chinese applicants with a degree and knowledge of Chinese or English.

    Admission Scheme for the Second Generation of Chinese Hong Kong Permanent Residents (ASSG)

    The government has announced the details of the Admission Scheme for the Second Generation of Chinese Hong Kong Permanent Residents (ASSG). Applicants must meet the following requirements:

    • Be between ages 18 and 40;
    • Born overseas;
    • Have at least one parents who is the holder of a valid Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card at the time of application and was a Chinese national settled overseas at the time of the applicant’s birth;
    • Have the relevant educational and professional background;
    • Be proficient in written and spoken Chinese or English; and
    • Have sufficient financial means and be able to support oneself and one’s dependents without relying on public funds.

    Upon applying for an extension of stay, the applicant must have secured a job offer and his or her salary must be in line with the market level salary for that industry. Initial applications can be submitted from abroad or in-country.

    The ASSG is expected to be implemented in the second quarter of 2015. The assessment criteria discussed above may change.

    What This Means for Foreign Nationals

    Foreign nationals interested in applying for the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme who have made the appropriate timely investment should be sure to apply for the scheme before July 15, 2015.

    Those who are affected by the suspension of the program should contact their immigration professional to discuss alternative visa options.