UK Government promises a Pathway to British Citizenship for 3 Million Hong Kong Residents. In respect of our historic and enduring relationship with Hong Kong and responsibilities towards British Nationals (Overseas), the UK Government announced that if China follows through with its new national security law, the UK government will explore options to allow BN(O)s to apply for leave to stay in the UK, if eligible, for an extendable period of 12 months.
- Someone who was a British overseas territories citizen by connection with Hong Kong was able to register as a British national (overseas) before 1 July 1997.
- British overseas territories citizens from Hong Kong who did not register as British nationals (overseas) and had no other nationality or citizenship on 30 June 1997 became British overseas citizens on 1 July 1997.
- If you’re not already a British national (overseas), you cannot apply to become one.
- The 1984 Agreement laid out that British Dependent Territories citizens would be eligible to retain an appropriate status which, without conferring the right of abode in the United Kingdom, would entitle them to continue to use passports issued by the Government of the United Kingdom.
- BN(O)s have to qualify under the Immigration Rules in the same way as any other applicant.
- Hong Kong passport holders can visit the UK visa free.
What has changed for Hong Kong BN(O)s as of 28 May 2020?
- UK Government announced that if China follows through with its new national security law, the UK government will explore options to allow BN(O)s to apply for leave to stay in the UK, if eligible, for an extendable period of 12 months. Hong Kong BN(O)s currently have the right to enter the UK for six months.
- The UK government has made this move as the new security law will undermine the existing legal commitments to protect the rights of Hong Kong people.
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