Two updates relating to BN(O) visa route was released today (11 December 2020). The update talks about the rights to work for applicants who were granted Leave Outside the Rules as well as the announcement of refund for applicants who applied for Leave outside the Rules but is not yet granted a visa by 31st January 2021.
BN(O) Citizens – Right to work in the UK
It is now confirmed that BN(O) citizens and their dependants who are granted Leave Outside the Rules have the right to work in the UK.
BN(O) citizens can use their entry stamp in their passport as proof of their right to work – the stamp restricts BN(O) citizens’ access to public funds but does not restrict their ability to work.
The UK employers won’t have to pay a penalty if you employ someone with this stamp in their passport.
BN(O) citizens who are already in the UK
Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), it may take longer than normal for the application to be processed. If you have applied ‘Leave Outside the Rules’ application in the UK and the decision has not been made before the Hong Kong BN(O) visa opens for applications in January 2021, Home Office will refund any fees or charges you have paid.
If you’re already in the UK, and your existing immigration leave expires before January 2021 and you want to stay in the UK before applying for the Hong Kong BN(O) visa, there are a number of options open to you:
- extend your existing immigration leave
- switch into another immigration route
- re-enter the UK after leaving – at the border you may be eligible to be granted ‘Leave Outside the Rules’ as a BN(O) citizen
- apply for ‘Leave Outside the Rules’ from within the UK for up to 6 months
You’ll need to meet the requirements of the route you’re applying for and pay any application fee and immigration health surcharge that applies.