Thanks to its thriving economy today, the city-state of Hong Kong has successfully stood at par with most other developed nations like the US, Australia and Canada. HK has not only followed the foot prints of aforementioned nations when it comes to leaving its foot prints on international map and winning the heart of hundreds of thousands of immigrates but also, like the US and Canada, declared the Investor programme void.
In the beginning of 2015, Canada scrapped its in-demand programme, Federal Immigrant Investor. Soon the US did the same and in the mid January 2015, Hong Kong has done the same. Hong Kong is putting on Hold on Investors Immigration programme, also known as Capital Investment Entrant Scheme (CIES)–the announcement has created shock waves across the borders.
The recent statement was a surprise across the borders. Allegedly, the main aim of scrapping the scheme is to block the route for affluent Mainland Chinese citizens who wish to acquire Hong Kong Residency through the Investor Programme. The scheme was first introduced way back during 2003, when the HK economy was going through the bad phase of economic meltdown.
To make the economy stable, the Hong Kong Government was inclined to attract more and more foreign investors. But lately the economic and political mood has changed and foreign investment is no longer on the government’s priority list. The economy is thriving like never before and the country has successfully developed a niche on the international map.
The programme has successfully helped to raise closer to HK$205 billion by the end of September, including an investment made in real estate though many analysts believe that by putting an hold on the programme, the HK government is simply buying some time to review the same even as the suspension will not last for a longer period of time. The observers also believe that the suspension will benefit its competitor the US as most of the investor applications will automatically shift to the renowned US EB-5 Programme.
As the Hong Kong Government has made an announcement of putting an indefinite hold on Investor Immigration scheme (Capital Investment Entrant Scheme) staring from 15th January 2015, only those applications received on or before 14th January–whether approved or under process–will be considered. Soon after the announcement, many Chinese Immigration agents took an immediate flight to HK in order to submit the application before the January 14 midnight.
Ever since the scheme was first introduced 14 years back, it has remained the first choice for affluent investors– mainly from Mainland China, courtesy familiar culture and language. However in 2010, the real state investment was barred from the Investors Immigration Programme.
To keep the movement of the Chinese applicants restricted, the Government of Hong Kong only entertained Chinese applicants with a Permanent Residency (PR) status from the third country. The popularity of the scheme encouraged the HK government to increase its investment amount from HK$6.5 million (US$840,000) to HK$10 million (US$1.3 million). However, the increase in investment amount did not discourage the potential applicants from applying.