New immigration route for BN(O) citizens - Hong Kong BN(O) Visa

22nd July 2020 Immigration

As of today, the Home Office has announced a new immigration route for BNO citizens. Starting from January 2021, BNO status holders will be able to apply to enter the UK on a “Hong Kong BNO visa”.

The Home Secretary’s offer is a generous one. There are no requirements for skills tests, minimum income requirement, economic needs tests, caps on numbers, or job offers before coming to the UK. BNO citizens can bring their close family members, who are non-BNO citizens, to the UK. This route gives them the opportunity to acquire full British citizenship after 6 years, which can be passed down through generations to their children.

There are difficulties for those who want to bring their adult children, or their children who were born after 1997, or their dependant parents to the UK. BN(O) status cannot be passed on to children. The Home Office may or may not grant a visa to the children or parents of these BNO citizens. Any application will be determined on a case by case basis. Our solicitors will be able to assist you in presenting to the Home Office that there are certain compelling and compassionate links and circumstances where these close family members should also be eligible under the same scheme.

In order to benefit from this new route, BNO status holders are required to apply for this visa. It is not an automatic right given to BNO citizens. They will need to satisfy the necessary requirements to obtain the “Hong Kong BNO visa”. Most entry clearance applications are submitted from the applicant’s home country; this visa allows the applicant to make the application even from within the UK. It gives a lot of flexibilities to BNO citizens. Essentially, these citizens can enter the UK now as a tourist and stay until January 2021 in order to apply for a BNO visa from within the UK.

With the Hong Kong BNO visa, BNO citizens and their family will have access to our National Health Service (NHS) and access to public education.

If you do not presently hold a BNO status and wish to either reinstate or acquire your BNO status or to move to the UK under other visa categories, our team of expert solicitors will be able to help.

Approximately 3.4 million people have obtained BNO status. JMW Solicitors see that there will be colossal migration from Hong Kong. With the Brexit transitional period ending on 31 December 2020 and the implementation of this new Hong Kong BNO visa, the UK will be facing demographic and social changes at a pace that may pose significant challenges for governments and businesses. JMW is a full-service law firm and we can assist you with a complete solution to empower you, your family and your business to meet those key challenges and make those transitions smoothly.

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

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