New Hong Kong British National (Overseas) Visa
As part of the new immigration rules coming into effect on January 1st 2021, the Home Office is launching a new visa for Hong Kong British Nationals (Overseas) (BNO). The Hong Kong BN(O) visa will allow successful applicants to remain in the UK for up to 30 months.
Recently, Boris Johnson said that he would grant Hong Kong nationals a route to citizenship if China imposed their new security laws.
Who can apply?
You can apply for the Hong Kong BN(O) visa if you are a BN(O) citizen. You do not need to have a BN(O) passport to prove this, but you will need a valid travel document to apply, such as a valid Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport.
For your application to be successful, there are several other requirements you must meet, these include:
- Residency requirements – if applying from outside of the UK you must normally live in Hong Kong, if applying from inside of the UK you must normally live in Hong Kong, the UK, Jersey, Guernsey, or the Isle of Man.
- Financial requirements – you will need to prove that you have the funds to support yourself and any family members financially for at least 6 months.
- Tuberculosis test – if you are applying from Hong Kong, you must provide your Tuberculosis test certificate. Depending on your circumstances, you may also need to provide a Tuberculosis certificate if you are already in the UK.
Family members who normally live with you are also able to apply for this visa. This includes your spouse, children under the age of 18, adult children born on or after the 1st July 1997 and other family members in which exceptional circumstances mean there is a high level of dependency.
The visa will cost £180 to apply for if you’re applying to stay in the UK for 2 years and 6 months, or £250 if you’re applying to stay in the UK for 5 years.
What can you do on the visa?
The visa will allow you to enter the UK for a period of 30 months, after this time you can apply to extend the visa for another 30 months. Once you have lived in the UK for 5 years under this visa, you will be eligible to apply to settle in the UK. You can also apply for British Citizenship after holding settled status for 12 months.
Whilst in the UK on this visa you can work, study and use the NHS but you cannot access public funds.
If you need help
The UK immigration system can be complex, especially as we near the end of the Brexit transition period and a new immigration system launches. Luckily, our lawyers are here for you. They are highly-trained and knowledgeable about the new rules and visas.
If you would like to apply for the Hong Kong BN(O) visa, speak to one of our lawyers today on 01618269783. They can discuss your situation with you, assess your eligibility for the visa and assist you with your application once applications are open.
Our solicitors also assist with a number of other immigration issues such as Spouse Visa applications or asylum claims, don’t hesitate to speak to them today for more information about the ways that they can help you.
For further information, take a look at our handy immigration guides that tell you more about the UK’s immigration system.
The Home Office have said they will publish more details about the Hong Kong BN(O) Visa before applications open (Image credit: Unsplash)
The new visa will also act as a route to UK settlement and British Citizenship (Image credit: Akram Shehadi via Unsplash)