Hong Kong BN(O) visa - | Hudson McKenzie

Hong Kong BN(O) visa

January 21, 2021 | Immigration, UK Government

On 31st January 2021, the UK government is introducing a new visa for Hong Kong British nationals overseas. 

This visa is suitable for British overseas nationals by connection with Hong Kong, which are those who were able to register as British overseas before 1st July 1997.

Those who are eligible can apply to enter or stay in the UK for 30 months which can be extended for a further 30 months. If you’re applying from outside of the UK, you and your close family members should normally live in Hong Kong. 

Why 1st July 1997?

In 1997 Hong Kong was handed over from the UK back to China. The agreement between the two nations ended at midnight on 1st July 1997, which is why people born before this date were eligible to be a British national overseas. People born before 1997 were technically born on British overseas ground and therefore entitled to the visa.

What were the rules for Hong Kong BN(O) citizens prior to this visa?

Currently, Hong Kong BN (O) citizens can stay in the UK as visitors but were restricted and could not work or study. If citizens want to live in the UK more permanently, they would need to apply for another visa. This new visa allows eligible citizens to work, study and use the NHS.

Eligibility requirements:

  • You will need to show that you can support yourself financially for at least 6 months in the UK
  • You should provide a TB certificate if applying from Hong Kong 
  • You must be a BN(O) citizen

Settlement for Hong Kong BN(O) visa

Under this visa route, you’ll be able to settle and apply for British citizenship. 

In order to be able to apply for settlement which is also called “Indefinite Leave to Remain” (ILR), you will need to meet a number of requirements. You will need to show that you can satisfy the English language requirement, pass the Life in the UK Test and have spent no more than 180 days outside of the UK in any 12 month-period in the past 5 years. 

Should you have any queries regarding the above information or if you require assistance with your corporate, employment or immigration matter, please get in touch with a legal professional at Hudson McKenzie via email at londoninfo@hudsonmckenzie.com or by telephone +44(0) 20 3318 5794.

The information provided does not amount to legal advice.