BNO Passport Holder Updates

13th July 2020 Immigration

As of 1 July 2020, this Wednesday, China’s national security law was imposed, and it was also the 23rd year of Hong Kong SAR’s establishment since the handover. On the same day, our Prime Minister Boris Johnson responded to the passing of the law and reiterated at the House of Commons, that “Hong Kong residents holding BNO status are to be offered a chance to enter the UK granting them limited leave to remain with the ability to work in the UK and thereafter to apply for British citizenship”.

The Home Secretary proposed a new immigration route for British Nationals (Overseas) and their dependants from Hong Kong on 12 June 2020 giving clarity as to how this route may pan out. Essentially, BNO status holders would be able to apply for a visa to work or study in the UK with a view to be able to obtain settlement in 5 years and UK citizenship in 6 years. It has been proposed that these BNO status holders will also be allowed to take their family dependants with them. Please see further details below. Whilst the Home Office is in the process of introducing this new route, it is uncertain how long it will take for the bill to be put forward and subsequently implemented into immigration rules.

Home Secretary's Letter 1.png Home Secretary's Letter 2.png


If you are considering a move to the UK as soon as possible, there are many other routes which JMW solicitors can explore with you. JMW solicitors are seeing an increase in the number of enquiries amongst Hong Kong nationals. If you have queries in relation to the UK visa application process, please contact us at 0345 241 5305. We have a Cantonese-speaking lawyer, who can address your queries further. We also have a Live Chat online; please click onto the green button on the right below.

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Dipesh Shah is a Partner located in London in our Immigration department

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