1. About this visa
2. What you can and cannot do
3. Who can apply
4. Residency requirements
5. Money you’ll need
6. Tuberculosis (TB) certificate requirement
7. How to apply
8. Settlement and citizenship
About this visa
The UK will open a ‘Hong Kong BN(O) visa’ for BN(O) citizens and their close family members from 31 January 2021.
You’ll be able to apply to enter or remain in the UK for a period of 30 months (which you can extend by a further 30 months) or a period of 5 years. You’ll be able to apply from outside or inside the UK.
You’ll be able to apply for settlement after 5 years if you meet the requirements, and British citizenship 12 months after settlement.
What you can and cannot do
• study (including applying for higher education courses)
• use the National Health Service (NHS)
• claim public funds (social welfare benefits)
Your children will be able to:
• attend school if they are under 18 (all state schools are free)
• attend education and training if they are aged 16 to 19
Who can apply
You can apply for the Hong Kong BN(O) visa if you are a BN(O) citizen. You don’t need a valid a BN(O) passport to show this and you don’t need to request a new passport if it’s expired or has been lost. However, if you have an expired BN(O) passport you can submit it with your application.
You’ll need a valid travel document and you can use a valid Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport to travel if you have one.
Your family members who normally live with you may also be able to apply, including 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.
Children under 18 should apply with both of their parents, although there are some exceptions.
If you’re applying 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.
More detailed information will be published before the visa route opens.
Money you’ll need
You must show that you can accommodate and provide financial support for yourself and your family members for at least 6 months in the UK.
You’ll need to provide evidence such as:
• bank statements
• offers of support or accommodation from friends or family
More detailed information on what documents you need will be published before the visa route opens.
You won’t need to meet this requirement if you’ve been living in the UK for more than a year when you apply.
Tuberculosis (TB) certificate requirement
Applying from outside the UK
If you normally live in Hong Kong you must provide a tuberculosis (TB) test certificate from an approved centre.
Applying from inside the UK
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 won’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
You’ll be able to apply for the Hong Kong BN(O) visa from 31 January 2021.
You’ll need to pay the following fee and each of your family members will need to pay the fee too:
• £180 to apply to stay for 30 months
• £250 to apply to stay for 5 years
Immigration Health Surcharge
You’ll need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS).
For each adult this will be:
• £1,560 if you’re applying to stay for 30 months
• £3,120 if you’re applying to stay for 5 years
For each child under the age of 18, this will be:
• £1,175 if you’re applying to stay for 30 months
• £2,350 if you’re applying to stay for 5 years
Once you’ve paid the IHS, you’ll be able to use the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK.
Settlement and citizenship
You’ll be able to apply to settle in the UK (also called ‘indefinite leave to remain’) once you’ve lived here for 5 years. If you’ve already spent time in the UK on a route to settlement (for example, a general work (Tier 2) visa), this time will count towards the 5 years.
You’ll need to:
• meet the English language requirements
• pass the Life in the UK Test
• have spent no more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months in the previous 5 years
• pay a fee to apply for settlement
You’ll be able to apply for citizenship once you’ve been settled in the UK for 12 months. You’ll need to pay a fee to apply for citizenship.
Contact us today
For assistance and guidance with the above or if you would like to instruct one of our immigration experts, contact us today for advice and assistance. We can be emailed directly at enquiries@bhdsolicitors if you wish to arrange a consultation, or you can alternatively contact us via the blue contact us boxes above.
We are a firm specialising in immigration law with offices situated in Croydon and Central London and we are continuing to work throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.