British Nationals (Overseas) in Hong Kong

A person who was a British Overseas Territories Citizen by connection with Hong Kong was able to register as a British National (Overseas) before 1st 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 30th June 1997 became British Overseas Citizens on 1st July 1997. 

It is important to note that if you are not already registered as a British National (Overseas), you will not be able to apply to be a British National (Overseas).

Following the announcement of the National Security legislation in Hong Kong, the UK will open a British National Overseas (BNO) Visa for British Nationals (Overseas) and their close family members from 31st January 2021.

The BNO Visa will enable British Nationals (Overseas) and their close family members to enter or stay in the UK for an initial period of 30 months. Thereafter, the BNO Visa can be extended for a further 30 months. After attaining 5 years of continuous residence in the UK, British Nationals (Overseas) on this Visa category will be eligible to apply for Settlement in the UK. After 12 months of Settlement in the UK, British Nationals (Overseas) can apply for British Citizenship. 

What Are The Eligibility Requirements To Apply For British National Overseas (BNO) Visa?

In order to be eligible to apply for a BNO Visa, you must:

  • Be a British National (Overseas);
  • Provide a valid Passport as proof of identity;
  • Provide a valid or expired British National (Overseas) Passport to evidence your British National (Overseas) status;
  • Evidence that you normally live in Hong Kong or the UK;
  • Have enough money to accommodate and support yourself and your family members for at least 6 months in the UK;
  • Provide a valid Tuberculosis Certificate if you are travelling from a country listed in Appendix T of the Immigration Rules.

If your Application for a BNO Visa is granted, you will be able to work, study (including applying for higher education courses) and have access to the National Health Service (NHS). However, you will not have access to public funds such as social welfare benefits. 

If your Children join you in the UK, they will be able to attend school if they are under the age of 18 or attend education and training if they are aged 16 to 19. 

Can My Family Members Apply To Join Me In The UK?

Your family members who normally live with you may also be able to apply to join you in the UK if they are one of the following:

  • Your Spouse, Civil Partner or Unmarried Partner;
  • Your Child (under the age of 18);
  • An 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) may be able to join you in the UK provided that there are exceptional circumstances and you are able to evidence that they have a high level of dependency on you.

All Children under 18 must intend to live with their Parents during their stay in the UK, unless there is a good reason why they cannot do so.

In order for your family members to join you in the UK, you must evidence their relationship with you.

Interested To Find Out More?

Our immigration lawyers can work with you throughout the lifecycle of your Application for a British National Overseas Visa, ensuring that you are in a position to successfully satisfy the necessary requirements to enter the UK, extend your stay in the UK and thereafter, permanently settle in the UK.

Garth Coates Solicitors is one of London’s most respected immigration law firms. Our founding partner, Garth Coates, spent many years working in the Home Office as an Immigration Caseworker. This experience has given him a unique understanding as to what immigration decision-makers are looking for when approving Visa Applications.

Established in 2008, Garth Coates Solicitors is a leading Law Firm in Immigration who can provide professional legal advice to ensure that your Application satisfies the strict requirements of the Immigration Rules

Our team of legal professionals offers comprehensive and considered advice to enable our clients to make informed choices. We strongly believe that our clients deserve the best; we take our responsibilities very seriously to ensure that client satisfaction is achieved by providing a professional yet friendly legal service. We aim to resolve all immigration matters brought to us by working diligently and together with the client, keeping them informed of the progress of their case at all stages. Our outstanding success rate is maintained thanks to the high standard of our work.

If you would like us to assist you with your Immigration Matter, kindly click here to leave us an Enquiry. Alternatively, we can be reached via telephone at (00 44) (0)20 7799 1600 from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (UTC+00.00 London) every Monday to Friday.