Skip to main content

The UK Government plans to open this new visa route for Hong Kong British National (Overseas) citizens (BNO) to live in the UK with their immediate dependants, including those without BNO status.  This visa route will open for applications in February 2021.

Those who are already in the UK will be able to switch into the Hong Kong BNO visa route from January 2021. If arriving before 31st January 2021, leave of 6 months can be granted to BNOs and their dependants at the border.

Visa requirements

The exact requirements will vary depending on individual circumstances. Each applicant must have registered as a BNO before the handover in July 1997. Other rules will apply along with:

  • Residency status – ordinarily resident in Hong Kong
  • Financial – ability to accommodate and support themselves for at least 6 months
  • English language – commit to learn English in the UK
  • TB test – must possess a valid TB certificate
  • Dependents – must be under 18. There may be exceptions for elder parents, grandparents and older children but this will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and subject to the dependency on the main applicant.

Validity of the Hong Kong BNO Visa

There are two options in terms of length of visa:

Option 1

Leave to remain in the UK for a period of five years

Option 2

Leave to remain in the UK for an initial period of 30 months’ leave (2.5 years), renewable by a second charged application for a further 30 months (2.5 years)

After residing for 5 continuous years and meeting all the requirements, applicants will be able to apply for settlement. On the sixth year, they will have the ability to naturalise as British citizens*. 

Advantages of this Visa route

There are a number of advantages to this visa route. Apart from the lower visa cost, it is a potentially quicker route to citizenship. Successful applicants will also:

  • be able to work in the UK
  • have access to schools for:
    • dependents under 18
    • training for young people between 16-19
    • higher education courses
  • have access to the NHS

Applicants will not have access to public funds.

Applying for the BNO Citizenship Visa

Each application will be different, and each applicant will have their own individual reasons for applying for the visa route.

There are strict requirements that must be evidenced in support of the Hong Kong BNO visa application. This includes but is not limited to preparing documents, proving BNO citizenship and meeting financial requirements. We at The Nathanson Partnership will provide bespoke and detailed advice to ensure that your application is professionally presented and technically correct.

We will work closely with BNO citizens and their families. We will guide you through the complex Home Office Immigration Rules and policies. We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our clients’ needs. We are a highly driven team, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to investors as part of a professional and friendly service.

Our resources

The Nathanson Partnership has prepared the following:

  1. A comprehensive document for our clients. This includes information on the visa process, document requirements and processing times as well as the fee schedule.
  2. A detailed FAQ document which will assist you in making your decision to apply for British citizenship.

Please contact us if you would like to receive a copy of these documents.

We can provide our services in English, Cantonese or Mandarin. We also work with our team in Hong Kong to assist you with your supporting documents, legalisation, translation and notary services should this be required.

We work on a transparent fixed fee basis and will support all our clients through the visa or work permit application process from start to finish. Please contact us if you would like to have an initial free telephone consultation (30 minutes) with our experts.