Jacqueline Ma No Comments

New Hong Kong BN(O) Visa Route Announced by UK Home Secretary

Today (July 22nd 2020), the Secretary of State (Priti Patel) and the Foreign Secretary (Dominic Raab) announced the new Hong Kong BN(O) visa route.

Those eligible for the visa will be able to apply from January 2021.

On July the 1st 2020, the Foreign Secretary made its first statement regarding China’s controversial national security legislation. The UK government’s position is that it is a clear breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration.

Signed between China and the UK on the 19th of December 1984, the Joint Declaration promised to preserve Hong Kong’s existing capitalist system and way of life until 2047.

According to the Foreign Secretary, the legislation recently enacted by Beijing is also in direct conflict with Article 23 of China’s Basic Law which allows Hong Kong to establish its own national security legislation.

Today’s announcement allows Hong Kong citizens who are BN(O) to apply for the new Hong Kong BN(O) visa. An estimated 2.9 million people will be able to apply for visas which last 30 months and extendable for another 30 months (or single period of 5 years), after which they can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (and citizenship a year after).

Standard requirements still apply:

  • be ordinarily resident in Hong Kong, which includes those currently in the UK but who are ordinarily resident in Hong Kong;
  • be able to demonstrate their ability to accommodate and support themselves in the UK for at least six months;
  • demonstrate a commitment to learn English in the UK where appropriate – on entry, there will be no English language requirement but applicants will require a good knowledge of the English language if they choose later to make an application for settled status (indefinite leave to remain) after five years;
  • hold a current tuberculosis test certificate from a clinic approved by the Home Office
  • pay a fee for the visa and the Immigration Health Surcharge both payable in full at the point of the visa application; and
  • have no serious criminal convictions, have 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. 

This is a direct link to the Policy Statement (Note: PDF document)

 

Jacqueline Ma
One Immigration Solutions No Comments

Passport Prices Rise on the 27th March 2018

UK Flag ThumbprintGetting a new passport is about to cost more from Tuesday 27th March 2018 and the price increases vary depending if you’re applying online or offline (by post) but there’s a way to avoid the price increase altogether if you’re due to renew your passport before the end of the year.

How are Prices Changing?

The increases are a uniform £3 per application online and £12.50 per application offline.

Current CostPassport TypeNew CostIncrease
£72.50Adult – Online£75.50£3.00
£46.00Child – Online£49.00£3.00
£72.50Adult – Postal£85.00£12.50
£46.00Child – Postal£58.50£12.50

The Premium one-day service price will be increasing from £128 to £177, an increase of £49 whilst the Fast-track one-week service will increase from £103 to £142, an increase of £39.

How to Beat the Passport Price Rise

A little known fact when applying for a new passport is that any existing time on your old passport will be added to your new passport up to a maximum period of 9 months.

This means that should your passport expire on the 26th of December, you’ll be able to apply now, pay the existing pricing and lose very little time on your existing passport but you’ll need to act quickly as there’s just under a week before these prices come into effect.

Why Are Passport Prices Rising?

According to the Minister of State for Immigration, these price increases are necessary to maintain a secure, effective and efficient service.

Apply Online Now

The cheapest way will be to apply for your passport online at the government website. This will be the quickest and cheapest way to do it.

Naturally you can apply via a company like ours but the process is so simple you’d be paying extra fees for something you can easily do yourself.

A full list of price changes (this links directly to the PDF file) is available from the UK government website but watch out, the pricing information is buried under a lot of text.

Do you have Indefinite Leave to Remain?

A lot of people assume you can apply for a British passport as soon as you have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), unfortunately, this isn’t the case. You must apply for British Citizenship first. This has a more complicated set of requirements and if you would like to discuss this with us, please contact us or arrange a free consultation (you can do this directly through our website).

Once you have British Citizenship, you can then apply for a British passport. Unfortunately at the time of writing this article, there won’t be time to apply for British Citizenship before the 27th of March price increases.

One Immigration Solutions