Hong Kong Investment Visa : The Capital Investment Entrant Scheme (C.I.E.S.) - Suspended with effect from 15 January 2015
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Regional Government, in 2003, introduced the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme (C.I.E.S.).
CIES in Summary
The aim of the scheme was to ease the immigration process to obtain residence in Hong Kong for individuals who make a significant capital investment into permissible assets. The principle advantage of the CIES scheme was that the capital investment can be made without the requirement to establish or join a business.
The Hong Kong Government announced on the 14 January that the existing Capital Investment Entrant Scheme will be suspended to new applicants with effect from 15 January 2015. The change in policy will not, however, affect applications that are already filed with the Immigration Department for processing and approval.
The Scheme permitted qualifying individuals, who make capital investments in Hong Kong of HK$10 million or more, but who are not engaged in running a business in there, to apply for residence in the jurisdiction. Since the Scheme was introduced in 2003 it has proved extremely successful with approximately 40,000 visas being issued to individuals over this time.
The suspension of the Scheme was announced in a speech by Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. Among the pledges made by Mr Leung was the aim to introduce new measures to attract new talent to Hong Kong, both from the mainland and from overseas. As part of the measures outlined is a scheme to attract second generation Chinese Hong Kong permanent residents, who have emigrated overseas, to return to Hong Kong.
It is anticipated by some, that the suspension of the Scheme might trigger an increase in applications under existing the Business Visa Scheme to Hong Kong.