May 2, 2013
The CIES was launched in October 2003 with the objective of facilitating the entry for residence of capital investment entrants, i.e. persons who wish to make capital investment in Hong Kong but would not be engaged in the running of any business here. The entrant is allowed to make his choice of investments among permissible assets without the need to establish or join in a business.
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Since March 16, 2009, applicants under the CIES have been able to, at their own cost, engage a Certified Public Accountant (Practising) (who is a member of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CPA) to issue a report) to demonstrate that they meet the asset requirement under paragraph 2.1(b) of the Scheme Rules. The arrangement is optional and will not affect the result of their application. As at the end of 2012, 12 391 applicants had submitted applications with a CPA report, amounting to around 64 per cent of the new applications received, and 8 864 of them were granted Approval-in-principle or Formal Approval.
In 2010, the Government reviewed and amended the rules of the CIES. The following amendments were introduced to the CIES with effect from October 14, 2010:
i) the threshold of investment (and net assets/net equity requirement) for admission to Hong Kong under the CIES is raised from $6.5 million to $10 million;
ii) real estate is suspended temporarily as a class of Permissible Investment Assets (PIA) under the CIES; and
iii) an insurer authorised to carry on Class C business as specified in Part 2 of the First Schedule to the Insurance Companies Ordinance is permitted to act as a financial intermediary for the purposes of the CIES.
The Government will review the CIES in 2013 in order to ensure that the Scheme is up to date and would continue to serve the overall best interests of Hong Kong.
As at the end of 2012, 26 492 applications had been received. A total of 16 915 applicants had made the requisite investments and were given formal approval to reside in Hong Kong. They invested a total of $129.8 billion in permissible investment assets, representing an average of $7.67 million per entrant. Additionally, a total of 1 724 applicants were given Approval-in-principle to enter Hong Kong to make the requisite investments. The monthly average of applications received was 542 in 2012.