Personal Immigration

New immigration route for British national (overseas)

BN(O)

As of 31st January 2021, the UK government has launched the new immigration route for British national (overseas) (BN(O)).

Further to our earlier article, this new visa route will enable BN(O) passport holders and their dependent family members to live, work and study in the UK, and eventually settle in the UK and apply for British citizenship thereafter.

Applications can now be made online and those who are eligible will need to book an appointment at a visa application centre to prove their identity. However, it may be quicker to apply using the “UK Immigration: ID check” smartphone app to prove one’s identity starting from 23rd February 2021 as it will save the time and cost of going to a visa application centre.

There are 2 pathways under the Hong Kong BN(O) route:

  1. The BN(O) Status Holder route

For BN(O) status holders, their partner or spouse, their dependents children under 18, and other adult family members with a high degree of dependency.

  1. The BN(O) Household Member route

For adult children of BN(O) citizens, or of their partner, who are born after 1st July 1997 and their dependants (partner or spouse and dependent children). Kindly note that all applicants must form part of the same household as the BN(O) citizen.

It is important to note that BN(O) status holders and relevant family members must apply for the Hong Kong BN(O) route together, otherwise immediately after the main applicant makes an application but before the main applicant’s application gets approved.

An application can be made from inside or outside the UK. An applicant should meet the following requirements:

  • Your permanent home must be:
    • In Hong Kong, if you are applying from outside the UK;
    • In the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, or Hong Kong, if you are applying in the UK
  • Evidence of maintenance and accommodation for at least 6 months if you have lived in the UK for less than 12 months at the time of the application
  • Provide a Tuberculosis test certificate in some circumstances
  • Meet the suitability requirements such as good character, criminality, and immigration history requirements

An applicant can either apply for permission to enter or to stay for a period of 30 months or 5 years.

One can extend one’s stay after 30 months but the visa cannot be extended after 5 years. After 5 years under this visa route, one may apply for settlement in the UK given that one satisfies the continuous residence requirement, i.e. one must not have been outside the UK for more than 180 days in any 12-month period unless exemptions apply.

If granted, the visa allows an applicant to work and study in the UK but not to access public funds.

The visa application fee is currently:

  • £180 for a 30-month visa; and
  • £250 for a 5-year visa.

Additionally, an applicant may need to pay £19.20 to have his/her biometrics taken as part of his/her application if s/he does not use the UK Immigration: ID check application.

Furthermore, an applicant will need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge, which varies depending on his/her age and duration of the visa.

The specific requirements that need to be met are set out in Immigration Rules Appendix Hong Kong British National (Overseas) which is accessible via the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix-hong-kong-british-national-overseas

If you wish to talk to us about this new immigration route for British national (overseas), please contact our friendly team of London immigration lawyers at Barar and Associates at barar.london@bararassociates.co.uk or call us on 020 7487 8370. You can access more information about us via https://bararassociates.com/.