Hong Konger applications for Taiwan residency via investment down from 2019

A rally held in Taipei in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy activists.

A rally held in Taipei in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy activists. (CNA photo)

The number of Hong Kongers who have applied for residency in Taiwan through investment has exceeded 1,000 in a single year for a second time but was down from the pace set in 2019, the Investment Commission said Monday (Dec. 14).

There were 1,047 such applicants in the first 10 months of 2020, down 11.57 percent from the same period of 2019, according to data compiled by the commission, which is under the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

In all of 2019, 1,553 people from Hong Kong applied to settle in Taiwan as a businessperson.

According to a commission official, the drop could likely be due to stricter rules in place since March.

Previously, people from Hong Kong seeking residency in Taiwan through investment had to invest a minimum of NT$6 million (US$213,163) and reside in Taiwan for at least a full year to be eligible.

In March, however, applicants were also required to keep their businesses in Taiwan operating for at least three years and employ no fewer than two Taiwanese, the official said, explaining that the added provisions were designed to prevent "fake investment."

Still, the requirements are more lenient than for other foreign nationals, who must invest over NT$15 million in the country and hire at least five employees for a duration of three years to gain residency, the official said.

The deteriorating democratic environment in Hong Kong resulting from China's crackdowns on freedom of speech and assembly has led people there to consider emigrating to other countries, with Taiwan one of the choices they are considering.

Updated : 2021-02-27 05:33 GMT+08:00