The Government have announced the new immigration route for British National (Overseas) citizens from Hong Kong will be open for applications on 31 January 2021.
British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) citizens in Hong Kong will be able to move to the UK, to study and work from early next year.
They will have the right to work in almost any role, consistent with UK employment laws and subject to having the appropriate skills and qualifications. All those with BN(O) status are eligible, as are their family dependants, provided they are usually resident in Hong Kong. There will be no quota on numbers and this route will also provide a clear pathway to be granted British citizenship.
The UK government is changing the entitlements attached to BN(O) status in response to the breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration by the Chinese government in restricting the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong people and eroding the high degree of autonomy of the SAR.
The British Consul-General to Hong Kong, Andrew Heyn, said:
The cost of the visa has been set lower than many other visas routes to the UK. A five-year visa will cost £250 per person. Applicants will also be able to apply for a 30-month visa which will cost £180 per person.
Like other nationals moving to the UK, BN(O) citizens will pay the immigration health surcharge to receive access to the National Health Service in the UK, and they will need to demonstrate they can support themselves and their dependants financially for at least six months in the UK.
A valid BN(O) passport is not required to apply for the Hong Kong BN(O) Visa as applications can also be made using a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport.