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Hong Kong Startups Visa

Planning to start a business in Hong Kong? The start up visa is a good option for expats who want to live and work officially in Hong Kong.


What is the Hong Kong start up visa?

You have a brilliant business idea and you want to start a business in Hong Kong. Then Hong Kong welcomes you. They recognise entrepreneurs stimulate business and economic growth. Hong Kong wants foreigners with exceptional talents and business experience to build innovative businesses in its region.


To start a business in Hong Kong you need a Start up Visa. These are favourable for startup businesses in creative industries or innovative technology field. This allows you to start a business in Hong Kong and work towards permanent residency. Your application must have the support of recognised funding or government-backed program to get your business started. Startup visas are good for you and good for Hong Kong’s economy and local job creation.

Start up visas support start-up founders in developing and working for their business in Hong Kong. Successful startup visa holders will also have a residency permit granted for 2 years so you can move to the city to get your business off the ground. You can extend your residency permit based on the government’s employment visa scheme. But, must meet the standard requirements for acceptance.

To qualify for a startup visa, be prepared to provide detailed information. You also need to provide business plans, financial information, histories of the business founders, and any 0ther information the Immigration Department of Hong Kong requires during the application process.


Are you eligible?

This visa scheme recruits innovative foreign national entrepreneurs to start new companies to benefit Hong Kong’s economy and create local jobs. To be eligible for the startup visa, the following requirements must be met:

  • No criminal record. You cannot not have a criminal record or any security objections against you.
  • Good education. You must have a good education. You should have at least an undergraduate degree in the relevant area. If not, you must prove you have the technical qualifications, professional experience and a proven track record managing a business successfully in the relevant field.
  • Economic benefits. You must demonstrate economic benefits from doing business in Hong Kong. You are required to demonstrate your business will create jobs for the local workforce, and you intend to use local suppliers, service providers and manufacturers. Show how your business will make a significant positive impact on Hong Kong’s economy.
  • Business registration. You must register and establish your new business in Hong Kong before applying for a startup visa.
  • Sponsorship. You need the support of a local business or individual as a sponsor. Sponsors guarantee you are a suitable person to live and work in Hong Kong. They certify that you will leave Hong Kong when your visa expires and obey Hong Kong’s laws.
  • Local backing. You must have the support of a recognised government-backed program or recognised funding institution.

Applying for a startup visa

An entrepreneur must have the backing of a local company or individual willing to take responsibility for their repatriation if ever required. To apply for a startup visa:

  • A completed application form.
  • Completed sponsor’s application form.
  • A copy of the personal particulars page from your passport. If already in Hong Kong, provide a copy of the page showing your latest arrival in the area.
  • Proof of relevant academic and business qualifications and experience.
  • A copy of the company’s employment contract or appointment letter.
  • A comprehensive 2-year business plan.
  • A copy of your Business Registration Certificate for the company you want to invest in or have already invested in.
  • Proof of your country of residence.
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Free Online Assessment

Check your eligibility of the startups visa by completing a free online assessment.

Frequent Asked Questions



  • Can I bring the family with me on a startup visa?

      Yes. You can bring your spouse and any unmarried dependents under the age of 18 under the dependent policy. You need to file independent visa applications for each family member. Some conditions may apply, such as: proof of a genuine relationship.

  • How long does the visa application take?
    • Visas take around 4 – 6 weeks to process after receiving all the relevant documents and information. Make sure everything is completed correctly and all supporting evidence is submitted with the application form. The Immigration Department cannot start processing an application until it receives all relevant information. Not submitting all relevant documents will result in a processing delay.Startup visas can be a complex process. Contact us if you need help.