The new British National Overseas (BNO) visa route came into effect on 31 January 2021. This visa allows eligible Hong Kong residents and their close family members to come to the UK to live, study, work and eventually settle.
It is expected that around 300,000 people will apply for this route within the first five years. This articles explains the requirements for such applications.
First and foremost, applicants must demonstrate their BNO status under the Hong Kong (British Nationality) Order 1986. Second, if applying for entry clearance, they must show evidence of having permanent residence in Hong Kong. Third, evidence of sufficient funds to support the applicant whilst in the UK must be shown, covering costs of living and accommodation. Finally, for applicants with dependants, the second and third requirements mentioned above must be satisfied for each dependant, in addition to providing proof of the applicant’s relationship to them.
As with all visa applications, if applying to come to the UK from a country where the UK authorities require TB certificate before travel, this certificate would also have to be obtained.
The BNO visa offers applicants the choice between a two-and-a-half-year route, and a five-year route. The visa application fee per applicant for the former is about GBP180, and the latter about GBP250. In addition to this, applicants will also be required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), the cost of which will again depend on the duration of the visa applied for, the current rate for adults being GBP624 a year.
After living in the UK for a period of five years on a BNO visa, applicants can apply to settle and attain indefinite leave to remain (ILR), which would allow for stay in the UK without any time limits. There would be other eligibility requirements at this stage, including the need to have demonstrated knowledge of language and life in the UK, and not having excessive absences from the country.
If you have any further queries about this immigration route or are considering applying and would like any formal advice and support with making your application and coming to the UK, please do not hesitate to contact us and we would be happy to assist.
How we can help
If you have any queries or need assistance in relation to any of the above requirements, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We can be reached either by telephone on 020 7499 0620 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.