Main Requirements for a Hong Kong BNO Visa
- Applicant must be a British National (Overseas), regardless of whether they hold a current valid passport;
- Family members must be partner, spouses, or children under 18, with additional requirements for children over 18 and non-BN(O) adult dependant relatives;
- Applicant and Dependants must be ordinarily resident in Hong Kong;
- Applicant and Dependants must be able to demonstrate their ability to accommodate and support themselves in the UK for at least six months;
- Applicant and Dependants must have no serious criminal convictions, no behaviour not conducive to the public good, and not be subject to other general grounds for refusal;
- Applicant and Dependants must be committed to learning English in the UK;
- Applicant and Dependants must each have a valid TB Certificate from an approved clinic, where necessary;
Proving BNO Status
The Applicant for a Hong Kong BNO visa must hold BNO Status. In families where more than one parent holds BNO status, only children will need to apply as dependants.
There is no requirement to hold a BNO passport. However, the Home Office recommends that “valid or expired BN(O) passports should be kept and submitted with an application as evidence of BN(O) status”.
Entitlement for BNO status
British Dependent Territories Citizens with a connection to Hong Kong were entitled to register as British in the 10 years leading up to handover of Hong Kong. No person born after 30 June 1997 is a British National (Overseas), and the status cannot be passed by descent.
Dependent Family Members of BNOs The Hong Kong BNO visa covers “immediate family dependents, comprising spouse or partner and children aged under 18” and dependents do not need to have BNO status. Elder family members such as parents or grandparents of adult BNOs will need to be BNOs themselves to be eligible under the Hong Kong BNO visa route.
Residency Requirement of Hong Kong BNO Visa
BNOs and their dependents must be ordinarily resident in Hong Kong. If applicant is currently in the UK, they must otherwise be ordinarily resident in Hong Kong.
General List of evidence to prove residence in Hong Kong:
- a Hong Kong identity card
- a letter from an employer or education provider confirming employment or study in Hong Kong
- a Hong Kong medical card
- a voter’s card
- a visa or residence permit or other immigration documents
- an educational record, for example a school report
- a letter from the local council or a government department in Hong Kong
- tax records
- records of rent or mortgage payments.
List of financial evidence including the followings:
- bank statements that show savings
- evidence of regular income that will continue whilst in the UK, such as salary, investment or pension payments
- investment details
- receipt of educational grants from overseas
- an offer of employment in UK
- income of a partner, spouse or other family member to which you have access, for example parental funding or a spouse’s salary earned through lawful working in the UK
- an offer of accommodation from family or friends.
Other documents could be required:
- no serious criminal convictions
- not otherwise engaged in behaviour which the UK Government deems not conducive to the public good, and not be subject to other general grounds for refusal set out in the Immigration Rules
- To settle in the UK after 5 years, they will likely need to meet the Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK requirements. If under 65, they will need to show they meet an English language requirement to the level of B1 of the CEFR, and pass the Life in the UK test.
When applying for a Hong Kong BNO visa, there are two options in terms of length of visa:
- leave to remain in the UK for a period of five years; or
- leave to remain in the UK for an initial period of 30 months’ leave (2.5 years), renewable by a second charged application for a further 30 months (2.5 years).
The conditions of the Hong Kong BNO Visa are outlined below:
- Access to education including:
- schooling for under 18 child dependants
- education and training for young people aged 16-19
- the ability to apply for higher education courses
- Right to work in the UK in almost any capacity as an employed or self-employed person, consistent with UK employment laws and subject to having the appropriate skills and qualifications
- Access to healthcare free at the point of use on the same terms as British residents, contingent on payment of the Immigration Health Surcharge
- No recourse to public funds