The Hong Kong BN(O) Visa category is for Hong Kong’s British National (Overseas) citizens - or BN(O) citizens and their families to enter the UK following the politically divisive national security law. Through this immigration route, qualified individuals will be able to apply for permanent residency and British citizenship after five years. The BN(O) Visa route will be open for applications from January 2021.

What is the Hong Kong BN(O) Visa? 

The Hong Kong BN(O) Visa category is for Hong Kong’s British National (Overseas) citizens - or BN(O) citizens and their families to enter the UK following the politically divisive national security law. Through this immigration route, qualified individuals will be able to apply for permanent residency and British citizenship after five years. The BN(O) Visa route will be open for applications from January 2021.

Requirements for a Hong Kong BN(O) Visa application

In order to qualify for a Hong Kong BN(O) Visa you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) that:

  • You have Hong Kong BN(O) citizenship Status: BN(O) citizenship statuses were given to people who were previously British Overseas Territories citizen by connection with Hong Kong who registered for BN(O) citizenship before 1997 when the sovereignty of Hong Kong was handed back to China by the UK. If you are not already a BN(O) status holder, you cannot apply to become one. The effect of a BN(O) status allows the holder to stay in the UK for up to 6 months without a visa, subject to immigration control.
  • You cannot pass your Hong Kong BN(O) citizenship status down to your children: so there is only a limited number of BN(O) status holders in the world. However, immediate family members of BN(O) status holders, including partners, spouses, or children under 18 years old are eligible to apply for the BN(O) Visa. An estimate of 2.9 million people in Hong Kong has BN(O) statuses of which 300,000 people are currently holding a valid BN(O) passport. An individual's BN(O) Visa status is recognised regardless of whether or not the individual has a valid passport.
  • You can prove your Hong Kong BN(O) status using a valid or expired Hong Kong BN(O) citizen passport: If you don't have a Hong Kong BN(O) passport, the Home Office may be able to look at records to check your status.
  • You must be a Hong Kong Resident: The Main Applicant and family members must have Hong Kong as their usual place of residence.
  • Show evidence that you can support and finance your needs: The main applicant and their dependants must demonstrate they can provide their own accommodation and financial income once they arrive in the UK. This is vitally important because new Hong Kong BN(O) Visa citizens living in the UK on a visa won't be eligible to access public funds such as social welfare benefits.
  • Demonstration of good character: do not commit crimes, do not engage in behaviour not conducive to the public good, and do not be subject to other general grounds for refusal.
  • Learn the English language: Must show a commitment to learning the English language where appropriate.
  • Tuberculosis (TB) test certificate: Where necessary, the principal applicant and dependants must show they are free from TB. A valid health certificate can be obtained from any clinic approved by the Home Office.
  • Fees: Pay the application fee and Immigration Health Surcharge fee to gain access to the NHS. 

The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances.  You may want to speak to our expert immigration lawyers for legal advice.

Can I study and work in the UK on a Hong Kong BN(O) Visa?

Yes, Hong Kong BN(O) Visa holders can work and study in the UK. The Secretary of State is not imposing skills tests on applicants, nor do they need to prove they have a job before coming to the UK- they can look for work once arrived. 

Is there a path to British Citizenship on a Hong Kong BN(O) Visa?

Yes, after living in the UK for five years on the Hong Kong BN(O) Visa, during which time you stayed away from crime, supported yourself financially, and otherwise complied with the terms of your visa, you will be able to apply for settled status. After a further year, you may apply for British citizenship.

Making a Hong Kong BN(O) Visa application with OneLaw Chambers

At OneLaw Chambers, our immigration solicitors and barristers regularly assist with Hong Kong BN(O) Visa applications in order for applicants to remain and settle in the UK.  We have assisted many foreign national applicants to prepare and submit successful Immigration and Visa applications and we have represented clients from all over the world.

Whether you require expert immigration advice on the requirements of the Immigration Rules, an independent immigration assessment of your prospects of qualifying for a Hong Kong BN(O) Visa or professional immigration representation with preparing your Hong Kong BN(O) Visa immigration application, our immigration solicitors and barristers can help you.

We are committed to ensuring that our immigration solicitors and barristers prepare every immigration visa application with utmost quality and skill so that successful outcome is achieved every time. Our immigration solicitors and barristers operate in a friendly and cooperative manner to provide our clients with the best client care and service during the entire immigration application process. 

To discuss your Hong Kong BN(O) Visa application with one our immigration solicitors and barristers, please contact our Immigration lawyers on 0207 489 2044 / 0208 616 1819 or complete our enquiry form with your details.


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