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Hong Kong British National (Overseas)

Securing a British National (overseas) visa for the UK

British Nationals (Overseas) (“BNO”) are people who were British Overseas Territories citizens by connection with Hong Kong who registered as British nationals (overseas) by 01 July 1997. If you are not already a BNO, you can no longer apply to become one.

As a British National (Overseas), you can hold a British passport and receive protection from UK diplomatic posts. You are however still subject to UK immigration controls. To live, work, and/or study in the UK as a BNO, you may want to consider applying under the Hong Kong British National (Overseas) routes, namely the BN(O) Status Holder route and the BN(O) Household Member route.

BN(O) Status Holder route requirements

  • You must be a British National (Overseas) under the Hong Kong (British Nationality) Order 1986;
  • You must be a resident in Hong Kong if applying for entry clearance, or resident in the UK if applying for leave to remain;
  • You must provide evidence of being able to adequately maintain and accommodate yourself and your dependants, whether you are in the UK, or outside the UK; and
  • Provide a valid medical certificate that confirms you are free of the TB virus.

BN(O) Household Member route requirements

  • You must have been born on or after 01 July 1997;
  • You must not have or have last had permission as a BN(O) Adult Dependent Relative on the BN(O) Status Holder route;
  • If you are applying for entry clearance to the UK, you must be a child of a person who is, or who was prior to their death, a British National (Overseas) under the Hong Kong (British Nationality) Order 1986; or
  • You must be the child of a person who is at the same time being granted permission as a partner on the BN(O) Status Holder Route; and
  • You must form part of the same household as the BN(O) Status holder. This will be met if you normally live with the BNO status holder;
  • Either you as the applicant, or the person who is being granted BNO Status Holder visa at the same time, must be able to maintain and accommodate you adequately in the UK without recourse to public funds for at least 6 months;
  • You must be a resident in Hong Kong if applying for entry clearance, or resident in the UK if applying for leave to remain; and
  • You must provide a valid medical certificate that confirms you are free of the TB virus.

Period and conditions of grant for both routes

Depending on which visa duration you applied for, your visa will be granted for a period of five years or 30 months.

With this visa, you will be able to live and work in the UK, you can be self-employed, and you will be able to study.

You can apply to settle in the UK after successfully spending five years in the UK under this route. This will give you more rights in the UK.

Dependent children and a spouse of a BNO applicant may be able to apply in line with them. Various requirements must be met to successfully claim leave under the BNO routes.

Adult dependent relatives may also apply in line with the main applicant under the BNO routes. You have to be:

  • The parent;
  • Grandparent;
  • Brother;
  • Sister;
  • Adult son; or
  • Adult daughter of the main applicant to apply.

How our immigration solicitors help with the BNO visa

The BN(O) visa routes are complicated and require specialist knowledge on the subject to successfully make an application under the routes. Our Immigration specialists have extensive experience dealing with various immigration matters, so we can effectively assist you with this visa.

Our Immigration Team are specialist immigration solicitors who have decades of experience navigating the UK immigration system. We have the relevant knowledge and expertise to effectively assess your situation and advise you and your family members on your eligibility under these routes.

Our immigration solicitors can assist you with your settlement applications once you have completed living in the UK for five years.

We can advise you on alternative visa routes that may be better suited to your circumstances.

We are upfront with our fees so you can feel confident that you will not be paying any unexpected bills.

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