Hong Kong British National Overseas Visa


Before handover of the UK’s responsibilities for Hong Kong, UK created the British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) nationality status this was opened to people in Hong Kong, through a registration process, to those who had British Dependent Territories citizenship. This status recognised the special ties UK has with these people as a result of UK’s role in Hong Kong before 1997. As China, through its actions, has changed the circumstances that BN(O) citizens find themselves in, the UK government have decided to change the entitlements which are attached to BN(O) status. The Home office secretary Priti Patel has decided to improve significantly those entitlements, to reassure BN(O) citizens that they have options to live in the UK, should they wish to do so.

It is not an unconditional offer. British National Overseas citizens will need to support themselves while living in the UK; they must meet strict criminality checks and stay of good character; pay visa fees, the Immigration Health Surcharge, for the use of NHS, if they subsequently apply for citizenship after they become settled, the fee and meet the criteria. BN(O) citizens will need to ask themselves whether coming to the UK to put down roots here is the right choice for them. It is a choice the sectary of state, Priti Patel is making available and welcoming warmly all those who decide to take it.

The Hong Kong BN(O) Visa for applications will open from January 2021. BN(O) citizens do not need to hold a BN(O) passport in order to apply for the British National Overseas visa – so there is no need for them to apply for, or renew, a BN(O) passport specifically for this purpose. All BN(O) citizens will need to apply and obtain a visa to be able to settle in the UK.

The offer to British National Overseas citizens is a very generous one. There are no skills tests or minimum income requirements, economic needs tests or caps on numbers. The UK is giving them the opportunity to acquire full British citizenship. Applicants do not need to have a job before coming to the UK – they can look for work once here. They may bring their immediate dependants, including non-British National (Overseas) citizens.

At Alliance visas, we have a lot of experience and high success rate in getting our client’s visas approved together with best customer service and speedy service and with only £860 fee for assisting with application reflecting an excellent value for money. Fill our assessment form to check eligibility find out more.


British National Overseas citizens with their immediate family dependents, comprising spouse or partner and children aged under 18, will be eligible to apply for the ‘Hong Kong British National Overseas Visa’. Dependants themselves need not have BN(O) status to be eligible. Dependent grandparents or other relatives will not be eligible if they are not a BN(O) citizens in their own right.

There will be situations where the dependent children of a BN(O) citizen will not normally be eligible because they were born after 1997 (so are not BN(O) citizens) and are over 18 so would not ordinarily be considered as a dependant in the UK’s immigration system. In compelling and compassionate circumstances, the UKVI will use discretion to grant a visa to the children of a BN(O) citizen who fall into this category and who are still dependent on the BN(O) citizen. This UK government will limit the discretion ordinarily to children of BN(O) citizens who were born after the 1 July 1997 who will also be able to apply as dependants, if one of their parents holds BN(O) status and they apply together as a family unit.

In exceptional circumstances of high dependency, other adult dependants of a British National (Overseas) citizen applying for the visa may also be eligible at the UK Government’s discretion, considered on a case by case basis. Although this will not be easy to establish.

If the above doesn’t fit then the existing youth mobility scheme is also open to people in Hong Kong aged between 18-30, with 1000 places currently available each year. Individuals from Hong Kong will also be able to apply to come to the UK under the terms of the UK’s new Points Based System, which will enable individuals to come to the UK in a wider range of professions and at a lower general salary threshold than in the past. See tier 5 youth mobility visa for more info.

In addition to holding BN(O) status, applicants and their dependants must also:

  • be ordinarily resident in Hong Kong, which includes those currently in the UK but who are ordinarily resident in Hong Kong
  • be able to demonstrate their ability to accommodate and support themselves in the UK for at least six months
  • demonstrate a commitment to learn English in the UK where appropriate – on entry, there will be no English language requirement but applicants will require a good knowledge of the English language if they choose later to make an application for settled status (indefinite leave to remain) after five years
  • hold a current tuberculosis test certificate from a clinic approved by the Home Office
  • pay a fee for the visa and the Immigration Health Surcharge both payable in full at the point of the visa application
  • have no serious criminal convictions, have not otherwise engaged in behaviour which the UK Government deems not conducive to the public good, and not be subject to other general grounds for refusal set out in the Immigration Rules

The fee for the initial visa and any renewal will be announced soon. If individuals then wish to settle or obtain citizenship in the UK, each of these applications will attract additional fees. The fee for UK settlement is currently set at £2,389 and £19.20 Biometric enrolment fee, whilst citizenship applications currently costs £1,206 for adult applications.


The UK government is planning to open the Hong Kong British National Visa for applications from end of January 2021. BN(O) citizens do not need to hold a BN(O) passport in order to apply for the visa – so there is no need for them to apply for, or renew, a BN(O) passport specifically for this purpose. All BN(O) citizens will need a visa to be able to settle in the UK. Check your eligibility for the Hong Kong British National Overseas Visa here

Conditions and entitlements

BN(O) citizens and their dependents who come to the UK will have the following entitlements and restrictions for the period of leave granted under the Hong Kong British National (Overseas) Visa:

  • leave to remain in the UK for a period of five years. This will consist of an initial period of 30 months’ leave, renewable by a second charged application for a further 30 months. Alternatively, applicants will be able to apply for 5 years’ leave from the outset, upon payment of a higher fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge for the duration. Applying for 5 years’ leave is likely to be more cost effective overall
  • the ability to apply for settlement (indefinite leave to remain) in the UK after five years’ leave under existing rules, and to apply for UK citizenship after 12 months settlement under existing rules and application processes
  • no recourse to public funds
  • the right to work in the UK in almost any capacity as an employed or selfemployed person, consistent with UK employment laws and subject to having the appropriate skills and qualifications
  • access to education including:
    • schooling for under 18 child dependants
    • education and training for young people aged 16-19
    • the ability to apply for higher education courses
  • access to healthcare free at the point of use on the same terms as British residents, contingent on payment of the Immigration Health Surcharge (see above). It is right that a contribution is made by BN(O) citizens who will benefit from access to our world class National Health Service

BN(O) citizens and their dependants will be expected to comply with UK laws. If convicted of a criminal offence, they will be liable for removal.

Check your eligibilty and discuss your case with an immigration advisor by filling an assessment form now.

Hong Kong British National Overseas Visa

The Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) Visa, also known as working holiday visa is designed for young individuals between the age of 18 years and 30 years to come to UK for a period of 24 months.

This visa is available to citizens of a few eligible countries.

You cannot get this visa if you have already had one before. You cannot bring dependants with you on this visa. You make take up employment for the entire duration of the stay.

This visa does not permit you to carry out any business activities, be a professional sports person or an entertainer.

Fill  UK Tier 5 Visa assessment form to find out if you are eligible.

Eligible countries and number of places available

  • Australia : 35,000
  • Canada : 5,500
  • Japan : 1,000
  • Monaco : 1,000
  • New Zealand : 10,000
  • Hong Kong : Unlimited
  • Republic of Korea : 1,000
  • Taiwan : 1,000

Visa Requirements

You must show £1,890 in savings in your bank account. Fill assessment form and find out if you qualify for the tier 5 youth mobility scheme visa.

If you are a national of Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea or Taiwan you will need to be sponsored. You need to get a certificate of sponsorship reference number before you are able to make an application.

A certificate of sponsorship is an unique reference number that has specific information about the job you will do and your personal details. This is not a certificate or paper document.

Why choose Alliance visas?

At Alliance visas we are able to process your application swiftly, help you with employment, accommodation, bank account, tax back advise and more.

Give us a call today or Fill assessment form for more information.

About Alliance Visas

Welcome to Alliance Visas. We are a registered migration and visa services firm. We are not the official body or affiliated with the government.

At Alliance Visas, we do not share your details with any third party. We provide a no obligation assessment without any cost to all applicants, please fill our assessment to find out your eligibility for a visa.

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