The UK’s bespoke visa for Hong Kong BN(O) citizens is now open for applications

Kerman & Co website
February 1, 2021 Advisory

In the summer of 2020, the UK announced a new UK visa route for Hong Kong BN(O) citizens. Following the implementation of the UK’s new post Brexit immigration system, from 31 January 2021 applications for this Hong Kong BN(O) visa route are now open.  The visa generously provides full UK residence rights including the right to work and study.

Importantly, this visa will not require a job offer, minimum salary, employer sponsorship, a large cash investment or an entrepreneurial business idea. 

Please note there will be two different types of visa route:

  • BN(O) Status Holder– for BN(O) citizens resident in Hong Kong and their close family members; and
  • BN(O) Household Member– for adult children of BN(O) citizens, born on or after 1 July 1997 provided they all form part of the same household.

In the long term this visa category is a pathway to British Citizenship. Once an individual has spent 5 years in the UK on this visa they can apply for settlement (known as “Indefinite Leave to Remain”). After a further 12 months holding settlement they can apply for British Citizenship, subject to meeting all the usual requirements surrounding good character and residence in the UK.

Applications can be made online and the UK Government fee is £250 for a 5 year visa.  Applicants will also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge fee of £624 per year to use the UK National Healthcare Service (NHS).

If you are considering relocating to the UK, our expert Immigration team can assist.  Our Head of UK Immigration, Stephen Hall has over 12 years’ experience assisting clients and their family members apply for UK visas, Settlement and British Citizenship.

We can advise you on the correct; procedure, application forms, supporting documentation and timings.  As your legal representative we can liaise directly with the UK visa authorities on your behalf to ensure a smooth process, managing your relocation from the initial entry clearance visa, the entire way through to full British citizenship.

Originally published at prior to the firm’s combination with Armstrong Teasdale in early 2021.

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