New immigration route for BN(O) citizens

The new ‘Hong Kong BN(O) Visa’ for BN(O) citizens and their close family members will be launched in January 2021.

Qualifying applicants will be able to apply from outside or inside the UK.

Migrants will be able to apply to enter or remain in the UK for an initial period of 30 months. This can then be extended for a further 30 months. Alternatively, they can also apply for a single 5-year visa.

Migrants will be able to work and study in the UK without any restrictions. However, applicants will not have access to public funds.

After residing in the UK for a continuous 5-year period, they will be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. After holding ILR for a period of 12 months, they will be eligible to naturalise as a British citizen if desired.

Eligibility for a Hong Kong BN(O) Visa

An applicant will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Hold BN(O) status – an applicant does not need to have a valid BN(O) passport to show this and they do not need to apply for a new passport if it has expired or has been lost;
  • Reside in Hong Kong;
  • Accommodate and support themselves financially in the UK for at least 6 months;
  • Submit a Tuberculosis (TB) test certificate from a UKVI approved testing clinic;
  • Pay the UKVI fees and Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS).

 

Identity and BN(O) citizen status

Migrants will need to submit evidence of their identity, such as a valid or expired BN(O) passport. If they do not hold a BN(O) passport, the Home Office may be able to verify their status through checks.

Evidence of Hong Kong residence

In order to evidence their residence in Hong Kong, applicants can rely on the following:

  • A national identity card issued by Hong Kong;
  • A letter from an employer or educational provider confirming their employment or student status in Hong Kong;
  • A Hong Kong medical card;
  • A voter’s card;
  • A visa/residence permit or any other document confirming their status;
  • Educational records such as a school report;
  • A letter from the local council or government department in Hong Kong;
  • Tax records;
  • Rent or mortgage payment records

Please note that the above list is not exhaustive, the Home Office may consider other forms of evidence on a case-by-case basis.

Evidence that an applicant can maintain and accommodate themselves without recourse to public funds

Migrants will need to show that they can maintain and accommodate themselves and any dependants in the UK for at least 6 months by providing:

  • Bank statements showing savings;
  • Evidence of regular income that will continue whilst in the UK, such as a salary, investment or pension payments;
  • Receipt of an overseas educational grant;
  • An offer of employment in UK;
  • Income received by a partner, spouse or another family member. For example, parental funding or a spouse’s salary earned through lawful employment in the UK;
  • An offer of accommodation from family or friends.

 

Evidence of your relationship

Applicants must provide a marriage or civil partnership certificate. In addition, applicants must show that they have been residing together for at least 2 years if they are an unmarried partner.

In regards to children, parents will need to provide proof of their relationship such as a full birth certificate, adoption papers, or a court order.

Contact Our Immigration Team

For expert advice regarding any aspect of the Hong Kong BN(O) Visa application, please contact our immigration team on 0203 384 3075.

The content of this article is for general use and information only. Since each case should be prepared on its own merit and in light of the constant amendments to the Immigration Rules, it is important to note that the information provided must not be relied upon unless Migra & Co has either given written consent or has been officially engaged in relation to a specific immigration matter. As a result, Migra & Co will take no responsibility for any damage, cost or loss resulting from relying on the information contained in this article, blog and website.


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