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Can anyone give me some advice on whether I’m going to have any visa problems?

I am planning to incorporate a new company in Hong Kong. This business would focus on internet retail to the final consumer worldwide. Products being sold would be from Hong Kong manufacturers and distributors. 95% of sales would be outside of Hong Kong (another thing immigration likes) with the focus being selling to the USA and EU final consumers.

I have 17 years experience in this industry, with 11 years as owner of my own related businesses in the USA (something that immigration is looking for). I recently closed those businesses in the USA due to safety regulation changes for importation to the USA. I have an undergrad degree in business, and some MBA coursework completed (another thing they are looking for).

I plan to actively manage this new Hong Kong business. I want to start the business small keeping costs under control and gradually growing it. Annual sales would be $200,000 USD in the first year of operation, but has the potential to go to more than $1 million within 3 years and much more than that within 5 years. I can write a solid business plan to support.

I would like to rent a condominium or house in the suburbs to keeps costs low in a city like Tai Po. Plus it’s a nicer environment to live in. Start business from the condo to establish systems and then move that business into a warehouse within 3-6 months. One concern here is will they frown on me doing business out of my residence if I happen to be applying for the investment visa while that is my address? If this is the case I might just bite the bullet and try to find a small commercial space to rent to start out.

I will hire one Hong Kong citizen right away and will need to keep adding employees as the business grows of course- another thing that immigration likes.

I would be traveling from Hong Kong to the Philippines once every two to three weeks, but only staying in the Philippines for two to three days before returning to Hong Kong. Also, I would be traveling to the USA once every three to four months for a week at a time before returning to Hong Kong. Not sure if all this traveling would be a plus or minus.

If I can travel in this way without having to get an investor visa for the first 6-9 months I would prefer that. I am a Caucasian American which sounds like might be of some benefit in this situation from the blogs I’ve read.

Capital available to start the business is $60K USD with another $70K is stock and equipment that I will bring from the USA. It is my understanding that I could go for an Investment Visa, but not the Capital Investment Visa which required 6.5 million Hong Kong dollars.

However, I am wondering once I do apply for an investor visa and they look at how much time I’ve spent there and the fact that the business in already operational wouldn’t they frown on that and deny me since doing business while there on a visitors visa is illegal?

Also, if they only give me 10 days to get my affairs in order in Hong Kong during one of my trips (which is what I hear they do if they want you out) its really bad since I won’t be able to be there anymore to actively manage the business. How big is my risk factor that that could happen?

I will ask an immigration attorney about my situation but often they give answers that will maximize their returns and also minimize liability. I am looking for practical answers from people with experience in such matters. Please help!
 
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