The Hong Kong BN(O) Visa will be open for applications from 31 January 2021.
British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) citizens will be able to move to the UK, to study and work. 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. 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 declaration by the Chinese government in restricting the rights, freedoms and autonomy of the people of Hong Kong.
The British Consul-General to Hong Kong, Andrew Heyn, said:
We have released more details about the new Hong Kong British National (Overseas) Visa, providing a route to UK citizenship. The imposition of the National Security Law on Hong Kong marked a clear erosion of the rights and freedoms for the people of this city. This new route to the UK is part of our commitment to the people of Hong Kong. The UK is ready to welcome BN(O) citizens and their dependants to the UK.
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.