British Nationals (Overseas) citizens: New UK visa route
The UK government has published a guidance about the new UK visa route for British Nationals (Overseas) (BN(O)) today as a response to the Chinese Government’s national security law. The UK government appreciates that there are approximately 2.9 million BN(O) citizens who may suffer from a restriction of their freedoms.
This new UK visa route has been named ‘Hong Kong BN(O) Visa’ route. It will be opened for BN(O) citizens and their close family members (even non-BNO(O) citizens) from January 2021.
BN(O) citizens will be able to apply for this visa from outside or inside the UK.
Furthermore, BN(O) citizens will be able to apply this visa for an initial period of 30 months, and then extend it for a further 30 months. Alternatively, they could simply apply initially for a 5-year visa.
Moreover, BN(O) citizens will be able to work and study under this route, but will not be able to access public funds.
After living in the UK for 5 years, BN(O) citizens will be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain (also called settlement) in the UK. And after holding this status for 12 months, BN(O) citizens will be able to apply for British citizenship, provided that they meet the relevant requirements.
Additionally, to be eligible under this route, BN(O) citizens will need to evidence their BN(O) status, that they are ordinarily living in Hong Kong, they can accommodate and support themselves financially in the UK for at least 6 months, they show a commitment to learn English and provide a tuberculosis (TB) test certificate from a clinic approved by the Home Office.
It is important to note that it may be possible for a BN(O) citizen to enter the UK before the Hong Kong BN(O) Visa is available. The Border Force Officers may consider granting ‘Leave Outside the Rules’ at the UK border for a period of 6 months.
Furthermore, it will be possible for the main applicant to bring non-BN(O) dependants with them, but they will need to evidence their relationship. This includes spouse or civil partner, unmarried partner, a child under 18, and even other family members with a high level of dependency in exceptional circumstances.
If you wish to talk to us about this new ‘Hong Kong BN(O) Visa’ route, please contact our friendly team of London immigration lawyers at Barar and Associates at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 7487 8370. You can access more information about us via https://bararassociates.com/.