HONG KONG BNO CITIZENSHIP PROGRAM
The Hong Kong BNO visa route is a bespoke immigration route for Hong Kong British National (Overseas) citizens to live in the UK with their immediate dependants, including those without BNO status. This visa route will open for applications in January 2021.
If you are a Hong Kong BNO Citizen
There will be no cap on the number of Hong Kong BNO visa applicants. If you are already in the UK, you will be able to switch into the Hong Kong BNO visa route from January 2021.
If you are arriving before January 2021, you and your dependants (when travelling together) will be granted 6 months on entry. However, if you plan to arrive after your visa is granted (after January 2021), you will receive your leave to remain.
T: 020 3476 9523
This document is for guidance only and does not constitute legal advice. Please contact us at The Nathanson Partnership for clarification, queries and further information.
The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances, but as a summary:
(please see definition)
|British National (Overseas)* passport
|Children must be under 18
|ordinarily resident in Hong Kong
|prove your ability to accommodate and support themselves in the UK for at least six months
|Criminal record check/Police Certificate
|must have no serious criminal convictions and be of good character
|must be learn English when you arrive
|provide a valid TB Certificate from an approved clinic
|pay application fee and Immigration Health Surcharge fee
*The Home Office recommends that “valid or expired BN(O) passports should be kept and submitted with an application as evidence of BN(O) status”. If you do not possess this but have registered as a BN(O) citizen, we can assist you in obtaining a copy of your certificate.
Qualifying as a Dependent
Dependents include family members i.e. partner, spouse, or children under 18. Please see below for each category requirement:
|Spouses or civil partners
|Marriage or partnership certificate evidencing that relationship
|Unmarried partners – the couple must be living like in a marriage or civil partnership for a period of at least 2 years
|Proof of this cohabitation.
|Proof of the parental relationship.
Both parents must be lawfully present in the UK or being granted at the same time as the child.
|Elder parents or grandparents
|Must be BNOs themselves. In exceptional circumstances of high dependency, the application may be considered on a case by case basis by the Home Office.
Validity of the Hong Kong BNO Visa
When applying for a Hong Kong BNO visa, there are two options in terms of length of visa:
- leave to remain in the UK for a period of five years; or
- 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).
Hong Kong BNO Visa Conditions
Successful applicants will have the following rights:
|You can work in the UK in almost any capacity as an employed or self-employed person
|You will be entitled to:
|You will have free healthcare on the same terms as British residents, as long as the Immigration Health Surcharge is paid
|You will not be entitled to public funds
Please note that if you do not wish to apply for settled status or is refused, you will be expected to leave the UK and may be removed.
Applying for a Settlement in the UK
To settle in the UK:
- Hong Kong BNO visa holders must reside in the UK for 5 continuous years;
- You may be absent for 180 days in any 12-month period;
- Those under 65 may need to meet the English language and Knowledge of Life in the UK requirements.
- 65歲以下人士可能需要滿足基本英語能力和通過Life in the UK考試。
Applying for British Citizenship by Registration or Naturalisation
After being settled for a year, BNOs can apply to register as British and adult dependents can naturalise as British.
How we can help Hong Kong BNO Visa applicants
The Immigration Rules contain strict requirements that must be evidenced in support of a Hong Kong BNO visa application. We at The Nathanson Partnership are committed to providing you with detailed advice and to ensure that your application is technically correct and professionally presented to the authorities.
We will work closely with you, your family and your dependents. 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.
We can provide our services in English, Cantonese or Mandarin. If there is another dialect you would prefer to be served in, please contact us so we can deliver this. We work with our team in Hong Kong to assist you with your submission pack including supporting documents, legalisation, translation and notary services.
T: 020 3476 9523