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UK Hong Kong BN(O) Visa Update

As we know, on the 22nd of July 2020, the UK announced the BNO Visa route for people ordinarily resident in Hong Kong.BNO Visa Updates

This post provides the most updated information currently available on the Hong Kong BNO Visa including when it will be available, price and the current political context.

Since the announcement, information has slowly been made available.

For convenience, here is a brief summary of the most important details:

  • The BNO Visa will try to avoid splitting up family units
  • There are 30 month and 5 year visa lengths available
  • The 30 month visa will cost £180 per person and the 5 year visa will cost £250 per person
  • The visa will be available from the 31st of January 2021
  • Dependants can apply (but must do so at the same time)
  • Applicants need to prove BNO status but a current valid BNO passport is not required
  • The Immigration Health Surcharge will apply (which means applicants will have access to NHS services)
  • Applicants will be able to seek employment and attend school if they are under 18

BNO Visa Updates

Since last week, the only further information from the Home Office has been a series of rebuttals to claims from the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (OCMFA).

The OCMFA claims that conferring the right of abode to holders of the BNO passport is a breach of the Joint Declaration and considers the change in policy, ‘gross interference’.

The Home Office has responded by clarifying that BNO passport holders do not have the right of abode in the UK and confirmed its adherence to its obligations under the Joint Declaration.

With less than a week to go, the UK continues to maintain a fine balance between supporting Hong Kong citizens and responding to the National Security Law being imposed on Hong Kong.

The next update is likely to be when the actual visa becomes available, next week. Until then, here is a summary of the BNO Visa requirements. A more detailed factsheet is also available from the Home Office.

Jacqueline Ma
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List of Endorsing Bodies for Start Up and Innovator Visas

List of Endorsing Bodies for Start-Up Visa

These are Higher Education Institutions (HEI).

Start-Up list last updated 19th September 2019.

Check and see if your HEI participates in the Start-Up visa programme.


Endorsing Body Notes
Anglia Ruskin University Applications are welcome from ARU students. We regret non-ARU students cannot be considered.
Arts University Bournemouth Endorsing business in the creative arts industries.
Aston University For those who have completed a course of study at Aston University in the last 5 years and have had a business idea accepted by BSEEN.
Bangor University Bangor University only endorses Bangor Graduates on this visa and they must have graduated within 12 months preceding the application.
Bath Spa University Bath Spa University will only accept endorsement applications from Bath Spa students and our recent graduates (up to 2 years).
Birmingham City University
Bournemouth University They support Bournemouth University international alumni start-ups and innovators across the UK, and exceptional UK HEI international graduates looking to start businesses in Wessex.
BPP University Limited BPP University will only endorse its own graduates in the Start-up route. We will not endorse external candidates or in the Innovator route.
Brunel University London Brunel University will only endorse its graduates in the Start-up route. They will not endorse external candidates or in the Innovator route.
Cardiff Metropolitan University International Entrepreneurs Programme runs intensively for 6 months from the centre for Entrepreneurship incubator and includes workshops, mentoring, office space and general support. Cardiff Metropolitan University is currently endorsing its own students and graduates only.
Cardiff University Cardiff University are only able to consider endorsement requests from our graduate students or any of our students who have completed their studies and are approaching their graduation date
City, University of London
Contemporary Dance Trust
Coventry University Open to Coventry graduates only.
Cranfield University Supporting entrepreneurs every step of their journey, they accept applications from students and alumni of Cranfield.
De Montfort University
Derby University
Durham University They provide opportunities for start-up visa endorsement to eligible graduating students and graduates of Durham University.
Edinburgh Napier University Providing opportunities for Start-up Visa endorsement to eligible graduating students and graduates of Edinburgh Napier University.*
Falmouth University School of Entrepreneurship Creating a unique environment to build sustainable businesses with high growth potential in one of the UK’s leading creative tech hubs.
Florida State University International Programs Assocciiation UK They accept applications for start-up visa endorsements only from graduates of FSU or US Universities with whom they have existing affiliations.
Girne American University Canterbury
Glasgow Caledonian University
Goldsmiths University of London
Guildhall School of Music & Drama Guildhall Creative Entrepreneurs is an incubator to help people in the performing arts launch and advance their own enterprises. Guildhall School will only endorse graduates from Guildhall School.
Heriot-Watt University
Hult International Business School
Imperial College London
Keele University Keele Business School Smart Innovation Hub, and the Research & Innovation Support Programme will support selected Keele students and alumni.
King’s College London The Entrepreneurship Institute at King’s College London will support Start-up visas that meet UKVI criteria from current and former King’s students.
Kingston University
Lancaster University
Leeds Arts University
Leeds Beckett University
The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts
Liverpool John Moores University
London Business School They accept applications from students and alumni, as well as co-founders working with LBS students or alumni.
London Metropolitan University
London School of Economics and Political Sciences For LSE students – with the exception of non-LSE applicants who are key members of an LSE team only.
London South Bank University They can only endorse applicants who have graduated from LSBU within the last 2 years and have not started a business in the UK before.
Loughborough University Endorsing body for Loughborough University graduates.
Manchester Metropolitan University
Middlesex University
Newcastle University They will only endorse graduates from Newcastle University. They will consider applications from graduating students and recent graduates (up to 3 years).
Northern School of Contemporary Dance
Norwich University of the Arts
Nottingham Trent University They are only open to students and recent graduates of Nottingham Trent University (within the immediate 2 years preceding date of application).
Oxford Brookes University
Plymouth College of Art Plymouth College of Art welcomes endorsement applications from graduates and alumni of the college.
Queen Mary University of London Open to Queen Mary University of London graduates only
Queen’s University Belfast They only accept applications for endorsement from Queen’s graduates and applicants must have completed a degree within the last 12 months.
Ravensbourne University London
Regent’s University London
The Robert Gordon University
Roehampton University
Royal Academy of Music
Royal Agricultural University
The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama Central will only accept endorsement applications from their current students and our alumni (within 2 years of completing studies).
Royal College of Art
Royal Holloway and Bedford New College
Sheffield Hallam University
SOAS, University of London
Solent University
Swansea University
Teesside University
University College London They will only consider applicants who have graduated from UCL in the last 12 months.
University for the Creative Arts
University of Aberdeen
University of the Arts London University of the Arts London offers endorsement exclusively to UAL graduates within 2 years of graduating. The scheme is delivered by careers and employability.
University of Bath
University of Birmingham
University of Bradford
University of Brighton
University of Bristol The University of Bristol will consider endorsing their students for Start-up following a rigorous application process.
The University of Buckingham
University of Cambridge They consider endorsement for those who are graduating or have graduated from the University of Cambridge.
University of Central Lancashire
University of Chester They will only endorse start-up applications from Chester students who graduate in the same academic year and who possess an outstanding, genuine and credible business idea in line with the university’s criteria.
University of Dundee
University of East Anglia
University of East London They only accept applications from UEL Students or Graduates. Our programme is competitive with limited endorsements therefore align your application to the criteria.
The University of Edinburgh The University of Edinburgh endorses Start-up applicants who have a close demonstrable relationship with our institution (students and alumni).
University of Essex
University of Exeter They will only consider endorsements for students and graduates of the university who engaged with entrepreneurship activity during their studies.
University of Glasgow
University of Greenwich Endorsements allocated via the annual Enterprise Challenge, run by the university’s i3 Centre. Open to graduates of the university only.
University of Hertfordshire Higher Education Corporation They only accept endorsement applications from their current students and their alumni (within one year of completing studies).
University of Huddersfield
University of Hull
University of Kent
University of Leeds
University of Leicester
University of Lincoln
University of Liverpool They will only endorse students who graduate from the University of Liverpool within the same academic year.
University of Manchester Only graduates of the University of Manchester will be considered for endorsement.
The University of Northampton
University of Northumbria at Newcastle
University of Nottingham
University of Oxford
University of Plymouth
University of Portsmouth To apply for endorsement applicants must be students or graduates (up to 5 years) from the University of Portsmouth.
University of Reading
The University of Salford
University of Sheffield Endorsement only available to those who have or will have graduated from the University of Sheffield.
University of South Wales They will only consider endorsement for those who are graduating or have graduated from the University of South Wales or RWCMD within the last 12 months.
University of Southampton
University of St Andrews
University of Stirling
University of Strathclyde
University of Sunderland Their Enterprise Place offers start up support, 1-1 business advice, structured workshops and networking opportunities for their alumni.
University of Surrey External start-ups must meet SETsquared Surrey incubator criteria and adhere to the incubator membership for the endorsement duration.
University of Sussex
University of the West of England Their Launch Space provides physical incubator space and enterprise support for graduate start-up businesses at UWE.
University of the West of Scotland They will endorse current students or recent graduates who demonstrate an innovative business idea and entrepreneurial mind-set.
The University of West London
University of Ulster
University of Wales Trinity Saint David – Carmarthen Campus
University of Warwick They will consider applications from Warwick graduates with a viable business idea that they wish to start in the UK.
University of Westminster
University of Wolverhampton
University of York
Unseen University
York St John University


List of Endorsing Bodies for Innovator Visa

Innovator list last updated 19th September 2019.

Innovator list last updated 14th June 2019.
Innovator list last updated 12th May 2019.

Check for an Innovator Endorsing Body

Endorsing Body Notes
The Bakery The Bakery endorses bona-fide entrepreneurs who qualify for our corporate innovation programmes.
Bethnal Green Ventures BGV is an early stage investor in tech for good companies who only endorse start-up entrepreneurs accepted onto their support programme
Blue Orchid Blue Orchid will only endorse high growth start-ups who are working within their client base across England’s North West and West Midlands.
Capital enterprise Capital Enterprise will only be endorsing founders within their community.
CyLon CyLon is interested in hearing from emerging cyber security companies or entrepreneurs planning on setting up an innovative cyber start-up.
Deep Science Ventures Apply if you are a scientist or engineer determined to start a deep science company.
DRS Business Solutions DRS will only consider applications for endorsement from those individuals who they are working with in their client base.
Emsworth Corporate Planning (ECP) They support genuine global entrepreneurs who are looking to build dynamic, disruptive and fast growing business here in the UK.
First Corporate Finance They offer an open invitation to entrepreneurs worldwide with innovative business ideas to register in their Business Support Program, with future potential endorsement.
Fortunis Capital Ltd Fortunis Capital works with motivated individuals and teams who have innovative and scalable proposals that aim to have a positive impact on wider society. They actively manage their entire portfolio.
Founders Factory Founders Factory is an award-winning tech startup accelerator and incubator. They endorse entrepreneurs joining one of their programmes.
Ignite They only endorse applicants who are successful in applying for one of their accelerator programmes.
Innovate Britain Innovate Britain focus on vital enterprise sectors including Education, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Consumer and Infrastructure.
Invest Northern Ireland Invest NI endorses entities for Start-up/Innovator Visas via participation on its Accelerator Program or requests from Client companies only.
Kollider Kollider is a high growth business incubator. They endorse members with innovative ideas in the creative, digital and tech sectors expected to scale in their markets within 24 months.
Level39 Level39 only endorses those involved in FinTech, cyber security, smart cities, retail tech and other globally ambitious tech business.
MDR LAB MDR LAB is an accelerator for tech start-ups in the legal space. They only endorse migrants accepted onto their 10-week May-July programme.
MedCity MedCity supports collaboration, investment, entrepreneurship and industry within the life sciences across Greater South-East of England.
NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator
The Royal Society of Edinburgh The Royal Society of Edinburgh only provide endorsement to their awardees who have received an RSE Enterprise Fellowship. They cannot support any individual who does not fall under this category.
RBS Entrepreneur Accelerator
Scottish EDGE Scottish EDGE can endorse winners of its bi-annual funding competition for innovative, high-growth potential Scottish businesses. Approx. 6% of applicants win.
Seedcamp Seedcamp invest early in world-class founders attacking large, global markets and solving real problems using technology.
SeedHaus SeedHaus do not accept unsolicited applications for endorsements.
SETsquared Bristol SETsquared Bristol is not currently accepting external or speculative applications for Innovator through endorsement.
Startup Funding Club Startup Funding Club invests in early stage ventures from across all sectors, leading their first funding round, supporting growth and taking them to the next stage.
Tech Nation Tech Nation focuses on entrepreneurs of product-led digital technology businesses and are developing an initiative to identify and support Tech Nation applicants. They aim to begin endorsing applications by April 2020 or sooner if possible.
Techstars Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. They can only endorse Techstars backed Founders and other individuals from the Network.
Tech X Tech X is a unique tech accelerator and incubator for global start-ups looking to transform the energy sector – offers unparalleled funding and support.
The Royal Society of Edinburgh We only provide endorsement to our awardees who have received an RSE Enterprise Fellowship. Unfortunately we cannot support any individual who does not fall under this category.
Ulster Bank Entrepreneur Accelerator
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