In recent years, traditional Western democracies have become unstable – in 2016 alone, the Brexit decision and the election of Donald Trump are glaring examples of this reality.
As a result, financially literate residents of these countries have scrambled for alternative ways to secure their savings, as the policies stemming from the aforementioned situations threaten to do lasting damage to currencies and the solvency of banks in these jurisdictions.
At the same time, tax authorities in America and elsewhere have begun to crack down on individuals and corporations perceived to be dodging taxes by bringing in heavy-handed, draconian policies which has led to restrictions on foreigners looking to set up offshore accounts worldwide.
Indeed, life has gotten much harder for foreign nationals who want to set up a bank account in Hong Kong. However, there are still two paths that can be followed for those ready to jump through a few hoops.
Below, we’ll describe what you’ll need to do if you want to acquire the much-desired Hong Kong personal savings account.
Residency option A: Hang out for at least three months
Willing to embrace the adventure of a lifetime? If you are ready to leave your life at home behind for a minimum of three months for a job in one of the most densely populated cities on Earth, you’ll be rewarded with the ability to open an account that will give the ability to structure your savings in ways banks back in America simply won’t allow.
Before searching for a job, you’ll want to arrange a comfortable place to live. Luckily, there are plenty of serviced apartment Hong Kong which will allow you to feel at home a half world away from your real place of residence. With plenty of well-appointed monthly stay apartments to choose from, you won’t have to spends tons on a hotel, or brave some of the grungier apartments for which this city is infamous.
Once you have set yourself up with a place to live, get a job. Fortunately, there are often positions in your field of expertise (especially in Finance) that can be secured with enough perseverance prior to arrival.
Failing that, you can always get a job teaching English as Second Language (ESL). Take steps now to get your TEFL, and you’ll have the credentials to get a well-paying job at a private tutoring institute, or the public school system
Once you hit the three month mark, you will be eligible to set up a savings account in Hong Kong. Even if you leave the city state after your employment contract ends, you will able to retain the account and wire money to it.
Residency option B: Set up a corporation in Hong Kong
Don’t want to set foot in Hong Kong, but still want to open a bank account? People used to be able to do this easily, but these days, the process has become much tougher.
First, you’ll need a real, cash-flowing business. Make contact with local facilitators (take care to vet them strictly, as there are many scammers out there) – they will interview via Skype, and pending their approval, they will draft a business plan and notarize documents needed to register your business in Hong Kong, then open a corporate bank account for said business.
After three months of regular deposits and withdrawals, you will gain the ability to open a personal account. Afterward, you will be free to dissolve your Hong Kong business and corporate bank account, while retaining your personal savings account.