Getting a Hong Kong investment visa approval is one of the hardest single challenges when dealing with the Hong Kong Immigration Department.
The approvability test of substantial contribution to the economy of Hong Kong is somewhat nebulous and the immigration Department website is not especially forthcoming as to what they are actually looking for in their requests for information and documentation.
It can all appear to be a bit of a black box, when all is said and done.
However, the application process itself is fairly predictable so I thought there would be value for me to set out the type of experience you can expect as your investment visa application unfolds.
Once you have filed your application, you can expect to receive an official receipt with your file reference number within about 10 days of your first submission.
Then you will wait for up to 3 to 4 weeks, typically, until the HKID come back to you, usually by fax, but sometimes by email, with their first request for further and better particulars.
This request often contains a ‘laundry list’ of requirements which the Immigration Department need to have material and information on so that they can give due and full effect to your application – and they typically give you 3 weeks in which to comply.
If you need more than these 3 weeks, you can fax the Officer tasked with your file on the fax number included on their first request letter, and they are usually amenable to allowing up to a further 4 weeks to submit the documents and information they are seeking.
Once you have complied with their first request for further and better particulars you may or may not receive a second request, usually within the next 2-3 weeks.
If no further request is received in that time, you can assume that the Hong Kong ID have gone into the ‘4 weeks zone’, meaning that the four weeks they cite as being needed to give full consideration to your application, has now commenced and at sometime during the course of the next month you can expect to receive the application outcome.
If you’re approved, arrangements have to be made to collect your new visa label (or have it sent on to you overseas).
If you’re denied, then you’re back to square one and you need to reconsider your plans for your new business in Hong Kong.