The Government have announced the introduction of a new visa route for British National (Overseas) (BNO) citizens and their immediate family members, from January 2021. The ‘Hong Kong BN(O) Visa’ will enable applicants, who are normally resident in Hong Kong, to live, work and study in the UK. This route will give individuals a path to full citizenship.
The proposed route will allow eligible BN(O) citizens to apply for a five-year visa (two periods of 30 months’ leave) and at the end of the five years, be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain. After holding Indefinite Leave to Remain status for a further year, BN(O) citizens will be eligible to apply for British citizenship, given that the respective requirements are met.
Those coming to the UK under this route, will have access to the UK job market without any restrictions on the type of job undertaken – there will not be a salary threshold in place for example – thus allowing individuals to become “valued members of our society” (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/home-secretary-announces-details-of-the-hong-kong-bno-visa).
The Home Office have confirmed that BN(O) citizens do not need to hold a valid Hong Kong BN(O) passport to apply under this scheme. They are required to have a valid passport, which is used as proof of identity, however if they do not have a BN(O) passport, the Home Office can conduct their own checks to confirm the status of the applicant. To be eligible for this visa route you’ll need to show that you:
- have BN(O) status – you don’t need valid BN(O) passport to show this and you don’t need to request a new passport if it’s expired or has been lost
- normally live in Hong Kong
- can accommodate and support yourself financially in the UK for at least 6 months
- show a commitment to learn English, where appropriate
- get a tuberculosis (TB) test certificate from a clinic approved by the Home Office
- pay a fee and the immigration health surcharge
Our dedicated team of immigration experts will talk you through the application and evidential requirements to ensure you are fully briefed on what steps are available to you. Meeting the specific requirements is complex and therefore our expert immigration lawyers will guide you through the process thoroughly, assessing your personal circumstances and ensuring the advice is straightforward and time effective.
Call us now on 020 8131 3940 to see how we can help find the right solution for you.