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