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15 March 20245 minute read

Launch of the New Capital Investment Entrant Scheme

The Hong Kong government has now launched the New Capital Investment Entrant Scheme (the New CIES), a measure aimed at drawing in high-net-worth investors, diversifying Hong Kong’s investment opportunities and bolstering the city’s status as a global financial hub. From 1 March 2024, the New CIES will allow eligible persons, including foreign nationals and Chinese nationals who have obtained permanent resident status in a foreign country, among others, to obtain permission to stay in Hong Kong by making investments into permissible investments. This article provides an overview of the requirements of the New CIES and discusses the key takeaways from the scheme.



Under the New CIES, an applicant must (i) prove that they had ownership of net assets of at least HKD30 million throughout the two years preceding the date of application; and (ii) invest a minimum of HKD30 million in permissible investment assets.

Of the HK$30 million investment, HKD27 million must be invested into permissible financial assets (Permissible Financial Assets). The remaining HKD3 million must be placed into a New CIES Investment Portfolio, which will make investments into Hong Kong-linked companies/projects. Permissible Financial Assets include:

  1. Equities listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (the SEHK) and traded in HKD or RMB;
  2. Debt securities (i) listed on the SEHK and traded in HKD or RMB; or (ii) denominated in HKD or RMB issued or fully guaranteed by Hong Kong Government-related entities or listed companies on the SEHK;
  3. Certificates of deposits denominated in HKD or RMB with a remaining term of 12 months or more at the time of acquisition (subject to a HKD3 million cap);
  4. Subordinated debt denominated in HKD or RMB;
  5. Collective investment schemes, including Securities and Futures Commission (the SFC)-authorised funds, SFC-authorised real estate investment trusts, SFC-authorised Investment-Linked Assurance Schemes and open-ended fund companies (OFCs) registered under the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Cap. 571) (the SFO);
  6. Ownership interest in limited partnership funds (LPFs) registered under the Limited Partnership Fund Ordinance (Cap.637); and
  7. Non-residential real estate (subject to a HKD10 million cap).

Notably, the scope of OFCs and LPFs covered under the New CIES is broad – both public and private OFCs and LPFs are included, and there are no restrictions on the investment strategies of these vehicles. We expect that the inclusion of OFCs and LPFs in the New CIES will encourage the set-up of investment funds in the city as these vehicles are key structures allowing fund sponsors to establish, operate and manage their investment funds in Hong Kong. Note, however, that the amount of investment into private OFCs and private LPFs eligible to be considered as Permissible Financial Assets is capped at an aggregate of HKD10 million.



To make an application, the applicant should:

  1. Complete a net asset assessment with a Certified Public Accountant and approach the New CIES Office for a verification of the assessment;
  1. Submit an entry application to the Director of Immigration with the certifying proof of fulfilment of the net asset requirement issued by the New CIES Office, who will grant an entry permit for making the investment upon completion of an assessment from the immigration perspective;
  1. Approach the New CIES Office for verification of the fulfillment of the investment requirements; and
  1. Submit the certifying proof issued by the New CIES Office to the Director of Immigration, who will grant a permission to stay for 24 months, subject to the continuous compliance of the New CIES requirements throughout the period.

The extension of the permission to stay period is also clear and streamlined. Upon expiry of the 24-month permission to stay period, the investor may apply for an extension of stay and a 3-year extension will normally be granted if the eligibility requirements are all continuously being met. A further 3-year extension may be obtained subsequent to the expiry of the initial 3-year extension. An investor who is continuously ordinarily resident in Hong Kong for 7 years may then apply to the Director of Immigration to become a Hong Kong permanent resident. An investor who does not fulfill the continuous ordinary residence requirement may also seek unconditional stay from the Director of Immigration.

As can be seen from above, the New CIES focuses on the making and maintenance of the required investment in Hong Kong, without any other requirement on the applicant’s work experience in the city or academic qualifications.



The launch of the New CIES in March 2024 dovetails nicely with the recent announcement of the Hong Kong government to extend the Grant Scheme for Open-ended Fund Companies and Real Estate Investment Trusts (Grant Scheme) to mid-2027, creating a synergy that positions Hong Kong as a powerhouse in asset management and financial services. Since the announcement of the New CIES and the Grant Scheme, we are seeing a notable surge in the formation of OFCs and LPFs in Hong Kong, as well as the re-domiciliation of offshore vehicles to Hong Kong as OFCs or LPFs. If you are interested in any of the above issues, please contact Luke Gannon (Head of Funds and Investment Management, Asia) and we are ready to assist.



Our market leading funds and investment management group in Asia represents a wide range of clients in the financial services sector including fund sponsors, fund managers, investment advisers, securities brokers, investment banks, investors, trustees, administrators, custodians and other players. We help clients design and establish a wide variety of funds including alternative assets funds such as hedge funds, private equity, venture capital, real estate and infrastructure funds. Furthermore, we have extensive experience in representing and advising institutional investors in their investments into private international investment funds. We also advise clients on SFO regulation and SFC related matters such as advising on licensing requirements, registrations, licence applications and alterations, and general SFC regulatory and compliance requirements.