On 31 January 2021, the UK opened a new ‘Hong Kong British National (Overseas) visa’ for BN(O) citizens and their close family members that allows them to live, study and work in the UK.
A BN(O) citizen is someone who was a British overseas territories citizen by connection with Hong Kong and was able to register as a British National (Overseas) before 1 July 1997. You must’ve registered as a BN(O) before this date as you can no longer apply for BN(O) status.
The new BN(O) visa grants you leave to remain in the UK or up to 30 months, which can be extended for up to another 30 months. Once you’ve completed 5-years residency in the UK you may be eligible to apply for settlement and ultimately British citizenship.
You can apply for the BN(O) visa now and get professional assistance from UK-based immigration advisors to help you prepare.
Hong Kong British National (Overseas) Visa Eligibility Requirements
To qualify for the Hong Kong British National (Overseas) visa you must already be registered as a Hong Kong British National (Overseas). Your close family members may also be eligible to apply for a BN(O) visa with you, such as your:
- spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner
- child (under the age of 18)
- adult child born on or after 1 July 1997 (and their spouse, or child under the age of 18)
- other family members (parent, grandparent, brother, sister, son or daughter) in exceptional circumstances where there is a high level of dependency
You and your family members must all apply together at the same time. If your family members do not apply with you, they will not be able to apply for the Hong Kong BN(O) visa to join you later.
To be eligible for a BN(O) visa, you’ll need to prove:
- Your identity and BN(O) citizen status (such as a valid passport or expired BN(O) passport)
- Your relationship with any close family applying with you (such as marriage certificates, birth certificates, adoption certificates, etc.)
- That you normally live in Hong Kong or the UK (such as Hong Kong identity or medical card, official correspondence to your address, a letter from your employer, rent or mortgage documentation, tax records, etc.)
- That you can accommodate and support yourself financially in the UK (such as bank statements, offers of employment or financial support from others, etc.)
If you’re applying for a BN(O) visa or Leave Outside the Rules from outside the UK, you and your family members must normally live in Hong Kong.
If you’re already in the UK, you must normally live in Hong Kong, the UK, Jersey, Guernsey, or the Isle of Man.
Proof of Funds
You’ll need to show that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your family for at least six months.
There’s no precise monetary amount set out in the rules, you just need to show that your incoming funds and monthly outgoings are able to support yourself and your family.
Tuberculosis (TB) Certificate
You may have to provide a TB certificate when you apply for a BN(O) visa depending upon where you live and how long you’ve lived there.
If you’re already in the UK, Jersey, Guernsey, or the Isle of Man, and your last grant of permission was for 6 months or less (for example leave outside the rules at the border), you must provide a TB test certificate from an approved centre in the UK.
You don’t need to provide a TB test certificate if you were last given permission to stay in the UK for more than 6 months and you’ve provided a TB test certificate before.
How to Apply for a Hong Kong British National (Overseas) Visa
You can apply for the BN(O) visa from inside and outside the UK. Applications can be made through the UKVI online application system or, if you’re eligible, the UK Immigration: ID Check smartphone app.
When you apply, you and each eligible close family member applying with you will need to pay the BN(O) visa fees and Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fees.
You’ll also need to submit your supporting documents as part of your BN(O) visa application.
Applying for Leave Outside the Rules
If you applied for Leave Outside the Rules before 31 January 2021, you can now apply for the British National (Overseas) visa when that leave is due to expire.
Get Professional Assistance to Make your BN(O) Visa Application
Visas can be complicated at the best of times and new visa regimes also introduce a lot of uncertainty into the mix as well.
UKVI has been fairly clear on how you can apply for a BN(O) visa for you and your close family, but it’s very normal to still have questions or need reassurance before making such a big decision to relocate to another country.
You can use Help with my visa! to appoint a professional UK-based immigration advisor to prepare your BN(O) visa application for you. You can find an immigration advisor and book an appointment online right now by clicking the button below.
When you book through Help with my visa! you’ll also get our 100% money-back guarantee if your BN(O) visa application is refused. This offer isn’t available anywhere else, including if you book direct.
You can securely pay for your immigration advice service on Help with my visa! using a credit or debit card, or PayPal. All transactions are 100% secure and use the latest Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) payment gateways to fully protect your payment. We then handle the payment of your fees to the immigration advisor once you’re satisfied you want to continue with them.
So book an appointment today, all our advisors offer appointments by telephone and have experience of working with clients based in Asia.