British National (Overseas) Visa
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Visa routes for BN(O) national

Following a recent development, the UK government has introduced a visa route for British National (Overseas) national who are currently residing in Hong Kong.

BN(O) citizens can choose from two options:


1.  Applying for Leave Outside Immigration Rules ( 6 months visa) at UK border

Entering the UK without applying for an Entry Clearance visa. Under this option, UK Border Force officers may be able to consider granting ‘Leave Outside the Rules’ at the UK border for a period of up to 6 months to you and your accompanying dependants. However, do note that you are still expected to apply for the Hong Kong BN(O) Visa from within the UK when it is available from January 2021. You can work or study in the UK. You cannot get public funds and use the NHS for free (except for limited free services) – you’ll need full health insurance throughout your stay with ‘Leave Outside the Rules’

For BN(O) citizens already in the UK, if your existing immigration leave expires before January 2021, you can apply for ‘Leave Outside the Rules’ from within the UK for up to 6 months, you ’ll need to pay the ‘Leave Outside the Rules’ application fee and 6 months’ immigration health surcharge.

Alternatively, 1) you can re-enter the UK after leaving – at the border you may be eligible to be granted ‘Leave Outside the Rules’; 2) extend your existing immigration leave; 3) switch into another immigration route.

To be considered for ‘Leave Outside the Rules’, you’ll need to show:

    • your identity
    • your BN(O) citizen status (valid or expired BN(O) passport)
    • that you normally live in Hong Kong or the UK
    • that you can accommodate and support yourself and any of your dependants financially in the UK for at least 6 months

You’ll also need to show evidence of any non-BN(O) dependants’ family links to you and you should travel together to the UK as a family unit. A dependant is any of the following:

    • spouse or civil partner
    • unmarried partner
    • child (under the age of 18 when they first applied)
    • adult child born on or after 1 July 1997 (and their partner or child under the age of 18) who normally lives with you

Evidence of your relationship with dependants

    • marriage or civil partnership certificate
    • have been living together in a relationship similar to a marriage or civil partnership for at least 2 years
    • full birth certificate
    • adoption certificate
    • a court order, such as a special guardianship order

 

 2.    Applying for Entry Clearance from January 2021  

From 31 January 2021, the UK government will formally introduce the BN(O) visa route for an entry clearance application. You can choose to apply for a 5-years visa or alternatively choose to apply for an initial 30-months visa and to extend for another 30-months.

To be eligible for this visa route, you will need to show the following:

    • Your BN(O) status
    • Proof of residency in Hong Kong or in the UK (If you are already residing in the UK)
    • TB test from approved centres (this applies to all application applying from Hong Kong or for those applying in the UK with a visa that is less than 6 months) –
    • Able to pay the fees for the Immigration Health Surcharge for yourself and dependants.

Similar to application for Leave Outside the Rules, you’ll also need to show evidence of any non-BN(O) dependants’ family links to you and you should travel together to the UK as a family unit. A dependant is any of the following:

    • spouse or civil partner
    • unmarried partner
    • child (under the age of 18 when they first applied)
    • adult child born on or after 1 July 1997 (and their partner or child under the age of 18) who normally lives with you
    • other family members in exceptional circumstances where there is a high level of dependency who normally live with you

Evidence of your relationship with dependants

    • marriage or civil partnership certificate
    • have been living together in a relationship similar to a marriage or civil partnership for at least 2 years
    • full birth certificate
    • adoption certificate
    • a court order, such as a special guardianship order

 

Application fees (BNO route)

Five-year visa                                 – £250 per person

30-month visa                                 – £180 per person

Immigration health surcharge      – £624 per year for each adult, £470 per year for each dependant child under 18 years old

You will be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain once you have completed 5-years lawful residency in the UK.

 

Things to consider before applying:

  1. That you have the appropriate documents to show your BN(O) status
  2. Your proof of residency in Hong Kong
  3. That you have the financial means to support yourself and your family for at least 6 months
  4. That the application fees and Immigration Health Surcharge fees will vary depending if you opt for a 30-months visa or 5 years visa